[caption id="attachment_81535" align="alignright" width="224"] Tennis "JT" Wick[/caption]

The North Bay construction community should pay attention to the relatively major players wanting to get involved with significant upcoming land-planning endeavors in the region, according to the county of Sonoma's new top development and permitting overseer and keynote speaker for the Business Journal's Construction Conference later this month.

As the county Permit & Resource Management Department, or PRMD, has been seeking qualifications for companies wanting to get involved with specific plans in the works for the Charles M. Schulz--Sonoma County Airport and the Roseland area of southwest Santa Rosa, the agency has been getting inquiries from a number of sizable companies that have been tracking these sizable land-planning initiatives, according to Tennis Wick, director since November. The department regulates real estate development and construction as well as stewardship of natural resources.

"The trend is that companies that are new to this area are looking for new opportunities and will be following the specific plans and following SMART," Mr. Wick said.

These large partners are even more necessary with the evaporation of redevelopment funds statewide, he said. Therefore, he recommends that the local building industry forge connections with companies vying for large planning projects and transit-oriented developments to get a foot in the door on bidding.

The regulatory landscape for construction and a detailed look at some of the North Bay's major projects will be the focus of the May 21 conference.

Mr. Wick brings to PRMD with him decades of private-and public-sector experience in real estate development. He was a partner and planner in the Petaluma office of CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering Group in the latter half of the 1990s, then became a principal with Sausalito-based Berg Holdings, responsible for government affairs, site acquisition, design and special projects.

Before working in the private sector, Mr. Wick worked for a decade at Marin County Development Agency, serving as development chief, principal planner, senior planner and planner.

[caption id="attachment_91423" align="aligncenter" width="524"] Panelists: Hugh Futrell, Don Tomasi and Joe Guerra[/caption]

On the conference's major projects panel are scheduled to be:Hugh Futrell, president of Hugh Futrell Corp., redeveloper of the former AT&T building in downtown Santa Rosa into a 100,000-square-foot office building and wine museum and Don Tomasi, partner of TLCD Architecture, designer of that project, called Museum on the Square.Joe Guerra, in charge of Northern California acquisitions and entitlements for SunCal Companies, redeveloper of the 30-acre former State Farm Insurance campus in Rohnert Park into a transit-oriented, mixed-use community and city center called Rohnert Crossing.Keith Rogal, founder and partner in Rogal + Walsh + Mol, a firm that is redeveloping the 154-acre former Napa Pipe plant in south Napa as a mixed-use community and is repurposing the former Copia wine and food center in downtown Napa.

Registration will start at 7:30 a.m. and costs $65 a person. The program will run from 8--11 a.m. The event will be held in the events center at Sonoma Mountain Village, 1100 Valley House Rd., Rohnert Park. Preregistration at NorthBayBusinessJournal.com closes May 16.