Tuesday, July 31, 2007

State Fund Makes Presence Felt In Vacaville

State Fund Makes Presence Felt In Vacaville
By Ian Thompson

Construction crews work on the California State Compensation Insurance Fund complex at the corner of Grass Land and Horse Creek drives in Vacaville on Monday. (Mike McCoy/Daily Republic)

VACAVILLE - Construction has started on the first buildings of a California State Compensation Insurance Fund office complex that will bring between 1,200 and 2,000 jobs to the Vacaville area.

Construction crews have been working on the foundations, and the first walls are expected to start being hoisted next week.

"They have certainly got it under construction," Vacaville Economic Development Manager Mike Palumbo said Monday.

State Fund is a nonprofit insurance company that provides employee compensation insurance protection for businesses. It was created by the state in 1914. If everything goes according to plan, the complex is expected to open for business in late 2008 or early 2009, according to Palumbo.

Vacaville first started talking to State Fund about coming to town in August 2005, "then there was a hiatus period when they were looking at other sites for some time," Palumbo said.

Last year, State Fund began getting permits and preparing the ground for construction on the five-building complex.

The project is on a 32-acre site adjacent to the Genentech plant, which is located on New Horizons Way between Interstate 80 and Highway 505. The first phase of construction involves three of the five buildings.

Palumbo stated that State Fund is expected to create between 1,200 and 2,000 jobs. The complex will be one of the biggest office projects in the city, and Palumbo called it "a very important breakthrough" for Vacaville.

"It is the right fit for what we are doing," Vacaville City Councilwoman Pauline Clancy said of the project. "It's a great feather in our cap."

Clancy and Palumbo both noted that the jobs State Fund brings to the area will pay an average of $45,000 a year. City officials probably took note of that in helping the State Fund complex a reality.

"We have been working with them to make it easy for them to move in there," Clancy said.

State Fund has its 16-story headquarters in downtown San Francisco and provides insurance to about 250 business associations across California.

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

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