Tuesday, February 15, 2005

City's growing economyJob-producing firms result from long-term plans

The Reporter

That rumbling sound is not too far in the distance. In fact, the sound of economic revival is upon the community.

While the national and state economies continue to idle or simmer, it is apparent that Vacaville is on the verge of some very important progression - in the public and private sector equally.

This makes it a bit of a madhouse at times within City Hall as planners, engineers and inspectors hustle to keep pace with the building activity that nearly overwhelms them. On Sunday, our City Hall reporter, Tom Hall, outlined in fastidious detail what will be a $2 billion investment explosion in Vacaville in the next two years.

And at the rate new projects are being proposed, that figure could increase significantly and quickly.

The city's redevelopment agency is finishing up two big projects critical to the downtown
district - the Town Square and the new Police Department headquarters. With Caltrans, the city is in mid-project for an essential traffic improvement enterprise - a new and larger Leisure Town overpass to Interstate 80.

Genentech is expanding to become the world's largest biotech manufacturing plant to create the company's flagship in Vacaville. Alza is another biotech giant that is growing, becoming the city's largest private-sector employer. And Kaiser Permanence is going ahead with a new hospital.

A new auto dealership, a half dozen new large restaurants, a new supermarket and a host of other new businesses are coming or already have their doors open.

The impressive note on the city's progress report is the fact that the new investment is job-producing businesses. The city no longer is simply building houses. There are a trio of projects on the horizon - North Village, South Town and Lagoon Valley. Still, the most impressive facet of development is tax-producing, job-growing businesses.

This did not come overnight. It reflects a city management that a decade ago had the foresight to plan and put in place a foundation to let the city grow smart and efficiently. As much as the state wants to rob the city of revenue, the city has fortified its fiscal stability.

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