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Positive Economic Development Growth for Vallejo in 2016

The latest economic development and business news from the City of Vallejo.

Vallejo News  

December 22, 2016 | Issue #268    

2016 - New Businesses & Residents Make Vallejo Home

The City of Vallejo is continuing its mission to strengthen the local economy by encouraging expansion of existing businesses and fostering new business development. 2016 was an excellent year for re-investment and revitalization in Vallejo. Several economic indicators including increased sales tax revenue, several new housing starts and reduced commercial vacancy rates demonstrates Vallejo's continuing effort to position itself for strong economic growth. 

The following are some of the highlights:

Green Hive - Green Hive is a new business that opened in downtown Vallejo earlier this year. Located at 425 Virginia Street, Suite B, Green Hive is an office co-sharing space for sustainability-focused businesses, and promotes collaboration among businesses and organizations. 

The tenants are small businesses that work on a wide variety of sustainability related issues. For more information on Green Hive including events and office space, click here.

Capital City Pharmacy - Capital City Pharmacy, located at 339 Georgia Street, opened its doors in January. The opening of this business exemplifies the ongoing revitalization of Vallejo's downtown district. 

The proprietor named the business as a tribute to Vallejo's proud history as California's state capital for brief periods in 1852 and 1853. For more information on Capital City Pharmacy including hours and services, click here.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom  

The Joker Rollercoaster - On May 25, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment, unveiled its second DC-themed thrill ride - The Joker. 

This state of the art hybrid coaster combines classic and modern coaster designs for a breathtaking experience. Featuring countless twists and turns, The Joker includes the first ever "step-up under flip" and breaking wave turn, making it the only one of its kind on the West Coast.

Pacific Rim 5D Attraction - Six Flags Discovery Kingdom also announced the opening of another new attraction - the world's only motion-based "Pacific Rim 5-D" ride, presented in the Six Flags Iwerks Theater. 

Pacific Rim 5-D is based on the 2013 film by Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures'. With eye-popping 4-D and in-theater special effects, visitors are sure to catch thrills while enjoying this attraction. For more information on Six Flags Discovery Kingdom including ticket sales and more, click here.

J.B's Sports Bar and Grille - In June, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom completed renovation of the former Primo's Pizzeria in the food court area. The eatery was remodeled with an additional 1,449 square feet to construct J.B's Sports Bar and Grille which serves items such as BBQ, burgers, sandwiches, and a variety of beverages.

North Vallejo Community Center - In October, the Greater Vallejo

Recreation District (GVRD) unveiled the revamped North Vallejo Community Center, located at 1121 Whitney Avenue. 

The building was expanded to 4,400 square feet, and improvements included new restrooms, enclosing the courtyard for events, as well as new flooring, heating and air conditioning, windows, fencing, landscaping, and current building code upgrades. For more information on the North Vallejo Community Center including reservations for events, click here.

Shell Station - The Shell Gas Station at 708 Admiral Callaghan Lane went through a major renovation this year. The corner gas station and convenience store overhaul included the construction of a new 3,232 square foot convenience store, 4,189 square foot fueling canopy, and a 1,132 square foot carwash tunnel.

Yolano Plaza - A new development known as Yolano Plaza was recently completed. The 3,028 square foot development includes an ARCO gas station, car wash, and mini-mart. 

A future phase two isanticipated, and the developer is actively seeking a causal dining restaurant to complete the plaza. 

The goal for the project is to revitalize the area with a mixed use plaza, and serve as a stepping stone towards the improvements of the Sonoma Boulevard Corridor.

SolTrans - Solano County Transit (SolTrans) added two forty-foot zero emission electric buses to their fleet. The electric vehicles are capable of driving more than 155 miles, regardless of traffic, on a single charge. 

Manufactured by BYD Coach & Bus, the U.S.-based manufacturing arm of the global electric leader, BYD Motors, the buses offer a comfortable ride without vibrations, jerk or noise usually associated with fuel buses.

Kaiser Permanente - Kaiser Permanente Vallejo was among one of the 38 Kaiser Permanente hospitals that received the honor of being recognized as a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation's Healthcare Equality Index. 

Kaiser Permanente met specific criteria, including patient and employee non-discrimination policies that specifically mention sexual orientation and gender identity, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for facility staff members. Kaiser has participated in the Healthcare Equality Index since 2008 and climbed up the rankings, eventually receiving a perfect score since 2010.

