Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fairfield Recovery Zone project first in state to win stimulus funding approval

Fairfield project first in state to win stimulus funding approval
Daily Republic staff
July 27th, 2010

A Fairfield project that will add more than 100 jobs to the community is the
first to navigate a complex state financing labyrinth in a program designed
to boost the economy.

The city announced today that it has closed its bond financing for the
Frank-Lin Distillers Products Ltd. construction project. The company is
building a blending and bottling facility on Huntington Drive that will
ultimately employ about 160 people.

Frank-Lin produces a variety of spirits and wines, which will be brought in
by rail car, then blended, bottled and shipped out by truck.

The company will relocate its headquarters to Fairfield from San Jose as
part of the project.

"Frank-Lin chose to locate in Fairfield because we have an abundant supply
of top-quality water and a state-of-the-art sewer system which are critical
to the manufacturing process," Curt Johnston, economic development division
manager for Fairfield, said in a prepared release. "The city's
transportation access, value-priced land and pre-approved business parks
with shovel-ready sites are additional factors that make the city an
attractive location."

The Fairfield City Council voted in March to back Frank-Lin's bid to land
low-interest financing made available by the federal government's economic
recovery programs.

The city worked through the California Enterprise Development Authority to
issue a $22 million tax-exempt Recovery Zone Facility Bond. Proceeds of this
bond were used to finance the construction of the $34 million,
288,000-square-foot building on 15 acres in the Tolenas Industrial Park,
according to the release.

The 23-acre parcel Frank-Lin purchased represents one of a few remaining
spots for large industrial projects left in the area, Johnston said in
March. The city owns 43 acres along Cordelia Road that is being made ready
for development and will be sold.

Frank-Lin was the first completed Recovery Zone Facility Bond project in
California to go through the state reallocation process, according to the

The Recovery Zone Facility Bonds are made available under the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law in February 2009 in response
to the economic crisis. Fairfield was allocated $1.4 million in Recovery
Zone Facility Bonds. The California Enterprise Development Authority applied
on behalf of Frank-Lin for an additional $20 million, which was awarded to
the business from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee.

Additional tax-exempt bonds in the amount of approximately $2 million have
been issued through the Statewide Community Infrastructure Program to
finance impact fees and public improvements, according to the release.

"We believe our new Fairfield facility to be logistically ideal for our
operations," Vincent R. Maestri, president and CEO of Frank-Lin, said in the
release. "The geographic location provides immediate access to rail and
interstate transportation, close proximity to our major materials suppliers,
and a substantial skilled work force. In addition, we could not be more
pleased with the manner in which our project has been received by the city
of Fairfield."

Construction is scheduled to be complete by the end of September.