Will Demand for Union Labor Pact Kill $100 Million, 1,000 Job Fresno Project?

Advisers for a proposed industrial complex say Fresno councilmembers Luis Chavez, left, and Miguel Arias want a project labor agreement for the $100 million proposal. (GV Wire/Paul Marshall) Just north of Highway 180, on Marks Avenue, an international developer wants to build a $100 million industrial complex. The four-building project wouldn’t be built near any homes and has quick freeway access for trucks. The company went through a full environmental analysis on impacts the project may have. “We’re coming in with a $100 million investment asking for nothing in return other than approval. It boils down to … does the city of Fresno want to see $100 million, thousands of jobs, or are they not interested?” — Alex Tavlian, project adviser, Park West Associates Brokers say when completed, it would provide 1,000 long-term industrial jobs. Building it would employ 1,000 people. What’s even rarer is the project developers aren’t asking for any tax breaks. But project adviser Alex Tavlian of Park West Associates said two city councilmembers are demanding a project labor agreement. During a presentation to the Fresno Chamber of Commerce this week, Tavlian said councilmembers Miguel Arias and Luis Chavez opposed the project because developers did not agree to a PLA. Arias and Chavez declined to comment for this story when approached by GV Wire in council chambers on Thursday. Both are running for the same seat on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors against incumbent Sal Quintero. Tavlian said the union job requirement would double the price per square foot. And, without a tenant secured, building at that price makes the project financially infeasible. Tavlian said leveraging a PLA to capture a project is a litmus test for future development. The item was pulled for discussion from Thursday’s city council meeting, but the applicants requested to […]

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