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VICTORVILLE, CA-The Southern California Logistics Airport has landed two more large companies, the Sagebrush Properties LLC affiliate of pet food maker Nutro Products Inc. and packaged foods specialist ConAgra Foods.

Sagebrush plans a 385,000-sf dry dog food manufacturing, warehouse and distribution plant at the airport, according to Victorville city officials and Stirling Enterprises, which is developing the airport in a partnership with the city. ConAgra, officials say, will occupy a 245,000-sf cold food storage facility to be developed as a build-to-suit by the Irvine office of Opus West Corp.

The Sagebrush Properties facility will be located on a 30-acre site where construction could begin as early as September for a late 2004 completion. The company expects to employ roughly 200 workers at the complex. Sagebrush is an affiliate of City of Industry-based Nutro Products, which makes and markets the Natural Choice, Max Dog and Max Cat brands of pet foods.

Omaha-based ConAgra’s facility will consist of a refrigerated warehouse for storage and distribution of freezer and cold-storage foods on a 17-acre site, where the company will employ an estimated 150 workers. Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter and completion in 2004.

City and airport officials say that the airport’s rail access was a factor in attracting both Sagebrush and ConAgra to their sites. Another factor that contributed to ConAgra’s site selection, officials say, was the City of Victorville’s decision to allow ConAgra to build a cogeneration facility at its site. ConAgra is one of North America’s largest packaged food companies. Its brands include Hunt’s, Healthy Choice, Banquet, Armour, Louis Kemp, La Choy, Lunch Makers, Knott’s Berry Farm, Wesson, Country Pride, Blue Bonnet, Orville Redenbacher’s and many others.

Southern California Logistics Airport, the former George Air Force Base, is a 5,000-acre complex of manufacturing, industrial and office facilities with an international airport, US Customs service and designation as a foreign trade zone. It is jointly managed by the Southern California Logistics Airport Authority and Laguna Hills-based Stirling Airports International.

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