Monday, February 27, 2006

Tolenas Industrial Park Welcomes Saint-Gobain Container Co.

Tolenas Industrial Park Welcomes Saint-Gobain Container Co.
By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas

Here's a test for readers: What's the largest commercial building in Fairfield (and probably Solano County)? If you guessed Westfield Solano Mall, you are correct.

The mall covers approximately 1,100,000 square feet. However, there is another Fairfield commercial building under construction that will almost be as large as the mall.

Saint-Gobain Container Co.'s 1,020,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility for glass bottles located at 2600 Stanford Court (the corner of Airbase Parkway and Peabody Road) will be completed later this year.

Saint-Gobain currently operates out of two buildings totaling approximately 900,000 square feet in the Cordelia area adjacent to Rodriquez High School. The operation has existed since 1991, and the pending move will allow Saint-Gobain to house its operations under one roof. This specialized wine and bottle distribution facility will employ 240 persons when complete.

The Saint-Gobain facility will be the headquarters for their West Coast regional wine bottle business. The building is 40 feet tall, and with its parking areas, driveways, landscaping and utilities covers approximately 55 acres in the Tolenas Industrial Park in northeastern Fairfield. The structure is concrete slab-on-grade surrounded by concrete tilt-up walls.

The sheer size of a 1,020,000-square-foot building changes the visual character of an area.

The rectangular Saint-Gobain building measures 1,700 feet long by 600 feet wide. These measurements equate to 17.7 football fields.

However, although this facility is of significant size, the parcel it occupies is large enough to accommodate an adequate amount of landscaping for screening and softening to significantly reduce the impact on adjoining properties. The city's Conditions of Development Approval mandate layers of screen walls and landscaping of both deciduous and evergreen trees that will mask and diffuse the scale of the building.

The impact on adjacent properties and travelers in the area will be further reduced because of the distance to the property lines: It will be at least 100 feet from Air Base Parkway and 110 feet from Peabody Road. The building is also situated at an angle to the two roadways, which also reduces the impact of its size.

Tolenas Industrial Park is not a stranger to large-scale business operations. Overall, the park is comprised of approximately 273 total acres.

Businesses in the park include manufacturing and distribution operations for a variety of local, regional and national corporations, many of them, like Saint-Gobain, tied to the local beverage industry. Some of these businesses include Clorox Products, Duracite, Rexam Beverage Containers, and Ball Metal Containers.

Tolenas Industrial Park is one of the few areas in the city zoned General Industrial, a "heavier" industrial district that permits a wide variety of manufacturing and distribution land uses.

It was also one of our few industrial parks with a large vacant parcel. In fact, it's quite possible the Saint-Gobain megastructure may be our last one for the foreseeable future since our business and industrial parks have challenges accommodating uses that require very large parcels of land.

We welcome Saint-Gobain to their new location and wish them continued success.

Economic Notes is an update from Fairfield City Hall written by Brian Miller and Karl Dumas of the Fairfield Planning and Development Department. They can be contacted at 428-7461 or e-mail at or

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