Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Local Project is Looking at Mixed Use

Local Project is Looking at Mixed Use
By Amanda Janis / Business Writer

Solano County's first major developer of upscale office suites may venture into mixed-use development with a project in downtown Vallejo.

Doyle Wiseman, principal of The Wiseman Company, indicated that while no serious decisions would be made for well over a year, his firm is "open" to the idea of a mixed-use project at the corner of Georgia and Santa Clara streets. The company purchased an 11,000-square foot building there about a year ago, which it currently leases to Solano County.

Such a project, Wiseman said, might combine ground floor retail with multiple floors of office space, and residential units on top.

Regarding the company's prior Solano County projects - which include The Vacaville Medical Center and Suisun City's One Harbor Center - he said, "We've not mixed residential with the office. I think it's challenging and fairly complicated."

But the site in Vallejo may very well be the perfect opportunity to fuse functions, he noted, with its proximity to the commuter ferry and the 20 blocks of downtown being redeveloped in a public-private partnership with the city and Triad Communities.

"It's a real positive story," Wiseman said of the measures taken by the city and Triad to transform Vallejo's downtown into a high-density, dynamic area, filled with restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and residential units.

Wiseman explained that prior to making any decisions about embarking on a mixed-use endeavor, The Wiseman Co. wants to see how well Triad's project develops. The first phase of Triad's project, which partners with home builder D.R. Horton Co., breaks ground in approximately 60 days and will combine 11,500 square feet of ground floor retail with some 150 condominiums on Virginia Street.

"As that comes up and they start selling, that'll be the proof in the pudding," Wiseman remarked.

Amanda Janis can be reached at business@thereporter.com.

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