Friday, April 20, 2007

Industrial, Commercial Sites are Mare Island Targets

Industrial, Commercial Sites are Mare Island Targets
By RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN/Times-Herald staff writer
Vallejo Times Herald

Mare Island may be inching closer to becoming the economic driver its main developer and the city have been touting for years, city and developer officials say.

By early next year, about 82 more Mare Island acres likely will be ready for sale - this time for commercial and industrial use - based on a proposed map awaiting approval by the Planning Commission. The commission Monday approved a similar map for a much smaller commercial parcel on the island.

The biggest chunk of Mare Island property designated to bring new businesses is the 82 acres nearing approval, Mayor Tony Intintoli Jr. said.

"This is what everyone's been waiting for," said Jason Keadjian of developer Lennar Mare Island. He said interest already has been expressed in both commercial areas.

The large commercial area is what the city and Lennar officials are most excited about, he said.

"This is the area we refer to as 'the town center.' It's one of the most critical areas, the heart of the island," Keadjian said.

The acreage sits just off Mare Island Causeway south of G Street and east of Azuar Drive, in the area containing the Vallejo City Unified School District's new offices. It eventually will be divided into 23 par-cels for offices, light industrial, research and development as well as some retail, Keadjian said.

The acreage includes eight existing buildings and 14 lots, Keadjian said.

The former naval shipyard closed in 1996 and has been undergoing the long, technical and tedious process of conversion to private use. The process has taken longer than many hoped, though there's little precedent nationally to judge by.

"The reason this has taken so long is the cleanup process, but marketing for the parcels is planned for this summer," Intintoli said.

"The earliest any transaction could be made would be next year."

Contact Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at or 553-6824.

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