Thursday, November 19, 2009

Planners give early OK to Cordelia project

Planners give early OK to Cordelia project
By Ben Antonius | Daily Republic | November 18, 2009

FAIRFIELD - A major shopping center project in Cordelia got the go-ahead Wednesday from the Fairfield Planning Commission.

Landowner Garaventa Properties is hoping to build a 465,000-square-foot retail project called Green Valley Plaza on 44 acres it owns along Suisun Valley Road on the north side of Interstate 80.

It has not announced any tenants, nor designed how the center would be laid out. Those will come later, but the commission's vote of unanimous support was an indication that there appear to be no major problems created by siting stores there. City officials have said they hope giving early support will make retailers more likely to commit.

'I like the idea that we are pre-approving this,' Commissioner George Curry said.

Once a final layout is ready and architectural drawings have been prepared, the item would have to go back to the commission. At that point, the plug could still be pulled if significant problems appear.

Environmental and design questions aside, the remaining major hold up is one far beyond the influence of leaders in Fairfield. The whole region is suffering from a high number of retail vacancies brought on by the national recession, a condition that will likely determine when Green Valley Plaza breaks ground.

'We don't expect this project to truly move forward until the economy recovers,' planner Dave Feinstein said.

The Green Valley Plaza project is not unprecedented in size, but it is larger than most local retail developments. For comparison, the Nut Tree Village shopping center in Vacaville is about 330,000 square feet.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.