Napa Smith Brewery - The Napa Smith Brewery, a craft brewery in Napa, will be moving from its current location near the Napa County Airport to 101 Yolano Drive off of Sonoma Boulevard in Vallejo. The brewery offers 11 in-house beers which cover an extensive range of tastes, including pale ales, organic IPAs and amber ale. An on-site tasting room will also be available with the opportunity to rent for special events.

Fitness Evolution - Fitness Evolution is moving into the former furniture store in Rancho Square shopping center on Sonoma Boulevard. Amenities will include cardio and circuit training equipment, free weights, personal training, tanning, and massage. The Vallejo location will join the Fairfield and Vacaville Fitness Evolution centers as the third location in Solano County.

Residential Housing

Vallejo continues to top the List for Hottest Housing Markets in the U.S. In May, Vallejo ranked #1 on Realtor.com's "America's 20 Hottest Real Estate Markets for May 2016." From an analysis of 300 medium to large housing markets in the United States, Vallejo remained at #1 through August. The housing markets are factored by determining which markets have the most views on its website and see the quickest inventory movement. Vallejo has continued to remain in the top 5 of the U.S.'s hottest real estate markets for the entire year.

In addition, some new housing projects include:

Lennar Homes - New homes will be available on Mare Island in the near future. Lennar Homes has reactivated the Coral Sea Village 8D residential subdivision, previously approved in 2006. The new community will include 38 new single-family homes, which will be the largest "new" homes on the Island thus far with four to five bedrooms, ranging from 2,900 to 3,600 square feet. Construction of two new model homes on Flagship Drive is expected to be completed by spring 2017.

In addition, the 8B North residential subdivision, originally approved in 2005, was amended in August 2016 to include 50 new single-family homes and four historic family homes on an 11-acre site.

Colina at Waterstone -  Shea Homes continues to bring new and modern homes to East Vallejo. Construction has been ongoing since January 2015. To date, 42 new single-family residences have been constructed and 14 permits have been issued for new construction. 

For more information on Colina at Waterstone, visit their website.

Mare Island Update

Mare Island posted strong gains in job growth and business development during 2016. Now home to more than 2,412 jobs ranging from maritime to professional to manufacturing to industrial. This year, the Island welcomed 7 new businesses and continued its growth with 13 expansions and 25 lease renewals. The following are some of Mare Island's highlights:

Savage & Cooke - In February, an award winning producer of 

whiskeys announced they would soon call Buildings 45/45A and 65 home. Savage & Cooke is a new brand with origins from Napa Valley that recently received approval for the reuse of existing buildings located within Mare Island's Historic Core. 


Conceptual rendering of Savage & Cooke at Building 45

Building 65, the larger of the two buildings, will be used for producing distilled alcohol spirits, barrel storage and administrative offices. Building 45/45A will be used for barrel storage, a VIP tasting room, and a public tasting room with an outdoor deck and a roof-level deck facing the waterfront

WETA Operations and Maintenance Facility - The Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the North Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility in October. 

Located on Mare Island, the facility will provide routine ferry maintenance, and will accommodate passenger boarding for future service between the Vallejo Ferry Terminal, Mare Island, and San Francisco. Additionally, the facility includes an Operations Control Center for dispatch and an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for emergency response. For more information about the WETA North Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility, click here.

  Coal Sheds - Lennar Mare Island continues to make progress in its efforts to revitalize the Waterfront Coal Sheds, a Mare Island historic landmark. 

The nine historic Coal Sheds sit prominently on the waterfront of Mare Island, originally designed to provide coal for the steam ships of the Naval Base. The nine sheds will be redeveloped as a mixed-use commercial complex, intended for a variety of businesses including artists, small manufacturers, restaurants, and specialty retailers.

Waterfront Promenade - Lennar Mare Island is expanding public access along the Mare Island Waterfront with a new section of the Waterfront Promenade. Visitors will also have direct access to the water and the Promenade will connect Mare Island's residential neighborhoods to the Historic Core and the new ferry facility.       

North Mare Island - On May 31, the Vallejo City Council entered into an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) agreement with Faraday Future for the development of 157 aces on North Mare Island. This represented the first formal step to potentially allowing the electric vehicle startup on Mare Island. 

