PALMDALE — A Trader Joe’s food assembly and distribution facility is set for development in Palmdale, city officials announced Tuesday.
The facility is to be built on a 104-acre site on the southeast corner of Columbia Way (Avenue M) and 10th Street West.
Once completed, the 1.03 million-square-foot facility will consist of three buildings: an 827,000 square-foot hub building, a 211,000-square-foot freezer building and a 6,000-square-foot accessory building.
“We are thrilled that Trader Joe’s has selected Palmdale as a destination to expand their business with their new food assembly and distribution facility,” Mayor Laura Bettencourt said in a release announcing the project. “The project aligns with the city’s commitment to economic vitality, innovation and job creation and catalyzes additional industrial development in Palmdale.”
Once in operation, the facility will employ 800 to 1,000 people in a variety of positions and skills, from entry-level to management, city officials announced.
“Our region currently has over 70,000 commuters, so local job creation at the food and distribution facility will have a tremendous impact on the lives of those that may no longer need to commute,” Councilmember Austin Bishop said in the announcement. “The idea of providing opportunities for our residents to work closer to home and spend less time commuting so they can free up their time to spend with family contributes to the overall well-being of our community.”
As part of the approval process, the project developer is required to meet conditions to improve safety and access on the two major traffic corridors that frame the site. This includes widening Columbia Way and 10th Street West; constructing sidewalk, curb and gutter; installation of a 12-foot bike path separated from traffic along both streets; and installation of traffic signals at the Columbia Way off-ramps from the Antelope Valley Freeway.
The project site plan was approved by the city’s Planning Department in a hearing in January 2022. At that time, the proposed facility was a 1.05 million-square-foot warehouse, rumored to be for Amazon, although that was never confirmed.
The Trader Joe’s project received administrative approval for a minor modification to separate the originally-approved single warehouse into the three separate buildings to meet this new purpose, city officials said. The administrative approval also applied to slight changes to the parking plan to reflect the building changes and allow access, as well as slight changes to the architectural elevations to represent the new branding.
The project is within the Antelope Valley Business Park Specific Plan, and is covered under the plan’s Environmental Impact Report, which was approved in 1992. An addendum to that EIR was prepared as part of the site plan review in 2022, detailing the specifics of the project and its impacts as pertains to the EIR. The addendum confirms that the project does not require changes to the EIR.
The project will include an on-site, 12.21-acre Joshua tree preservation area, complete with placards to identify the trees and provide information about them and the importance of their conservation, according to the announcement.
Construction on the Trader Joe’s facility is expected to begin this year and be completed by late 2024, according to the city’s release.