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Enterprise Zone Not Enough – Barstow

From the Desert Dispatch:

BARSTOW — A relatively new manufacturing facility is leaving Barstow, taking with it the jobs of several residents.

Ecolite Concrete decided to move to Moreno Valley and into a 81,000 square foot facility — nearly four times larger than its Barstow site on State Street. Ecolite representatives did not respond to calls seeking comment, but workers were removing office furniture and supplies at the facility on Wednesday.

Ryan Travis, commercial associate with Colliers International BradCo, which rents out the building, said that Ecolite’s departure was unexpected.

“I don’t think they were planning to leave Barstow,” he said.

The city’s economic development director Ron Rector said that he thinks the company’s Army contract ended. He said he doubts Barstow’s economy will be overly impacted.

“I don’t think it will have any effect,” he sad “Businesses are always coming and going; it’s my job to make sure there’s more coming than going.”

Rector said that the company had planned to expand its Barstow operations and employ as many as 45 workers. He said he wasn’t sure how many people Ecolite employs in Barstow but said only five or six would likely lose their jobs.

Rector said that the city had spoken with Ecolite officials to consider moving to the city’s Enterprise Zone, where they would be eligible for tax benefits but the company declined. The city is working with the business community and developers to fill the soon to be vacant space, Rector said.

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