- A federal judge sided last week with the city of Moreno Valley, CA to permit the development of a 40.6 million-square-foot logistics center despite air quality concerns raised by a coalition of environmental groups.
- City council approved the controversial project in August 2015 touting economic benefits. Opponents claim the project violated the California Environmental Quality Act. The federal judge stood by a 2014 CA Supreme Court decision that voter-approved development initiatives are not regulated by the act.
- The World Logistics Center would generate 13,000 construction jobs, 20,000 permanent jobs and contribute $2.5 billion annually to the region, according to the city's website.
The project would make Moreno Valley one of the country's largest distribution hubs and the largest industrial warehouse center in CA. Moreno Valley's location allows distributors to access all major markets in southern CA within an hour's drive.
As a result, the project promises to radically transform Moreno Valley's role within the state, making the project a controversial sell for the city. In addition to the environmental concerns, opponents also claimed the project would bring an unsustainable traffic flow to the city (perhaps neutralizing the proximity benefits for the project). The new distribution hub would draw over 14,000 trucks and 54,000 other vehicles to the city.
Yet, last month the city and the county transportation commission reached a settlement where the city promised to fund transportation improvements — leaving the environmental groups' lawsuit as the last roadblock to the project. The recent court case is a win for the city, although appeals are expected.
Prior to the legal delays, developers expected to complete the first half of the complex by 2022 and the second half by 2030. Complete, the logistics hub would house anywhere from 15 to 25 tenants.