Vallejo inks new public-private deal to redevelop Mare Island after Nimitz Group buys 500 acres

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Vallejo’s Mare Island redevelopment area officially changed hands, with a group led by local vintners and distillers completing the acquisition from a company that has been transforming the former naval shipyard into an large industrial and residential area, the city announced Friday.

Vallejo entered into a new public-private partnership on Mare Island following The Nimitz Group’s acquisition of 500 acres of land from the Lennar Mare Island Company, expanding the developer’s holdings to over 800 acres of commercial and residential land on the San Francisco Bay, the city said in a news release.

“This acquisition signals the next evolutionary phase in the revival of Mare Island,” said Vallejo City manager Greg Nyhoff in the announcement. “We are excited to expand our work with The Nimitz Group through an innovative partnership and continue to build the momentum that will establish Mare Island and Vallejo as the premier destination in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The purchase includes 3.6 million square feet of leased commercial, light industrial, manufacturing and office space that's home to over 110 businesses and 3,000 jobs.

The purchase by Nimitz comes after Vallejo selected the developer in May 2018 for exclusive negotiations for 157 acres of land on North Mare Island.

The Nimitz group is a partnership of vintner and distiller Dave Phinney, investor Gaylon Lawrence Jr. and Sebastian Lane, who owns Depiction Wines.

Lennar Mare Island, an affiliate of Miami-based homebuilder Lennar Corporation, has been redeveloping the former shipyard since entering a public-private partnership with the city in 1999 to redevelop 650 acres. The shipyard was the Navy's largest and oldest west of the Mississippi River until it was decommissioned in 1996.

The city also announced on Friday that demolition of five more vacant buildings at the north end of the building had begun, to make way for redevelopment. On Sept. 29, Resource Environmental was awarded the contract to remove the buildings. Work started Nov. 13 and is expected to be complete by January.

This the second round of building demolitions at the north end and is funded by a Section 108 loan in 2017 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The first removal of buildings was completed in the summer of 2018.

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