Monday, January 28, 2008

City spotlight: Vacaville - by East Bay Business Times

East Bay Business Times - January 28, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008
City spotlight: Vacaville
East Bay Business Times - by East Bay Business Times

Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine:
What excites you most about Vacaville's future? Many things do. The expansion of Genentech, the new Kaiser hospital and their expanded clinic, the opening of the new Nut Tree, the first major development of offices by the State Compensation Insurance Fund, a new overcrossing at the Nut Tree and a new interchange at Leisure Town Road, the rebirth of our downtown with the Town Square, the Lagoon Valley golf course project including more office and high end residential units, a new Solano College campus and more all add up to good jobs and a vibrant economy.

What troubles you about Vacaville's future? An unstable housing market and rising construction costs add up to a lack of affordable housing for future generations of Vacaville youngsters. Although real estate prices of homes continue to fall, housing supply is not keeping up with demand throughout the state and an increasing cost of rentals is an added cause for concern.

What is the biggest opportunity in Vacaville? Jobs. Good jobs, particularly in the biotech and clean office corporations expanding and settling here.
What is Vacaville's biggest asset? We have three sources of plentiful water and reasonable land prices, at least for the near term.

What is its biggest liability? The business climate in the state of California.
What is the most important project going or to come soon? The community college project on 60 acres. If we can educate enough students for the biotech industries' needs, they will bring their plants here. I believe it is one of the ongoing shortfalls facing emerging as well as established successful biotech companies. Education is the great equalizer and provides hope for anyone with ambition and determination.

What is something people don't know about Vacaville? That we are leading the way in many areas, including the environmental arena. At last count, we had more electric vehicles per capita than any city in America; our CNG program is one of the best in terms of incentives and growth; we are in the top 10 in solar energy produced in Northern California; and we are expanding our already good system of bike and walking trails. We have a wonderfully active and busy downtown with terrific restaurants and growing businesses.
Population: 96,489
Biggest private employer: Alza
Number of Alza jobs: 1,200
Number of business licenses: 3,391
(1,341 are home businesses) Jobs in Vacaville: 29,240
Median household income: $86,400
Median home price, November '07: $372,500
On the Web:

Sources: City of Vacaville, Solano EDC, DataQuick Information Systems

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