The ERN agreement sets the timeline and terms for negotiations between the City and Faraday Future toward the sale and project approval of the 157 acre site with a six-month negotiation period and two 90-day extensions. In December, the City granted a 90-day extension to the ERN with Faraday Future.

Mare Island Dry Docks In April, Mare Island Dry Docks, LLC

(MIDD) received approval to extend their hours of operation. MIDD was permitted the opportunity to operate 24 hours per day if necessary, making room for potential growth in the number of employees to reach 300. In addition, vessels in the dry docks will be allowed to have on-site personnel. The site contains 23 buildings in addition to the two dry docks, and is within the Mare Island Historic District.

Blu Homes - Blu Homes is in the process of installing two additional model homes at 1205 Club Drive on Mare Island. The two pre-fabricated residential units are the 2,504 square foot "Solaire" model and the 640 square foot "Lotus Mini", which will now accompany the "Breeze" already on display. 

For more information on Blu Homes, including the different models and layouts, click here.

Waterfront Update

Waterfront Disposition and Development Agreement

On June 21, the Vallejo City Council unanimously approved the Fifth Amended and Restated Disposition and Development Agreement (Fifth Restatement) with Callahan Property Company (Developer) for the Waterfront Project.

The Fifth Restatement updates the real estate terms to acquire the Northern and Central Waterfront areas, a combined 52 acres planned for residential, retail and office development as well as open space amenities.

The Waterfront Project outlines a vision for a dynamic and vibrant mixed use community on Vallejo's waterfront. Its mix of uses aim to bring 24/7 activity with pedestrian-friendly and well-designed features, making the waterfront a destination for local residents and regional visitors. Public improvements, such as the Vallejo Station Garage and Bus Transit Center, provide a transit-oriented environment, linking to the SF Bay Ferry. The development itself is governed by the Waterfront Planned Development Master Plan (PDMP), approved in 2007.

For more information, visit the Waterfront Project's webpage.

Environmental Protection Agency Grant - The City of Vallejo received a $100,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Targeted Brownfield Assessment program. The grant will fund testing of Parcel J, also known as the Central Waterfront (outlined in yellow). 

The area is included in the development by the Callahan Property Company, and the assessment will determine whether any hazardous materials were introduced during prior uses which will require a cleanup before development can proceed.

The EPA stated in the grant letter, "We have selected the City of Vallejo's project to receive EPA technical assistance because of the critical location of the site near the City Hall and Library... [and] strong private redevelopment interest in this site."

Higher Education

As the home to three major institutions of higher learning, Vallejo is an educational hub for thousands of college students. Cal Maritime Academy, Touro University, and Solano Community College continue as high-level education assets for Vallejo.

Touro University California -  Touro University held a grand opening of a new research facility and student health clinic early this year. Building 89 originally opened in 1945 as a prosthetics fabrication facility for the U.S. Navy. Seventy years later, Touro has adapted and renovated the building to bring new function and purpose. It now holds the Touro Translational Research Clinic and Touro Student Health Clinic. 

Touro University also received a $630,000 Health Resource Service Administration grant that will fund scholarships for Touro students on Mare Island. The grant will be available for the next four years totaling over $2.5 million to provide scholarships for 42 students through the Scholarships for Disadvantage Students (SDS) program at Touro University. 

Through this funding, the SDS program will attempt to increase the:

  • Number of Touro graduates practicing in primary care

  • Enrollment and retention of full-time students from disadvantaged backgrounds including students who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups

Number of Touro graduates providing medical care within underserved communities. 

Solano Community College - In August, Solano Community College (SCC) held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new automotive technology center located at the corner of North Ascot Parkway and Turner Parkway. 

The building will occupy over 30,000 square feet, comprised of classrooms, instructional bays, tutoring center/conference room and other automotive services. The building will be located near SCC's Vallejo Center on Columbus Parkway, in close proximity to Vallejo's auto mall. The automotive program includes courses, degrees and certificates in hybrid vehicle and automotive technician training..

Cal Maritime Academy - Cal Maritime saw top rankings in national academic studies and surveys this year. In an article from Washington Monthly's "College Guide" released in September, Cal Maritime ranked #3 on the list for "Best Bang for the Buck - West." The ranking listed which colleges in the west help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices. 

