There is currently 75 tenants at Castle, including the most notable Waymo Google’s self driving car company, which has over 150 staff on site and leases 105 acres of property from Merced County. 

Waymo is currently the largest proprietary autonomous vehicle testing environment in Northern America, according to Mark Hendrickson, the county’s community and economic development director.

“We are now focused on advancing the project,” Mid-California International Trade District.”

“The Mid-California International Trade District is a site that’s going to be home to about 8.2 million square feet of primarily industrial space.” 

“Castle is going to be developed as a place where things will be built and manufactured because when things are being built, people are working and that is what the focus for the current Board of Supervisors is; they want to create an environment so the private sector can find success  because the private sector is the one that actually creates jobs.”

“With Castle we have been able to establish a host of several unique partnerships including ‘Port of Los Angeles’ which is the largest sea port complex in North America and has over 35,000 trucks per day that go in and out the Port of Los Angeles.”

“Castle is now referred to their inland port, so we’re now an extension for the Port of Los Angeles.”

“We also have companies on Castle right now, doing work in regard to commercial space systems, getting ready to test engines associated with rocket deployment for satellites, we also have a business that builds large cranes which are being shipped to primarily the Asian market. Companies like Mercedes, Intel, and Samsung have been recently testing at Castle.”

Each one of these companies that were working with don’t need to have a preparatory environment, where they lock up a certain amount acres, they can use the site for 2-3 weeks or a month to do their testing. We will be working with these companies independently.

We’re excited about this, because this will open the doors to the community having many Fortune 500 Companies operating our backyard doing research, technology, and development.

We want Merced County to be a catalyst as a location for job creation, because ultimately the private sector will be making choices on where they should locate a business.

The things that will make Castle attractive is it will be a less expensive place to do business then compared to someone from Los Angeles.

This whole project primarily depends on the Atwater/Merced Expressway, which has to get extended from highway 99 to Castle.

As far as those abandon dorms are concerned, Mark Hendrickson tells Merced Daily,The abandon dorms are unlivable, due to asbestos and contaminated ground water.

As the project moves forward, you can’t have a residential environment in the middle of a manufacturing park.”

The abandon dorms will be demolished in the near future.

As the project continues to move forward, the whole project could bring more than 10,000 jobs, 15-20 years from now, According to Mark Hendrickson.