Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Suisun reveals developer, but not its plans, for Main Street

Article Last Updated: Tuesday, Jun 07, 2005 - 11:00:51 pm PDT
By Matthew Bunk

SUISUN CITY - The city made its choice Tuesday from among a handful of developers jockeying to rebuild the neglected downtown business district, but company representatives only hinted at what they had in mind for the so-called Main Street West project.

Suisun City officials picked hometown development firm Miller Sorg Group and Petaluma-based Basin Street Properties to team up on the city's largest ongoing redevelopment project.

The two firms will now begin working on plans to rejuvenate the city's oldest business district by uprooting several blocks of aging buildings and replacing them with a combination of homes and shops.

Representatives from both companies suggested, but would not confirm, what downtown will look like once the construction project is finished.

"It's similar to what we did in Petaluma," Basin Street's Frank Marinello said.

"Strikingly similar," echoed Mike Rice, who owns Miller Sorg Group.

They were referring to Basin Street's $100 million redevelopment project in Petaluma anchored by a 12-screen, multiplex theater. The developer reconstructed seven blocks with a mix of housing, retail office space and a parking garage, and invested $10 million in the theater alone.

The development team is now hailing the Petaluma project as an example of what it can do for the future of downtown Suisun City. Officials seem to have bought into the idea.

"I'm expecting this project to have some award-winning elements," Suisun City Mayor Jim Spering said.

Rice wouldn't confirm whether the plan includes building a theater in Suisun. He did say, however, that one of the goals is to make it "the place to be" in the evening.

"Our job is to get feet on the street for more than just eight hours a day," he said.

When pressed for details, Rice defrayed questions until all agreements are signed.

He talked about an anchor attraction that is "so key to this project that I don't feel comfortable saying anything until it's done."

The development firms are forming a joint company, which they haven't named yet, to work exclusively on Suisun's Main Street West. The partnership is expected to sign a contract with the city later this month that will make it the sole developer on the project.

Reach Matthew Bunk at 425-4646 Ext. 267 or

Basin Street Properties
Headquartered in Petaluma
Specializes in commercial development
More than 25 years of experience
Operates in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties
Past Projects: Earned statewide acclaim for a $100 million redevelopment of seven blocks in Petaluma, a project that included a $10 million multiplex theater.

Miller Sorg Group
Headquartered in Suisun City
Specializes in residential and mixed-use development
Founded in 1988 and moved to Suisun City in 1998
Operates primarily in Solano County
Past Projects: Built the 89-home Harbor Village in Suisun City, as well as the Promenade live-work district on the Suisun waterfront.

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