Dang. That’s a lot of fruit. An application set to go before the Canby Planning Commission next week is asking for approval to construct a 91,319-square-foot produce distribution facility, which would include cooler storage, conditioned warehouse staging and loading areas, and office space.
The applicant is Caruso Produce, a family-owned wholesale produce distributor, known for providing some of the freshest and highest quality fruits and vegetables to stores throughout Oregon and Washington.
Caruso is currently based in Tualatin but has outgrown their current digs and is seeking to relocate the entirety of their operations to the new, state-of-the-art facility in Canby.
The project site is on a 9.6 acre portion of an existing 14.2 acre property located across Walnut Street from Dragonberry Produce in the Canby Industrial Park. SE 4th Avenue, which is not fully developed, forms the property’s border to the south, and the developer would be responsible for some of the improvements to this road if their project is approved.
The property is currently being farmed for nursery stock as part of the operations for Willamette Seedling. Other than that, it is currently vacant, with no existing buildings or other structures.
The facility is intended to operate 24 hours a day and employ approximately 70 employees divided among three shifts. Their plans include 30 loading berths and 96 parking spaces — which is more than twice what the facility actually needs but is included to meet city standards.
Access to the property will be from Walnut Street and on the future alignment of SE 4th Avenue.
According to a draft traffic impact study, the project would generate an estimated 185 new daily trips, less than a third of which (31 percent) would be truck traffic. The trips would be staggered as much as possible to avoid rush hour, with only 20 or fewer trips anticipated during peak a.m. or p.m. hours.
Caruso Produce was founded by the Caruso family in 1945, and grew into one of the region’s top wholesalers under the second generation, with president and owner Joe Caruso. Five years ago, Joe passed the reins to his son, Sam Caruso, who continues to run things to this day.
The public hearing on the proposed Caruso Produce facility in Canby will be held before the Canby Planning Commission at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, in the city council chambers.
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