Earlier in the year, in a study by Georgetown University of graduate earnings, Cal Maritime ranked 7th among the nation's 1,400 four-year colleges and universities and 1st in the state of California. The study was based on student earnings 10 years after enrollment and found students who started in 2002 had a median annual income of $81,000 in 2012. 

The study also compared actual earnings to expected earnings based on the students' major and found Cal Maritime alumni earned $11,900 more than their median expected earnings. Cal Maritime also ranked #4 on U.S. News and World Report's 2017 Best Colleges "Top Public Schools (West)" and #10 in "Regional Colleges West Rankings."

City Initiatives

U.S. Post Office Relocation -  In October, the United States Postal Service (USPS) opened its new Main Post Office at 2635 Napa Street. Earlier this year, the City reached a major milestone with USPS when it closed escrow on the purchase of the previous Main Post Office property located at 485 Santa Clara Street. This major milestone will enable the construction of the second phase of the Vallejo Station Parking structure.

Downtown Property Enhancement Program - Four applicants received funding for the Downtown Property Enhancement Program (DPEP). Funded by the first cycle of the Participatory Budgeting (PB) program, the program targeted downtown businesses and property owners and provided matching grants to spur investment in the downtown area. The total amount of DPEP funds that were awarded was $68,610. We congratulate the four DPEP recipients for the work completed below:

823 Marin Street (City share $29,563) - Improvements included refurbishing granite steps, hand-rails, and flagpole; replacing granite cornerstone; new fencing and gates; and new landscaping

400, 402, 408 Georgia Street and 600, 610, 614 Marin Street (City Share $8,929) - Improvements included the installation of six awnings and exterior light fixtures

342-350 Georgia Street (City Share $4,014) - Improvements included new signage and replacement of front awnings

521 Georgia Street (City Share $26,104) - Improvements included replacing windows, repair lighting, refurbishing exterior, new landscaping and fencing, and ADA compliance

Long-Range Property Management Plan - California law requires that the City prepare a Long Range Property Management Plan (LRPMP) for the disposition of real assets formerly owned by the dissolved Redevelopment Agency. 

The Vallejo LRPMP includes a detailed inventory of 37 former redevelopment agency properties and designates each as belonging to one of four categories: fulfilling an enforceable obligation, available for sale, retention for future development, or retention for government use. 

The State Department of Finance approved the Vallejo LRPMP at the end of 2015, a milestone event for the Successor Agency, which granted them the ability to convey the properties to the City of Vallejo and ready significant sites for development.

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In This Issue

2016 - New Businesses & Residents Make Vallejo Home

Residential Housing

Mare Island Update

Waterfront Update

Higher Education

City Initiatives

Propel Vallejo

Newly Opened Businesses

Propel Vallejo

In 2014, the City established Propel Vallejo, a collection of long-range planning initiatives consisting of the Sonoma Blvd Specific Plan, General Plan Update, Zoning Code Update, and associated Environmental Review.  

These Propel Vallejo initiatives lay the foundation for a prosperous future in Vallejo, providing a shared vision and regulatory framework for how the community will evolve over the next 25 years.

The Preferred Growth Scenario for the General Plan emphasizes Vallejo as a River and Bay City, where a mixed-use Downtown and Waterfront spurs development of "urban villages" along existing corridors and arteries in the City.

The Sonoma Boulevard Specific Plan provides an easy-to-use framework for near-term and long-term public and private reinvestment from Curtola Parkway to Redwood Street.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the adoption of the General Plan 2040 and Sonoma Blvd Specific Plan, and certification of the associated Environmental Impact Report, in February 2017. The Draft Development Code is planned for release in Spring 2017.

For more information, please visit the Propel Vallejo website at propelvallejo.com.

