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Former March air base reuse continues with offices, paper plant

Former March air base reuse continues with offices, paper plant

Officials overseeing the development of a decommissioned Riverside military base into a business/logistics complex approved two new construction plans Wednesday that will bring a 'green' office building and a paper manufacturing plant to the burgeoning re-use project.

   The March Joint Powers Commission unanimously approved proposals for a three-story office building by Dallas-based Koll Development Co., and a 356,000-square-foot corrugated paper manufacturing plant to be operated by Chicago-based Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.

   The two projects are the latest to be announced in the development of the 1,290-acre Meridian business park being developed in Riverside on property of the former March Air Force base.

   The paper plant will be the first business in the development to utilize a rail spur track the Air Force installed a decade ago.

   Meridian officials estimate that the two new projects could generate $50 million in new construction. Koll's office project, called the Intellicenter, is the first private development in the region to meet national standards as a 'green' building.

   Plans call for both projects to be completed by the middle of next year. The office building is expected to house 800 professional workers and the plant will employ 125 to 150 workers.

   British grocery giant Tesco is building an 820,000-square-foot distribution center in the park to anchor its upcoming push into the western U.S. retail market. 2 Sisters Food Group, a Tesco supplier, is also constructing a plant in Meridian.

   DHL, one of the first tenants of the development, maintains an air freight hub at the former air base, with a freight processing facility located near the runway.

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