Modesto has approved a land swap with Stanislaus Food Products that officials say will allow the tomato cannery to consolidate and expand its operations, reduce truck traffic and provide the city with $2.55 million.
City Council members voted 7-0 at their Tuesday meeting to enter into the deal.
Stanislaus Food will acquire 11th Street between D Street and Morton Boulevard, 12th between B Street and Morton, and B between 10th and 12th streets. The cannery eventually will close the streets. Modesto will acquire land between B and D streets that it could use to extend 10th Street as well as some nearby strips of land.
The $2.55 million breaks down to $400,000 for the land swap, $2 million that the council can use at its discretion, and $150,000 for a traffic circulation study. The study will help Modesto determine the traffic improvements it can make in the area and how it can connect the area to the nearby Tuolumne River Regional Park.
Instead of extending 10th Street, Modesto could improve Morton or make other traffic improvements.
The deal is not final until the city and cannery complete other steps. A key step is reaching an agreement over the long-term development of Stanislaus Food's property. City Attorney Adam Lindgren said it will take about a year to do that..
Stanislaus Food Products supplies Italian restaurants and pizzerias under several labels. The cannery opened in 1942 and is a Modesto institution. It employs 300 full-time employees and 1,600 seasonal workers., according to the company.
The company has sold more cases of product each year than it did in the previous year since its opening, said Bill Hudelson, the cannery's chief financial officer. That was also true during the Great Recession.
The land swap has been considered for many years.
Hudelson told council members the swap will allow Stanislaus Food to close it campus, which he said will make the area safer for pedestrians and cars. And when the cannery relocates its weigh scale and flavor evaluation station in about a year, that will significantly reduce the number of tomato trucks on D and 11th streets during canning season.