Major private construction projects on tap in 2012

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

[caption id="attachment_46056" align="alignright" width="300" caption="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)"][/caption]

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.

[caption id="attachment_46058" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="An artist rendering of the plaza at the Kenilworth Drive entrance to the Target-anchored East Washington Place project in Petaluma. (click to enlarge)"][/caption]

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

[caption id="attachment_46059" align="alignright" width="300" caption="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."][/caption]

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

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