Monday, February 05, 2007

Environmental Clean-Up Firm to Head Project

Environmental Clean-Up Firm to Head Project
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen/Times-Herald, Vallejo

One of the world's largest environmental remediation firms is setting up shop on Mare Island as it prepares to spearhead Touro University's ambitious development plans. ARCADIS U.S., Inc., project manager for Touro's proposed Mare Island development, will occupy a refurbished building on the Touro campus, said ARCADIS manager Bruce Lang.

The firm operates on the concept of sustainability, he said. According to its Web site, it is "built around the premise that corporations, governments and communities can improve their financial performance and longer-term viability while responsibly addressing more global environmental and social impacts."

Touro plans "a high-tech, bio-tech park with ancillary uses, all of which will be dictated as we go through the process," Lang said. The finished product will include a cultural center and university village, a foreign trade zone, retail and student and faculty housing.

"Everything the island doesn't have now," Lang said. "There will be a park, soccer fields, pedestrian walkways. The cultural center will double as an event center and restaurant. And all of it will be done in green, sustainable ways."

ARCADIS will be responsible for obtaining all the necessary permits and processing the plans for the project, which will likely take 10 years to reach build-out.

"It will be a phase build-out," Lang said. "The university village will be done first, and should be inhabitable in 48 months (from the time building starts)."

The second phase will likely be the bio-park, but the order in which the project will go will "all depend on needs and uses," Lang said. "There will be ongoing development until it's built out."

Assuming the project will be approved, he said, "The first shovel will go in the ground within 24 months."

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