Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Offices Plan Gets A Boost

Offices Plan Gets A Boost
By Jennifer Gentile/Staff Writer
Article Launched: 01/23/2008

A developer can build a 159,000-square-foot office building in Vacaville, and will receive $825,000 in financial assistance from the city, as a result of a City Council meeting Tuesday night.

The council unanimously approved an agreement with developer KDC-HPB Investments LP, which plans to construct an office building in the Vaca Valley Business Park. The three-story building is to be on a 12-acre site adjacent to the State Compensation Insurance Fund Campus.

The firm filed an application for the $46 million project in October. Afterward, it determined that the building was not financially feasible without some help from the city's Redevelopment Agency.

The original request was for $1 million. City staff, however, recommended $825,000 worth of assistance, applying it to certain development impact fees that fund construction of public infrastructure projects.

According to a report by Economic Development Manager Mike Palombo, the project would benefit the Interstate 505/I-80 area, creating a workplace for as many as 750 people as well as 150 construction jobs. It is also expected to yield about $275,000 in tax increment revenue each year.

"I feel that it takes money to get money," said Councilman Steve Wilkins. "The risk is very minimal to the city of Vacaville, so consequently, it's an investment in the city of Vacaville."

Vice Mayor Chuck Dimmick said "It's really a win-win," adding, "we're doing with redevelopment money what was intended to do."

The council also was introduced Tuesday night to a new concept for the Southtown project. In general, it had a very positive reception.

Several factors, including a slumping housing market, forced developer D.R. Horton to rethink phase two of Southtown. The project is a housing development in the South Vanden area of the city.

Where cluster-type housing was proposed before, the new concept features 201 detached homes in small-lot configurations.

"It's been a difficult process," said project engineer Tom Phillippi, "but what we think we have here is a superior product."

The council seemed to agree, supporting the removal of the cluster designation from the property.

"I think it's a wise thing to do," Councilwoman Pauline Clancy said of removing the designation. Referring to the developers, she said, "I think you've outdone yourselves."

The city tries to encourage innovation, said Mayor Len Augustine, who added, "I do like what you've done."

Dimmick also voiced his support, but he said he wanted to see more variety on the 4,500-square-foot lots.

In addition to the cluster designation, the new proposal raises other policy questions concerning the general plan, zoning, and residential design standards.

Jennifer Gentile can be reached at

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