Wednesday, August 09, 2006

New Projects Slated for City

New Projects Slated for City
Council Offers Guidance to North End Developers
By CHRIS G. DENINA, Times-Herald staff writer
Vallejo Times Herald

A developer Tuesday unveiled what Vallejo officials called an ambitious pitch to turn part of the city's northeast area into a new commercial center including a hotel, condominiums and offices.
The so-called Crossroads project was one of two plans presented to the Vallejo City Council on Tuesday night. The council was asked to comment on the projects, which are in the early stages of development and still need future approvals. Both are slated for key sites considered major entrances to the city.

"It's a thrilling idea," Mayor Tony Intintoli Jr. told developer Gary Mandarich about his Crossroads concept for about 128 acres northeast of Interstate 80 and Columbus Parkway in Vallejo.

Mandarich said he wants to create a statement with his newest project, which follows his work in the city's northeast area developing housing, condos and an auto mall.

"It is the most visible piece of land in the city," Mandarich said.

In the next few years, Mandarich said he hopes to develop the hotel and conference center, plus offices, high-rise condo buildings and parks.

Another project, however, may get built sooner. City staff said a Lowe's home improvement store is in the works just east of Crossroads.

The Crossroads plan is still in the early stages, Mandarich said, noting he's still working on the designs.

Meanwhile, another developer pitched its plans to develop 285 townhomes on about 13 acres between Sonoma Boulevard and Broadway south of Mini Drive in Vallejo.

"We're very excited to be entering the Vallejo market," Project Manager Dan Huertas told the council.

Before the project can move forward, however, the company would need to seek a zoning change to allow homes. The land is now zoned for such intensive uses as stores, automotive projects and even scrap operations.

The city should seek commercial uses for the land, Councilmember Gerald Davis said. To the north of Vallejo, American Canyon is seeing plenty of new stores being built along the corridor, he said.

Unlike a residential project, a commercial venture would benefit the cash-strapped city since stores generate sales tax revenues for the city, Davis said.

"In a city that is struggling financially, that has to be a factor," Davis said.


Crossroads at a glance

Mandarich Developments proposes developing a new city center on about 128 acres northeast of Interstate 80 and Columbus Parkway in Vallejo. The concept includes:

- hotel including a parking structure, a conference center of as much as 30,000 square feet and as many as 350 condos averaging about 1,000 square feet on the upper floors

- office buildings with underground parking

- restaurants

- retail and office spaces

- four high-rise condo buildings

- parks that may include a soccer field, baseball diamond or dog park

- 100 acres of open space

*Source: Mandarich Developments

- E-mail Chris G. Denina at or call 553-6835

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