Daily Republic // Dec. 7, 2005
By Ian Thompson
SUISUN CITY – Two-story buildings that combine office space and residences above are being suggested as the core project to revive Suisun City’s Main Street near the plaza.
A small neighborhood of 70 cluster homes on the west side of Civic Center Boulevard and two dozen small homes just north of Gertrude Lotz Drive could go up east of the Suisun Slough.
These are two of the ideas that Main Street West Partners put before the Suisun City Council Tuesday night to show what direction that developer wants to go.
“It is all very conceptual,” said Suisun City developer Mike Rice of Main Street West Partners, the firm who is negotiating with the city to become the downtown’s master developer.
Rice’s partner Frank Marinello said the anchor project around Main and Solano streets will have a mix of smaller tenants instead of a larger single tenant.
“The right mix of tenants is as good as a single project,” said Marinello of possible occupants that could range from antique stores and restaurants to a Suisun Valley winery outlet and art galleries.
Rice suggested both the commercial and residential projects go forward together because of the energy they could build for each other.
Mayor Jim Spering stressed that the area specifically on Main Street needed to be the top priority because economically reviving Main Street was why the city wanted a master developer in the first place.
Tuesday’s report comes two months after Rice asked for both a 60-day extension on his deadline for producing both a more concrete proposal for what he will do downtown and the name of a major tenant
At that meeting, the council gave Rice more time and waived the requirement that he produce a major tenant for Main Street West’s anchor project. Instead, they allowed him to design for a multi-tenant project.
Main Street West Partners is still in exclusive negotiations with the city over a contract to allow the developer to acquire 14 Redevelopment Agency properties and develop them.
Suisun City leaders said earlier this year they want to see new commercial development, mixed-use development and live-work housing built to revive the downtown’s economy.
The council met in executive session afterward to talk about the proposed property sale. Any action on this is not expected before January, according to Redevelopment Agency Director Al daSilva.
In other business, the council approved awarding a $685,000 contract with Blackshear Construction of Benicia to build a 56-foot-tall lighthouse at the head of the Suisun Slough.
City leaders contend the lighthouse will serve as a symbol of a rejuvenated Suisun City waterfront.
Reach Ian Thompson at 707-427-6976 or at firstname.lastname@example.org