By Collette Hanna, Business Development Manager
City of Victorville Economic Development
Dr. Pepper Snapple and Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility
When Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) first approached Victorville as a possible location for its facility for manufacturing and distribution to the Western United States, the Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) was an ideal spot for their state-of-the-art facility. The land was adequate and the City of Victorville was able to address its site location issues. Infrastructure improvements were to be made to handle its operation, with a significant issue being the need to handle discharge of up to 750,000 gallons of wastewater a day. The City approved a $31 million Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility (IWTF) to handle DPS’ needs as well as other high wastewater discharge uses.
Working with the City of Victorville Economic Development and Development Departments, the permit issuance was fast tracked and construction on the state-of-the-art 850,000 square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility started in March 2009. The warehouse portion of the facility was opened by December 2009 and the manufacturing portion of the facility opened in February 2010. Running at full capacity, the plant will have the ability to produce up to forty million cases of product annually.
The IWTF is a testament to the City of Victorville’s proactive business stance and innovative problem solving ability. The IWTF can handle up to 2.5 million gallons of wastewater a day. With the location of DPS and the City’s new IWTF, Plastipak Packaging followed with a site location at SCLA. As DPS’ bottling supplier, Plastipak moved into a 290,000 square foot facility to support DPS production. DPS, IWTF, and Plastipak combined have created approximately 300 high quality, living-wage jobs in the Victor Valley.
DPS has invested over $120 million on the design and construction of its facility. The investment shows the confidence and trust the company has in Victorville’s economic stability. DPS and the IWTF projects have created a domino effect which has brought in Plastipak and interested other potential users to SCLA.
Neighborhood Stabilization Program
The City of Victorville has been actively looking to address the foreclosure problem that has plagued the nation over the past two years. The City’s Economic Development Department Housing Division has used the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fight the foreclosure and abandoned properties problem throughout the city.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) gives funding to local governments to purchase homes that have been foreclosed. The homes are then rehabilitated and placed back on the market for prospective homebuyers. The City of Victorville was awarded $5.3 million in NSP funding and has used the funding to purchase 14 properties. All the purchased properties have gone through a rehabilitation program and eight houses either have been sold or are currently in escrow. Two properties purchased were deemed unsafe for living and were demolished.
The NSP funds have not only put newly rehabilitated affordable homes on the market but have also boosted the local economy. Approximately 38 local contractors and companies have benefited from the funding. The City had a preference to hire local contractors and companies to ensure the local economy benefited from this program as well.
Victorville has dedicated 97% of all NSP funds. 95% of committed funds has been spent on upgrading homes throughout the city. The money spent has allowed those entering the housing market affordable and reliable housing and eliminated vacant foreclosed properties in Victorville neighborhoods while boosting the local economy by working with local entities throughout the program.
Aircraft and engine testing continues at SCLA, with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Air Force’s Predator Planes being some of the new projects.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner started its testing at SCLA in March 2010. The flight-testing schedule includes six planes flying a total of 90 hours per week at the peak of testing. Boeing will be mass producing the new 787 Dreamliner at a faster rate than any other large airplane. Its goal is to produce 120 new 787s a year by 2013. Boeing has approximately 300 employees located in Victorville to flight test around the clock in 12-hour shifts.
The Air National Guard had been temporarily leasing a hangar at SCLA for its training missions with the Predator. In September 2010, the Air National Guard broke ground on a new $4 million hangar. The new hangar is expected to be completed within a year. The Predator plane is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is commonly used for reconnaissance missions. Predator aircraft is remote controlled by operators and carries cameras and other sensors whose signals are sent back to a base. Newer Predator models are now fitted with missiles and other types of ammunition.
The testing of the Dreamliner and Predator at SCLA are just a few of the many exciting, new projects. GE continues to test its engines at SCLA. Cal Fire’s DC-10 Super Tanker plane is currently stationed at SCLA as well and is instrumental in fighting wild fires in the San Bernardino area and beyond. The open air space and clear weather are just some of the many reasons why companies are choosing SCLA as the place to test, maintain, and house their aircraft.