Mayor: Tracy poised to grow
by Sam Matthews
Mar 28, 2014 | 5688 views | 9 9 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State of the City
Tracy Mayor Brent Ives talks about the progress the city has made in the past 20 years during his final State of the City address Thursday morning at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Pointing to increasing interest in the giant Cordes Ranch business park west of town, Mayor Brent Ives alerted Tracy residents Thursday that they must be ready for dramatic industrial growth in the near future.

Ives delivered an upbeat but cautionary message during his annual State of the City Address in the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts. With his final term in office ending in December, it was his last.

“There is growing interest in Cordes Ranch,” he stressed. “It is something we’ve never seen before.”

Ives underscored the fact that Cordes Ranch, on Tracy’s far western edge south of Interstate 205, has 1,700 acres of land, and that Prologis, the worldwide industrial-building specialist that is the largest landowner, is moving ahead on final plans for the first phase of development.

“Two companies are so close that it is frustrating that I can’t announce their names,” Ives said.

One, he reported, is a Fortune 500 medical-device manufacturing and distribution firm that will be located on 60 acres with 200 to 400 employees. Another is a Fortune 100 global transportation provider with plans for 500 jobs on 125 acres.

“All of sudden, people who never paid attention to Tracy are now paying attention to us,” he said. “They know where Tracy is.”

Ives also said that the Gateway Business Park just east of Cordes Ranch was showing signs of life after being dormant in recent years.

The mayor said that as long as Tracy keeps focused on dealing successfully with the industrial boom that is gaining momentum, it will benefit from more jobs and finances that can help improve quality of life in Tracy. Already, he said, Tracy gained 3,000 new jobs last year. That includes the 1,000 new jobs at the Amazon Fulfillment Center that opened in October and is planning to increase in size by 20 percent.

“We still have 70 percent of our working population going out of town every day to jobs,” he said. “That’s not the way we want to operate.”

Ives said that in addition to creating jobs, improving educational opportunities needed to be at the top of the list of city goals to prepare the workforce for high-tech employment. Efforts to attract a college or university have generated interest from “several” universities.

Housing construction, which was the major economic engine in the 1990s, will be a less dominant factor this time around, but it will ramp up again next year, Ives said, pointing to the housing projects in the pipeline. Tracy’s population in 10 years should top 100,000, he predicted.

Noting that the city has gone through some trying times in recent months with the firing of City Manager Leon Churchill over credit card issues, he said that Churchill made some mistakes, but he also “is a good man” who was the architect of the measures that kept the city running without major disruptions as it faced lower sales and property tax revenue and the drying up of developer fees.

Ives pointed out that the city has emerged from economic recession in better financial shape than nearly any other city in the region. He said that building a rainy-day budget surplus, streamlining city operations with fewer employees and passing a half-cent sales tax for five years were among the key elements that made it possible.

A new strategic plan to bring the city expenses in line with revenue is taking shape, he reported.

• Contact Sam Matthews at or 830-4234.

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March 28, 2014
The news that a large medical device company is looking at setting up shop is exciting on the surface but we will have to wait and see what happens. I have been hearing about Gateway for 10 years no with no apparent progress being made on it. Hopefully Cordes Ranch is not just another version of the same story.

I also hope that the site will not just be manufacturing with no R&D. If that is the case then I will still be going over the hill to work.

As for the "global transportation" provider, feh, more low skill, low pay, dead end warehouse jobs.

March 28, 2014
My, my, all of a sudden all this attention! Listen, Charlie Manson could have said the same thing.

If three state senators could get busted, all in a row, why can't things get cleaned up here?
March 28, 2014
March 28, 2014
“All of sudden, people who never paid attention to Tracy are now paying attention to us,” he (Ives) said. “They know where Tracy is.”

No kidding!!!! They should be paying attention to Tracy and learning what not to do regarding oversight of city management.

"Ives also said that the Gateway Business Park just east of Cordes Ranch was showing signs of life after being dormant in recent years."

Just like the aquatics park; you've been talking about Gateway for the last 10 years and to date all they've done is put in a few streets. You really need to get off the Gateway band wagon and move along.
March 28, 2014
Gateway and the technology park were the reasons I moved out to Tracy in 2003. Too bad they haven't developed the JOBS.
March 28, 2014
So the Sutter Gould expansion has been axed and the Aquatics Center is still dragging along (I wonder if the research team is the same that is "testing" new location sites for the Oakland A's being they've been at the project since Jesus was a baby. I love how "Tracy is poised to grow" yet there are two articles that JUST stated how it's NOT growing. Of course construction and ongoing jobs will NOT be created now do to lack progress. How is Tracy being seen as a great business location when the hoops to get here are tiny and many?
March 28, 2014
As long as the planners are thinking about it they draw pay. I'm sure no one is losing sleep over it.
March 28, 2014
I am sure the animal breeders will tell you the population is growing--and the animal shelter will tell you the same.

"We decide which animals may live in luxury and which animals will die in squalor."

Keep feeding the condemned cows to the privileged dogs.

March 28, 2014
Let me help illustrate. VictorJM's point. Ives brags about landing Amazon. 1000 jobs. They pay $13.50 an hour. That's $28,000 a year. Cows living near poverty level.

From a tax income perspective landing Amazon is a huge win but the pay is exactly why 70% of us leave Tracy to work.

People living in San Jose make on average 94,000.

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