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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, December 19, 2011, 6:30 am

Major private construction projects on tap in 2012

Will mean hundreds of jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars

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    A number of major private-sector construction projects will be under way or are set to begin in 2012.

    East Washington Place, Petaluma

    Target at East Washington Place

    A Target store is set to open in the third quarter of 2013 in the 380,000-square-foot East Washington Plaza power center in Petaluma. (click to enlarge)

    Early next year, Jacksonville, Fla.-based shopping center giant Regency Centers plans to start construction on the 380,000-square-foot East Washington Place retail and office power center at the southwest corner of the East Washington Street interchange on Highway 101  in Petaluma. Regency’s in-house construction managers plan to select a general contractor in the next few weeks for what will be the company’s only ground-up project nationwide in 2012, according to Ryan Nickelson, vice president of investments.

    Gateway Plaza at East Washington Place

    An artist rendering of the plaza at the Kenilworth Drive entrance to the Target-anchored East Washington Place project in Petaluma. (click to enlarge)

    The project to develop the former Kenilworth school site has been in progress since 2007. Target’s 138,000-square-foot store will anchor the center upon completion in the third quarter of 2013. The project was revised in September to combine five smaller spaces into three junior anchor spaces of 25,000, 48,000 and 50,000 square feet, and Regency is in talks with Sprouts Farmers Market, TJ Maxx/Home Goods and Dick’s Sporting Goods to lease those spaces.

    Grady Ranch, San Rafael

    Lucasfilm Grady Ranch

    Filmmaker and Marin resident George Lucas wants to build this 123,000-square-foot office building and digital movie studio on his Grady Ranch property off Lucas Valley Road near San Rafael.

    Skywalker Properties, the real estate manager for filmmaker George Lucas’ ventures, proposes to build a 123,000-square-foot office building and digital movie production studio, adjoining outdoor film stage, 40,000 square foot of caves for storage of Mr. Lucas’ wine, olive oil and food products, improvements to Miller Creek and a large berm to screen the building from Lucas Valley Road.

    It’s the second phase of an approved October 1996 master plan for 456,000 square feet of buildings on Big Rock Ranch and Grady Ranch. An office building was completed at Big Rock in 2002.

    The county Planning Commission considered the draft supplementary environmental impact report for the project on Dec. 12 and voted unanimously to move forward with preparation of the final document. Representatives from homeowners groups in Lucas Valley asked the commission for more time to consider the project and noted a number of noise, light, traffic and other impacts from a project of that scale to surrounding houses.

    A public hearing on the final report will be held in January, followed by a second hearing on the report and the project itself in February. If approved, the project could be built in 18 to 24 months, according to a Lucasfilm spokeswoman.

    Madera Vista, Corte Madera

    Denver-based Apartment Investment and Management Co. acquired the 126-unit vacant Madera Vista apartment complex in Corte Madera in August for $43.6 million and plans to start a $21.4 million renovation of the property early next year.

    One of the seven buildings was destroyed in a 2008 fire. The previous owners repaired the property and converted the units to condominiums, but none were sold.

    Marin County Emergency Operations Facility, San Rafael

    The county of Marin is acquiring a 328,000-square-foot office building at the Marin Commons office complex at 1600 Los Gamos Dr. in north San Rafael for $29.5 million. Starting next summer, the county plans to spend $53.1 million over 18 months renovating about 100,000 square feet of it for a Emergency Operations Facility.

    San Mateo-based Sares Regis Group of Northern California, which has been managing the 455,000-square-foot two-building Marin Commons complex since April 2010, plans to circulate requests for qualifications and proposals to its select group of construction companies and equipment vendors in the first quarter of next year.

    Safeway expansion, Petaluma

    Pleasanton-based grocery chain Safeway plans to expand its 52,000-square-foot store in the Washington Square neighborhood shopping center with a planned relocation across the parking lot to the former Mervyn’s store.

    Renovations in the 63,500-square-foot building are set to start in January for a store opening by July, according to Mark Koenig of Terranomics Retail Services, part of the team that negotiated the lease deal earlier this month and is subleasing Safeway’s current nearly four-decade-old store.

    Bell Village, Windsor

    Oliver's Market at Bell Village

    Oliver's Market plans to open a store in the Bell Village project in Windsor in 2013. (click to enlarge)

    Construction on the first phase of the Bell Village project to redevelop 25 acres of a former mobile home park across the street from Windsor’s Town Green Village could start construction in fall of next year or early 2013 to allow a planned Oliver’s Market grocery store to open in the second half of 2013, according to project manager Jeff Civian of OSL Management. The estimated project cost is $70 million to $80 million.

    The first phase of the project will be the 83,000 square feet of commercial space and 80 of the approved 387 stacked flats and townhomes. Additional four-story, 150-unit residential buildings would be built each year thereafter. Part of the commercial space includes space for an 12,000 square foot pharmacy below the future offices of developer Bill Gallaher’s ventures, including Oakmont Senior Living.

    The project also includes extensive improvements to Old Redwood Highway along the length of the project, including two roundabouts at project entrances and elevated sidewalks to protect native oaks.

    The project was unanimously approved by the Town Council on Dec. 8, just days after Rohnert Park-based Oliver’s signed a letter of intent to lease a fourth location. Still needed are final town design review as well as state and federal resource agency approval. Construction bidding is likely to open in later summer of next year, Mr. Civian said.

    Multitenant warehouse, Napa

    E&P Properties warehouse walls rise

    Walls rise on a 107,000-square-foot warehouse in south Napa for Metropolitan Moving & Storage and other tenants. (click to enlarge)

    Walls are rising on E&P Properties’ 107,400-square-foot multi-tenant warehouse in a business park near Napa County Airport. Construction started in July and is set to be done in spring 2012, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

    E&P, led by the owner of Benicia-based Metropolitan Van & Storage, which will occupy part of the building, purchased the 6.2 acre property at the corner of Airport Boulevard and Airpark Road, near the south Napa intersection of highways 12 and 29.

    Kaiser data center expansion, Napa

    In a project estimated to cost $30 million, DPR Construction is adding 54,600 square feet to Kaiser Foundation Hospital’s south Napa data center, bringing the total size to 216,000 square feet. Kaiser, which has similar data centers in Pleasanton and Corona, purchased the 21-year-old data center in 2006 and upgraded the facility at that time.

    The Barlow, Sebastopol

    Developer Barney Aldridge secured a $23.5 million construction loan from Wells Fargo in December to start an overhaul of the 12.5-acre former Barlow apple processing plant at the northwest corner of Highway 12 and Morris Street in Sebastopol into 215,000 square feet of commercial space tailored for artisan wine, beer and food producers.

    Twenty-six tenants have been lined up so far for 78 percent of the project space, and five have moved into portions. General contractor Facility Development Corp. of Santa Rosa is set to complete the project late next year, with a crunch on to open Kosta Browne’s winery in time for the 2012 crush. 

    Napa Century Center, Napa

    Construction has started in August on the 15-acre, 163,000-square-foot Napa Century Center shopping center between the Napa River and the Silverado Trail at Imola Avenue in southeast Napa. The high-tech 2,065-seat Century Theaters multiplex is set to open by summer and attract a half-million people annually, according to the developer, the Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation of Napa.

    The shopping center is configured for nine other buildings, including at least two restaurants and two anchor retailers. The plan also could include a 120-room hotel on an adjacent city property that could be acquired.

    Another Gasser project to the north of the theater site is Napa Tulocay Square, an approved project that would bring another 110,000 square feet of stores and restaurants as well as about 500 multifamily dwellings.

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