Letters to the Editor
June 17, 2010

To the Editor:
On June 8, 2010 the City Council reviewed the City Council minutes of April 13, 2010. According to those minutes, Brian Sipes made some very astonishing comments about the proposed Fillmore Business Park. Mr. Sipes begins by stating “the commercial and industrial market in southern California is on the way to disaster…”vacancy rates have been rising.” Mr. Sipes went on to say “the CBRE projections are inaccurate. There are commercial vacancies around town in Balden Plaza, Super A, the old Dodge dealership.” This information provided by Mr. Sipes is inaccurate and irrelevant on many counts. First, NONE of the properties mentioned by Mr. Sipes (Balden Plaza, Super A, the old Dodge dealership) are zoned to permit the uses and types of businesses that are planned for 90% of the Business Park. Real estate vacancies are classified as residential, multi-family residential, commercial, office and INDUSTRIAL. The commercial vacancies identified by Mr. Sipes are irrelevant and are not industrial vacancies and are not in any way shape or form comparable or useable for the planned and permitted industrial Business Park.
According to CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) the industrial vacancy rate as of April 2010 in the Primary Market Area (PMA) that the Fillmore Business Park will draw from is 4.8% and in this PMA during the 1st quarter of 2010 approximately 2,570,064 square feet of building and lease and sale transactions were completed compared to 759,000 square feet in the 1st quarter of 2009. This is hardly the disaster that Mr. Sipes suggests. CBRE is one of the largest and most respected commercial/industrial real estate brokerage firms in the world and I would hope that the Fillmore City Council and the citizens of Fillmore would rely upon CBRE’s credibility and information when trying to make critical decisions about something as important as the Fillmore Business Park.
Mr. Sipes also stated “what I find troubling is that Roy Payne repeatedly stated that there were 5000 jobs generated by the business park, and the numbers retreated to 4,600, 3,500 then 2,500 and now 1700 that would be created”. I would respectfully refer Mr. Sipes and others to a study entitled “Economic Impact Analysis – Fillmore Business Park” dated July 10, 2009 prepared by David Taussig & Associates. This study projects 1,352 one time direct jobs and 785 one time indirect jobs will be required to construct the Business Park. This is a total of 2,137 one time jobs during construction. The study also states “that at build out the Fillmore Business Park will be home to 1,681 new employees once the Business Park is fully occupied and the surrounding community will benefit from an additional 898 indirect jobs needed to support the new Business Park project employees, resulting in a total of 2,579 new recurring jobs for the Fillmore community”. So combined, there are a total of 4,716 one time and recurring jobs that will be generated by the Business Park. As another source, the City Council approved Fillmore Business Park EIR on page 508 shows employment projections of 3,069 permanent jobs in the Fillmore Business Park, but this number does not include the projected 2,137 one time construction jobs. So, I do not find it troubling at all to talk about the number of jobs that will be created by the Business Park and I am not sure why Mr. Sipes would find job creation for Fillmore to be troubling. More jobs in Fillmore leads to more consumer spending in Fillmore’s existing retail establishments downtown and along Highway 126, as well as new retail establishments that will be attracted to Fillmore as a result of this increased consumer spending. This new job creation will also result in increased tax revenues to the City of Fillmore through increased property taxes and sales taxes.
Mr. Sipes asks “why would the City of Fillmore get involved in industrial development at this time?” My question is why not?
Roy Payne
Fillmore City Manager (1989 – 2005)