Fontana on Target With Growth Plans

Site, site, site.

That’s what the bustling city of Fontana has plenty of.

The continuing rejuvenation of the longtime economically bereft community in San Bernardino County is part of the hectic residential, commercial and industrial construction taking place in the Inland Empire.

The newest entry into the city’s ambitious master plan for redevelopment is the Target Stores, a division of the Minneapolis-based Dayton Hudson Corp.


Target has closed escrow on an 85-acre site destined to contain a 1,411,463-square-foot warehouse distribution center to service its branches throughout California, Nevada and Arizona.

The property--larger than 24 football fields--is within a 1,400-acre planned community called The Heritage, a joint venture of the city and Richard Barclay and Joseph DiIorio, Southern California developers.

Target’s entry into the city will have a major impact on Fontana’s aggressive growth plans, representing an investment of about $56 million and creating 550 new jobs initially and increasing by 20% over four years.

But that’s only the immediate benefit. Over the long run, the city, as an equity partner ($4.5-million) with Barclay-DiIorio, is expected to have at least a 113% return on its stake, according to a recent analysis by Kenneth Leventhal & Co., certified public accountants.


It is all part of an unusual public-private partnership for development of The Heritage, planned to have 3,750 residential units, 100 acres of office and institutional uses, 37 commercial acres, 60 acres of parks, three schools, medical facilities, libraries, fire and police stations, a community center as well as 270 acres of business parks in addition to the acreage of the massive Target project.

Don Heide, vice president of distribution for the chain, said the “site was selected for its fabulous location and very reasonable prices. The city is perfect for distribution. There are seven major highways that intersect or are adjacent to Fontana.

“To the city’s east is the nation’s most modern rail switching yard. To its west is Southern California’s second busiest international airport (Ontario) and the only airport in Southern California that has room for expansion.

“The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are within an hour’s drive. Fontana has over 150 trucking firms, of which 13.3% travel interstate. It is well located to serve our western markets. With 12 million consumers in the Los Angeles area, the rapid population growth in southwestern United States and the burgeoning of trade with the Pacific Rim, Fontana answered all our needs.”


With grading started on Target’s facility, its first phase is expected to open by July, 1987, with total build-out in 26 months from now. The structure will cost about $25 million to $30 million and an equal amount to install equipment in the highly automated plant. Heide believes it will become California’s--if not the nation’s--largest industrial facility on one floor.

During its first year of operation, the plant is expected to house 14.4 million cartons of merchandise, all of which will be computer-tracked, and all cartons will be electronically scanned and routed through the center on more than 2.5 miles of conveyor systems.

The plant will have 101 receiving and shipping truck docks, with potential for an additional 65, and 742 parking spaces for trucks and cars.

Mayor Nathan A. Simon, William Kragness, who heads Fontana’s redevelopment agency, and Neil Stone, director of development, naturally, couldn’t be more pleased.


Stone explained that while Fontana will benefit greatly from property and sales taxes generated from the evolvement of The Heritage, under terms of its joint venture it will also receive 25% of the cash flow “of everything that develops or sells within the project’s boundaries.”

Kragness said that in addition to activities at The Heritage, there are nine major firms expanding or relocating into Fontana.

He cited JM Manufacturing, subsidiary of Formosa Plastics, Taiwan’s largest company, which will build its newest United States facility within Fontana’s Jurupa Industrial Park, along with Hume Roofing, an Australian-based company, which is doubling its present facilities there.

At the city’s Southwest Industrial Park, Major Safe Co. has consolidated its Southern California manufacturing plant.


And from Sacramento, a last lick, a political footnote from Christy Campbell Walters, director of the California Department of Commerce, pointing out that “California’s economy has recently become the seventh largest in the world” and expressing the Deukmejian Administration’s pleasure over Target’s selection of a California site that will further expand the state’s business community.