Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Suisun City's West Side Redevelopment Story

May 1, 2004

Suisun City's west side redevelopment story

By Ian Thompson

SUISUN CITY -- Residents can learn about the city's plans to rejuvenate Main Street's west side at a public workshop hosted by the Suisun City Redevelopment Agency Tuesday.

City officials wouldn't discuss specifics, but Redevelopment Director Randy Starbuck said "there are a lot of really great ideas" people need to see. Roma Design Group, a consulting firm Mayor Jim Spering has met with, will present a number of alternatives.

The overall goal is to entice private businesses into the second phase of the city's campaign to rejuvenate Suisun City's old town.

An advisory group of homeowners, developers, business members and city officials will discuss the ideas to see which will be the most effective, Starbuck said.

Earlier this year, the agency met with residents and business groups such as the Waterfront Business Improvement District to talk about what they want to see done.

The agency is pushing forward what its leaders call the Downtown Phase II plan to jump-start redevelopment of Main Street's west side.

In the past, the agency poured millions into improving the waterfront area from Victorian Harbor to Main Street in an attempt to bring in new businesses.

Main Street's west side has largely been overshadowed by the extensive waterfront projects with the exception of the Railroad Plaza and the train station.

City leaders had hoped that massive waterfront redevelopment with new buildings, parking lots, a new marina and new businesses would inspire economic growth on the west side.

With few exceptions, that failed despite the repeated agency efforts that largely included offering loans to renovate storefront facades.

The Tuesday presentation will include not only ideas Roma created, but a lot of ideas from residents and the business community, Starbuck said.

Starbuck expects the Downtown Phase II plan will come together quickly because "we want to see some of these things start coming out of the ground in 2005."

Starbuck will look for private sector funding to drive the project forward but said the agency has the money to pay for whatever public improvements are needed.

The Suisun City Council, Redevelopment Agency, Planning Commission, and Parks and Recreation Commission meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Suisun City Council chamber, 701 Civic Center Blvd.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at ithompson@dailyrepublic.net.

At a glance

Who: Suisun City Council, Redevelopment Agency, Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission

What: Workshop on plans to rejuvenate growth on the west side of Main Street.

Where: Suisun City Council Chamber

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Info: 421-7309

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