Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Suisun City Looking at Ideas for South Waterfront Area

Suisun City Looking at Ideas for South Waterfront Area
By Ian Thompson

SUISUN CITY - Ideas on how best to develop the southwest part of Suisun City's waterfront returns tonight to the Suisun City Council.

A report from a city ad hoc committee recommends putting in more boat slips, relocating the fuel dock and adding a two-story building that would have retail on the ground floor and a restaurant on the top floor.

The committee, comprised of Mayor Pete Sanchez and Councilman Mike Segala, spent the past month sifting through ideas from councilmembers and residents on what they want to see happen at the south waterfront site.

The area in question covers approximately 5 acres between the Delta Cove neighborhood and the Suisun Wildlife Center and contains the Adam Marine boat business.

Last year, the council suggested improvements such as relocating the fuel dock, extending the pedestrian promenade, improving the fishing pier, putting in an aquatic area for groups such as the rowing club and putting in a mixed-use development.

At a workshop held early this year, residents wanted to see better marine facilities, a restaurant, a waterfront promenade, docks designed for rowing club uses and improvements to the boat dock.

Tonight's report includes most of those ideas or at least variations such as:

- A destination fishing pier at the end of Walnut Court.

- A new 44,600-square-foot building that could have a combination of live-work housing, a convenience store or bait shop on the ground floor and a restaurant on the second floor.

- A boathouse for local groups such as the rowing club at Crystal Middle School.

- Relocating the fuel dock as far south as possible.

Depending on what the council says tonight, the next step is turning the results over to the Berkeley-based consultant Design, Community & Environment for a site plan.

The ad hoc committee contacted a group of local developers, Ballman, Jensen and Pitcher, to see if they are interested in constructing the mixed-use building. The developers stated they are interested, according to the council from Assistant Planner John Kearns.

The council can either decide to open exclusive negotiations with them or advertise for competitive bids from several developers.

This is an ironic turnaround for the three developers, one of whom, Shane Ballman, ran for mayor last fall.

They cried foul two years ago when Suisun City shut them out of their previous attempt to develop the area in favor of exclusive negotiations with the owners of Adams Marine for plans to expand that business.

Those negotiations subsequently floundered when Adams Marine was unable to move as fast with its plans as the city wanted it to.

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

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