Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Suisun City Council approves plan to build housing on lot

July 19, 2006

Suisun City Council approves plan to build housing on lot

By Ian Thompson

SUISUN CITY - The Suisun City Council gave their stamp of approval Tuesday night to turning the vacant Crystal Middle School site into housing.

Crystal Middle School was approved to be sold to Main Street Partners for $2.5 million. With extra charges to help pay for the lighthouse and for fees, the final price tag is $2.8 million.

The only opposition came from city council watcher George Gwynn who voiced concerns over seeing one developer get so much of the action for development in Suisun City's Old Town.

Main Street West was chosen early this year to be that area's master developer and given control of a dozen Redevelopment Agency-owned vacant parcels to develop as commercial, mixed use and residential developments.

Mayor Jim Spering defended the saying the process to chose Main Street West was very competitive and that it was a cost effective approach to move the Old Town area's economic redevelopment efforts forward.

The city's Redevelopment Agency made a deal with the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District last year to sell the site for the school district by the end of this summer.

If the agency didn't find a buyer by that time, it would have to pay the school district $2.25 million, the site's appraised value at that time.

The Crystal school site now joins more than a dozen other pieces of property located in and around the Old Town area which Suisun City expects Main Street West to develop.

Main Street West's developer has promised to make its first project a two-story, mixed use anchor project at Main and Solano streets with stores on the first floor and residences on the second.

The developer plans to formally break ground on this project by mid-September.

In other business, Victorian Harbor and Lawler Ranch residents protested what they called a lack of decent landscape maintenance which they are paying money for in landscape maintenance districts.

The residents spoke during public hearing held for a proposal to raise the districts rate to keep pace with the cost of living.

Most of the residents said they didn't mind the increase as long as they actually saw work done instead having to live with deteriorating public landscaping.

The council approved the increases but also told staff to meet with residents by late September to work out solutions to the residents' concerns.

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

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