Thursday, September 20, 2007

Construction Takes Off In Suisun City

Construction Takes Off In Suisun City
By Ian Thompson

Employees from North Bay Plumbing work at the site of the Main Street West Project in Suisun City. Photo by Chris Jordan

SUISUN CITY - A year after Main Street West Partners broke ground on Harbor Square amid much hoopla, construction is finally beginning on the proposed mixed-use development at Main and Solano streets.

The property is expected to have retail businesses on the ground floor and offices on the second floor. It is slated for completion in September.

"We are expecting an announcement soon on tenant leasings," Suisun City Redevelopment Director Jason Garben said.

The news was part of a report Garben gave to the Suisun City Council Tuesday night on how the master developer's projects in downtown Suisun City are proceeding.

The city's Redevelopment Agency hired Main Street West Partners early last year to develop 14 agency-owned sites of varying sizes located around Suisun harbor. Construction is expected to begin next year at two of those sites near Harbor Square, one slated for offices and second-floor apartments and the other that will be a restaurant and banquet hall.

Main Street West also plans to start building a 16-home development on Lotz Way just east of Civic Center Boulevard next year.

Main Street West wanted to start building Harbor Square last fall, but that was before a parade of unexpected roadblocks.

Several sewer, electrical and telephone lines had to be moved, and maps listing where the lines were buried proved to be incorrect. Work crews also uncovered unmapped storage tanks and building foundations that weren't supposed to be there.

"Similar conditions were found at the Crystal (school) site," Garben said.

At the Crystal site, the crews that demolished the school buildings found foundations of previous buildings that dated back more than 100 years and a 1907 oil tank with contaminated soil that needed to be removed.

"It is typical of Suisun," Mike Rice of Main Street West said of the Old Town area. "You don't know what's there until you get there."

Development of the Crystal school site into a residential neighborhood won't occur for three years, Garben told the City Council. That schedule could be shortened by a year, depending on the outcome of the site's environmental review. "That is the earliest that we can start," Rice said.

Councilman Mike Hudson said neighbors have been unhappy with the dust created from the site.

"We have agreed to hydroseed the site and expect to have grass growing after the rains start," said Rice, who added there are also plans to put up screens around the site. Both Hudson and Councilman Mike Segala asked when Main Street West will start developing sites on Main Street's west side and said more needs to be done on that side of the street.

Rice promised there will be more development started on Main Street's west side in the near future.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or

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