The much anticipated decision by Nordstrom on whether to build a jobs-heavy e-commerce warehouse in Fresno or Visalia, or perhaps go to another state, is now expected to come in April or May, according to Visalia city officials.
The decision about which area Nordstrom will choose will be announced later than officials in Fresno or Visalia initially expected. The early word had been that Nordstrom would decide this month.
The two cities have been battling over landing the 1 million-square-foot e-commerce fulfillment center, which would employ 1,000 at full operation and another 875 employees if expansion occurs over many years.
Both cities have offered incentive packages worth millions of dollars because of the large number of permanent jobs, a potential bonanza in sales tax revenues and the undeniable polish of the Nordstrom name.
We were told that Nordstrom had moved the anticipated date.
Mike Olmos, Visalia city manager
Delays on choosing building sites are routine in the world of corporate decisions, said Visalia Mayor Steve Nelsen.
“In dealing with site selectors, they always say they’ll get you an answer immediately,” he said.
The project remains alive, he said: “Their financial team is still seeking answers to questions.”
Visalia City Manager Mike Olmos said the city spoke with a consultant a week or a week and a half ago and asked if the company would decide in the January time frame as originally expected.
Workers at the proposed West Coast E-Commerce Fulfillment Center would take online orders, fill them and ship them.
“We were told that Nordstrom had moved the anticipated date,” Olmos said. The consultant “didn’t give a reason,” he said.
“It could be affected by all kinds of factors,” Olmos said. “It doesn’t reflect on the project or the site.”
Fresno officials likewise say they have been informed that Nordstrom will make its decision soon, but not right away.
“We are in regular contact with Nordstrom representatives and are aware of the current status of their site-selection process,” said Mark Standriff, director of communications and public affairs. “We’re confident in our position and look forward to future discussions with the company.”
In Fresno, Nordstrom is looking at 55 acres in the North Pointe Business Park, and in Visalia it’s looking at a site in the Visalia Industrial Park not far from Highways 198 and 99.
The project involves what Nordstrom calls its West Coast E-Commerce Fulfillment Center. Workers would take online orders, fill them and ship them.
Not only would there be 1,000 full-time jobs at full operation, but there would be 200 to 450 seasonal jobs.
A possible second development phase would involve a warehouse to supply brick-and-mortar stores, creating an additional 875 jobs for a total of 1,875.
Nordstrom officials could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.