Most people have heard the great things happening in Merced’s retail world — the arrival of Dutch Brother’s Coffee, Rally’s/Checkers Burgers and Planet Fitness. The Merced Mall is also transforming to keep of with city growth and market trends.
But there’s more taking place in Merced than expanded retail, and that’s an industrial sector that’s prospering.
“Our retail and commercial sector is doing well, along with our housing market, and so is our industrial side,” said City Manager Steve Carrigan. “The industrial side of Merced is undergoing an expansion that is bringing jobs and revenue to the community.
“We are getting construction jobs, and then permanent jobs for Merced,” Carrigan said.
Merced’s industrial sector is flourishing with the expansion of existing businesses and the addition of new industrial buildings. The growth is spread across a variety of markets
“That’s a good indicator of the city’s economic vitality,” said Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz.
Another good sign is that the companies are located throughout the city’s industrial zones.
“We are seeing these expansions in several of our industrial parks across the southern section of the city,” said Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz. “It’s not just concentrated in one area.”
In the case of Titan Metal Products, the expansion is doubling the size of its facilities. Titan Doors, 1891 Wardrobe Ave., makes stock and custom doors, door frames and assemblies. Some of the firm’s doors are fire and ballistic rated. Titan’s products were recently used in the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.
The existing Titan plant is 18,725 square feet, and it is adding on another 19,000 square feet of space to the door and assembly area.
Centurion Boats, 2047 Grogan Ave., has been a maker of high performance towboats since 1976, specializing in wake-surfing towboats. A division of Correct Craft, Centurion is headquartered in Merced and offers seven models for sale, along with the ability to custom build a boat.
The company is undergoing a 24,234 square foot shop and office expansion, putting in a 3,600 square foot development and engineering facility, along with a test tank. All of the growth of the facility increases the research and development capacity to the facility.
O’Keeffe Safti-First, 220 S. R St., has specialized in architectural glass and metal products for 75 years. Some of O’Keeffe’s custom skylights, ladders and aluminum building products are in the Stanford Medical Center, the Intel Campus and the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. Safti-First is known for its fire-rated glass and framing systems, some of which are at the UC Davis campus, the U.S. Military Academy, West Point and Folsom Prison.
The firm is adding a 30,651 square foot manufacturing facility plus a 7,764 square foot cold room to accommodate growing market demands.
Pacific Gas and Electric, is a utility company providing electricity and natural gas to Merced customers. The firm has expansion work going on at its service center and corporation yard located on the corner of Childs Avenue and Kibby Road.
The utility company is locating its regional management office at that site in a 15,400 square foot building, and installing a 9,100 square foot operations building. The utility is also putting in a 23,500 square foot combination garage/warehouse at the site.
In addition to the existing plant expansions, developers are seeing a demand for more buildings that are ready for industrial tenants to move in.
Lawler Excavation is constructing two new industrial buildings on Cessna Way in the city’s industrial park. The buildings, one 8,400 square feet and the other 7,500 square feet, could be used as warehouses or for other light industrial uses.