Merced County leaders will be asked today to approve a deal with the Los Angeles Harbor Department in a plan that leaders say could help revitalize the former Castle Air Base and bring thousands of jobs to the area.
The board of supervisors is set to vote on the effort to make more than 8 million square feet available for industrial development. They meet at 10 a.m. in the administration building, 2222 M St.
Leaders have dubbed the proposed space the Mid-California International Trade District. The agreement would partner Merced County with LA’s port, the largest port in North America, according to the agreement.
Leaders have tried for years to diversify Merced’s economy, which leans heavily on agricultural industries. The trade district could support 9,000 jobs and be a potential construction investment of $1 billion, according to the contract.
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Castle is connected to Highway 99, and has a direct connection to transcontinental rail lines, as well as its runway, all noted as assets in the agreement.
The former air base landed one of its largest tenants in 2014.
More than 75 other companies also work out of Castle.