Salinas looks to the future after Amazon walks away on 36-acre parcel

By Sara Rubin, Monterey County Now, August 4, 2022

Salinas’s Growers Ice, an industrial agriculture cooler, sought since 2010 to build a state-of-the-art facility on a 36-acre parcel a mile from its current headquarters.

“[But first, infrastructure needed to be upgraded]: There are no roads, sewer lines, or water lines. The city’s [agriculture] industrial wastewater treatment plant needs to be expanded.

“While all of those costly improvements stalled, along came a proposal in 2021 for a project that has nothing to do with agriculture: A 2.9-million-square-foot warehouse with 50 loading docks for Amazon.

“Facing rising construction costs, Amazon walked away. Growers Ice still hopes to close on its [new campus]—and if the deal goes through, it will kickstart development here in the right direction, the direction as envisioned 12 years ago when the plan was approved [by Salinas City Council].

“It’s a top priority for Megan Hunter, director of community development. ‘Salinas is well-situated to continue to do very well in ag,’ she says. ‘We really need the ag industrial center.’

“It’s likely public-private partnership will be the key [to fund the infrastructure], and also help qualify the city for grant funds.”

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