On losing Tesla

Because negotiations to lure the Tesla battery plant to Stockton took place in such secrecy — demanded by Tesla’s Elon Musk — Stocktonians may not grasp the huge prize the city was playing to win.

The battery plant is to be 10 million square feet — at 170 football fields large, by far the largest building in the city, dwarfing even the cavernous GSA warehouses at the Port of Stockton.

Bringing 6,500 jobs would be an economic bonanza, not only for the people hired, but for government when people came off unemployment and social services.

Ancillary businesses would spring up around the plant.

A city thus boosted could expect crime to go down.

City economic development staffers would find it easier to attract other employers to Stockton. Including hi-tech outfits.

The colleges and universities could adjust curriculum to graduate skilled workers who would stay.

There’s lots still to emerge about the city’s courtship of Tesla. But this much is clear: it is one of the biggest might-have-beens in Stockton’s history.


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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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