Friday, March 11, 2005

Mills Corp is crafting a plan to redevelop the fairgrounds into a Main Street-styled pedestrian center sets preliminary master plan for Sept 15

Article Published: Friday, March 11, 2005

Officials agree to push back fairgrounds master plan deadline

By GREG MOBERLY, Times-Herald staff writer

A major mall developer crafting a plan to redevelop the fairgrounds into a Main Street-styled pedestrian center needs more time and Solano County fair officials say the added time will only help.

The Solano County Fair Board agreed Wednesday night to push back Mills Corp.'s April 15 deadline for a preliminary master plan. Mills officials said they need more time to conduct preliminary environmental and traffic studies. The deadline was pushed back to Sept. 15 and several other reporting update sessions were added to the process.

County officials have worked toward redeveloping the fairgrounds into a year-round destination retail development for the past several years.

The plan changed slightly in October after Mills officials said the public favored more of a city center-look, with shops and restaurants.

The county hopes the development will reinvigorate its annual county fair.

This is the second time in the past year that Mills has asked for its deadlines to be pushed back. Mills Corp. Development Consultant Brian Clark said it isn't uncommon for such large projects to take longer than originally thought.

"It's better to do it right than to push forward with something that might be flawed," said Supervisor Barbara Kondylis, District 1-Vallejo. The fair has been there for years and it's going to continue to be there for years, she added.

The Solano County Board of Supervisors has to vote on the delay. It is expected to take up the matter at its April 5 meeting.

Fair board President Bill Luiz and other fair officials said Mills has a lot of money invested in the project and the company needs more time to do the project right.

Some environmental issues take longer to address, Luiz said.

Other deadlines include May 16 for specific fairgrounds concepts and April 15 for preliminary traffic and infrastructure studies.

- E-mail Greg Moberly at or call 553-6833.

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