Riverside Press Enterprise05/21/04PANEL CLEARS HURDLE FOR PEP BOYS PROJECT SAN BERNARDINO: A proposed warehouse will not create major traffic problems, officials say. By PHIL PITCHFORD / The Press-EnterpriseA proposed Pep Boys warehouse cleared a development hurdle Thursday when a San Bernardino city panel found that additional traffic that could be generated at the site would not exceed the amount already anticipated in an earlier environmental report. The project is part of a plan to create a 2,381,882-square-foot warehouse and distribution center on about 55 acres at the northwest corner of Mill Street and Tippecanoe Avenue. Dallas-based Hillwood is developing the projection as part of its AllianceCalifornia industrial park at the former Norton Air Force Base. The automotive parts retailer will relocate from a facility in Vernon. Demolition of old Air Force buildings on the property is under way and groundbreaking for the new 600,240-square-foot facility is scheduled for early August. The warehouse on nearly 29 acres of the property constitutes the first of two phases at the site. Construction of the second phase, for which a tenant has not been named, will be dictated by market conditions and will likely start within two years, according to John Magness, a Hillwood executive. The city’s Development and Environmental Review Committee praised the project and unanimously recommended that a building permit be issued. City Planner Valerie Ross noted that other warehouse facilities in the area have not created traffic problems. Magness said that is because the site has multiple access points from the freeway. “Truckers are like water – they take the path of least resistance,” Magness said. Pep Boys joins three other major tenants at AllianceCalifornia, including a 652,000-square-foot warehouse for retailer Kohl’s and a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center for toy maker Mattel. Regional supermarket Stater Bros. is relocating its $200 million headquarters and distribution facilities on 160 acres just across Tippecanoe Avenue from the Pep Boys project.