Escrow closed only last month on the purchase of the Oxnard site for a proposed plant to process newly imported Volvos, Jaguars and Land Rovers. But a fast-track approach by the buyer, seller, builders and city officials has made it possible for the new $12-million facility to be nearly complete.
An agreement between the buyer, Pacific Vehicle Processors Inc., a unit of Stockholm-based Wallenius Lines, and the seller, Beasley Ranch Partners, allowed construction of the 47,000-square-foot plant to start shortly after the land sale went into escrow last April, said Ron Polito, the real estate agent who handled the transaction.
"It was an unusual example of cooperation by everybody involved," said Polito, a Don L. Carlton Realtors associate who represented both Pacific Vehicle and the Beasley interests in the $3.7-million sale of 27 acres at Hueneme Road and Edison Drive. After city planners expedited the necessary permits, the buyer and seller reached a special agreement that allowed work to start months before the sale officially closed, Polito said.
Jim Kilpatrick, president of Pacific Vehicle and general manager of Wallenius Lines, said that by next month the plant will start inspecting and installing accessories on thousands of cars shipped by way of nearby Port of Hueneme to car dealers throughout the western United States.
Kilpatrick said about 45 workers will be hired and at least 25,000 vehicles will be processed at the plant during its first year. Total capacity will be 50,000 to 60,000 autos a year, he added.
"As far as I'm concerned, Oxnard is a can-do city," Kilpatrick said. "I've rarely seen the kind of cooperation we've received here."
HMH Construction Co. of Camarillo is the project's general contractor. Dave Sargent of Rasmussen & Associates in Ventura is the architect-planner. Engineering was provided by Transdevelopment Co. of Portland, Ore.