Amazon's Visalia warehouse No. 2 seen from Plaza Drive earlier this spring. Photo contributed
Written by Gabriel Dillard
The mystery of who exactly plans to move into a 1.1 million square-foot warehouse nearing completion in northwest Visalia appears to be solved.
The tilt-up concrete building is located on Avenue 320, about a mile north of Riggin Avenue, on a street that now carries the name Kibler. On Visalia city permits, the address is listed as 8817 W Kibler Ave.
It is located just north of FAT2 — what Amazon’s calls its latest distribution center that opened in August 2021.
Formerly this country lane saw little traffic, but now trucks carrying construction supplies often clog the two-lane road. The building cuts an impressive half-mile silhouette when viewed from the northern entrance of the Visalia Industrial Park.
It prompts many gawkers to ponder “Hey, what’s that?”
Conventional wisdom says it would be another Amazon location, though the Seattle-based e-commerce monolith is typically closed lipped on such matters.
Now, several issued building permits with the address 8817 W. Kibler Ave. list Amazon as the tenant.
Asked to confirm, Amazon spokesperson Natalie Wolfrom said in an email there was “No update on this. Will have more to share hopefully in August. I’ll circle back then!”
Reliable sources say Amazon expects to take occupancy of the new facility this fall with the goal operating in time for the holiday season.
That means hundreds more on the way, adding to the 1,200 or so that work at the existing Amazon distribution center.
Worries of a volatile stock market, inflation and slowing sales growth hampering new distribution warehouse deals — or even cancelling some underway — have yet to surface in Visalia. Asked if he has noticed a slowdown, Visalia Economic Development Manager Devon Jones retorted “not at all.”
“We’ve heard that online sales activity is not as strong, but we don’t expect to see a negative impact here,” said Mayor Steve Nelsen.
At least half a dozen new industrial buildings are expected to break ground later this year in the Visalia Industrial Park.