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The City of Vallejo has announced a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the commercial development of 157 acres on North Mare Island.

The prime waterfront location has an approved Specific Plan allowing up to 1.2 million square feet of commercial, office, retail, or industrial space, with connections to four highways and direct ferry service to San Francisco. The city is evaluating qualifications on an ongoing basis for all or part of the property, and is targeting anchor users or commercial developers that rely on long-term, sustainable employment.

Submissions will be reviewed through March 30, 2018.

Solano County where Vallejo is located has been enjoying a string of large industrial real estate deals in recent months, and a number of projects are moving into construction as space options dwindle.

The Business Journal reported in November that the city of Vacaville recently approved money to upgrade the water system in Interchange Business Park, an area of the city bordered by Interstate 505, Vaca Valley Parkway and Midway Road. That will make construction on 258 more acres in 24 parcels feasible.

“We expect this will open up land for the possibility of 4.5 million square feet of industrial space,” said Barton Brierley, city community development director.

One project in that area is two 124,000-square-foot warehouses on Eubanks Drive by Buzz Oates Companies. The Sacramento-based builder-developer this summer inked a lease with Amazon for a newly completed 321,000-square-foot distribution center at 300 Crocker Drive in the same business park.

Also in early November, Vallejo announced it would put out a request for qualifications of developers interested in building the projected 1.2 million square feet of office, industrial and commercial space in the north Mare Island area, according to Ron Gerber, economic development manager.

There have been a string of sizable new tenants and expansions on the island this year, with some improvements still underway. Factory_OS took over the quarter-million-square-foot modular-construction plant space BluHomes occupied in Building 680 and has 1,200 homes in the pipeline. Film Mare Island expanded by 125,000-plus square feet. Cinelease leased 28,000 square feet of new space.

In addition to Mare Island Brewing, another libation maker — Savage and Cooke — is rehabbing 39,000 square feet in two of the island’s oldest buildings for a distillery. Water Emergency Transportation Authority finished its $20 million ferry terminal in March, and strong ridership has prompted commissioning of another vessel.

“Businesses and developers are choosing Vallejo for a reason,” stated Economic Development Manager Ron Gerber in the city’s announcement that it was seeking developers for the 157-acre property. “Vallejo offers the kind of opportunity in the San Francisco Bay Area that is unique: substantial waterfront property available with an approved Specific Plan, operating costs that are 20 to 40 percent lower than the rest of the Bay Area, and nearly half a billion dollars in the development pipeline.”

Vallejo is situated at the confluence of the Napa River and the San Francisco Bay, and links the Bay Area and Northern California’s talent, connectivity, transportation and recreation resources. The history of Mare Island dates back to the founding of the U.S. Naval Shipyard in 1854, which over the ensuing decades attracted hundreds of thousands of workers from around the world.

After the shipyard closed in 1996, Lennar homebuilders and the city partnered to develop approximately 600 acres immediately adjacent to the North Mare Island site, bringing in commercial, light industrial, advanced manufacturing, medical and office users, as well as constructing a new residential neighborhood.