Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Huge Office Project Imminent

Huge Office Project Imminent
By Jennifer Gentile//Staff Writer

A 430,000-square-foot business campus in the Vaca Valley Business Park is one step closer to fruition after a unanimous vote Tuesday night by the Vacaville Planning Commission.

The commission agreed on the advantages of a local campus for the State Compensation Insurance Fund, which has proposed building on approximately 33 acres in the business park, located adjacent to Interstate 505 and just north of I-80. The commission's decision serves as a recommendation that the Vacaville City Council approve the agreement.

The agreement outlines the financial incentives State Fund would receive upon developing in Vacaville. This includes property tax relief, as well as a sales tax rebate on costs associated with the initial construction and equipping of each phase of the project.

These benefits depend on State Fund meeting employment and wage targets, according to the city. To obtain the maximum amount of incentives, State Fund must meet an employment target of one person per 350 square feet. Wage expectations, not including benefits, for these employees must average $45,000 annually.

Real Property Manager Denise Burian said the campus would have a capacity of about 2,000 employees and create ample job opportunities for local residents. For that reason and others, she said the project and the agreement are beneficial for both parties.

"We narrowed it down to Vacaville as a result of the terms that were discussed for the development agreement and the way that city staff was cooperative and willing to work with us," she said. "They have been very welcoming."

The commissioners also made positive comments about the project and the agreement. Commissioner Frank Crim said the project furthers the city's vision of the business park as an area of high-quality jobs for local residents.

"I think this keeps Vacaville going in the right direction," Crim said, "and I am glad to see you coming to our community."

Phase one of the project is expected to begin this year and tentatively be completed in late 2007 or early 2008. Phase two would be completed by 2011, and, if necessary, phase three would be completed by 2016.

In his presentation, Assistant Planning Director Chris Gustin said the agreement would expire within 20 years of its execution date or five years after State Fund completes its last building.

Jennifer Gentile can be reached at

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