Newly Opened Businesses in 2016

707 Chopa SK8 - 1608 Sonoma Boulevard 

American Quality Used Cars & Trucks - 3268 Sonoma Boulevard

Anttiques Amore Design - 419 Georgia Street

Auto Body Ortiz - 1384 Lemon Street

Auto Connect LLC - 710 Tuolumne Street

Beds R Us - 2663 Springs Road

Beyond My Closet & More - 2439 Springs Road

Blue Moon Spa - 1000 Marin Street

Bucio's Auto Body - 210 Commercial Street

California Floor - 2200 El Dorado Street

Candra Miller - 480 Redwood Street, Suite 30

Carquinez Auto Market - 1500 Sonoma Boulevard

CashMax Finance Company - 1657 Tennessee Street

Chevron Service Station - 990 Redwood Street

Child Haven, Inc. - 236 Georgia Street

Clean Logic - 301 Georgia Street, Suite 325

Coal Shed Art Studios LLC - 153 Waterfront Avenue

Computer Repair & Rental - 3760 Sonoma Boulevard, Suite A

Daniel's Jewelers - 918 Admiral Callaghan Lane

Downtown Boxing - 2118 Sonoma Boulevard

Electra Skilandat - 615 Florida Street

European Car Only - 418 Maine Street

Evan's Mighty Dollar - 4300 Sonoma Boulevard, Suite 708

Extra Space Storage - 1401 Enterprise Street

Flash Back Records - 537 Georgia Street

Fleet Service - 1361 Lemon Street

Foss Upholstery - 1515 Solano Avenue

Gia's Holistic Barber & Beauty - 1825 Sonoma Boulevard, #242

Green Builders - 215 Commercial Street

Hall of Fame Barbershop - 480 Redwood Street

Hot Link City - 400 Georgia Street

I Style Myself Boutique - 524 Tennessee Street

Ideal Auto Sales - 503 Marin Street, Suite B

Javie's Cakes - 623 Tennessee Street

Jimmy John's Sandwiches - 137 Plaza Drive

KBS Barbershop - 2201 Sonoma Boulevard

Luxury Nail & Spa - 3612 Sonoma Boulevard

Michael's Beauty Salon - 2213 Sonoma Boulevard

Mike Rose Auto Body Inc - 3211 Sonoma Boulevard

Pho Huong Viet - 5201 Sonoma Boulevard, Suite 37

Poly FYD, Variety Store - 1000 Marin Street

Precision Cutz & Stylez - 531 Capitol Street

Pressed Up Heat Transfer - 1817 Capitol Street, Suite B

Rana Motors - 301 Georgia Street, Suite 355H

Rollin Raider Transportation - 1320 Lemon Street

Ryan Messano Insurance Group - 1776 Solano Avenue, Suite 225

Sandra Hack - 1100 Marin Street

Save Big Auto Sales - 3266 Sonoma Boulevard

Sensible Eyebrows - 2255 Tennessee Street, Suite 6

Sun Spa - 5201 Sonoma Boulevard, Suite 25

Tech Homes 101 - 615 Florida Street

Tess Shoes for Less - 3555 Sonoma Boulevard, Suite 20

TKS Wireless - 3455 Sonoma Boulevard, Suite 20

TKS Wireless Inc. - 2035 Springs Road

Tune Up Massage Works - 1212 Georgia Street

Vallejo Hydroponic - 448 Georgia Street

Vallejo Ink - 1833 Springs Road, Suite G

Vallejo Red Onion - 1321 Springs Road

VLP Counseling - 631 Tennessee Street, Suite 103

Vogue Style - 1680 Broadway Street

White Blossoms Care Home - 1606 Oakwood Avenue

Yolano Service Station - 4301 Sonoma Boulevard

Zeina Motors - 3270 Sonoma Boulevard, Suite B

Zumba with Jen Pacleb - 1422 Springs Road, Suite D

Businesses Upgrades and Renovations in 2016

Chevron - New restrooms and ADA pathway

Cost Rite Furniture - Interior remodel for furniture store

DaVita Dialysis - 8,220 square foot expansion to medical office

G&C Auto Body - ADA upgrades to restroom

Hot Link City - Interior remodel for new restaurant

Kaiser Vision Essentials - New Signage and renovated optical sales

Party City - 4,727 square foot expansion to retail space

Pho Huong Viet - Interior remodel and ADA upgrades to restroom

Seafood City - Remodel food court area and update kitchen, electrical, and mechanical details

Social Security - Interior office remodel

SpeeDee Oil Change - Reroof and install fire resistant layers

Starbucks - Interior remodel, ADA upgrades to restrooms, updated exterior signage

State Farm - Replaced exterior siding and improvements to lobby and restrooms

Sutter Health - ADA upgrades to exam, procedure, specialty, and toilet rooms

Tammy's Nails & Hair - Interior remodel and addition of waxing rooms

Target - Update Electronics Department and added self-checkout lines

For information regarding current major development projects and investment, the latest Summary of Development Activity can be viewed here

Previous summaries can be viewed on the front page of the Economic Development website.

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