SUISUN CITY - After years of sitting neglected next to Highway 12, the first phase of work to completely renovate the Marina Shopping Center has gotten under way.
Work crews from Pellarin Enterprises are reconfiguring the parking lot and will soon put in new landscaping. Pellarin bought the shopping center three years ago.
This first phase will also include putting in several small pedestrian plazas to encourage more foot traffic and allow customers of the restaurants to dine outside.
A redesigned entry sign is in the process of going up. The upper half will announce the larger retail tenants while the lower half will be for restaurants.
This spring, the Redwood City-based developer will start remodeling the shopping center buildings' facades to make the businesses more noticeable to motorists on Highway 12.
The corner businesses will have their roofs elevated to give them a tower appearance.
Leasing plans call for filling the shopping center with a mix of local small community businesses and larger anchor retail businesses.
The shopping center is the oldest one in Suisun City and slowly lost half its tenants over the years.
All of the remaining tenants such as Cardwell Uniforms, the Marina Market and the churches will stay, said Claude Pellarin, co-owner of Pellarin Enterprises.
Pellarin plans to cluster all of the current community-based tenants such as Meals on Wheels and the Eagle Lodge in the northwest section of the center while the rest will be leased to more traditional retail.
The work is 'very, very exciting,' Suisun City Manager Suzanne Bragdon said.
She said she's pleased Pellarin Enterprises is moving forward with its renovation plans.
'We are thrilled that the new owners are so energetic and are willing to do whatever is needed to make this a gateway project,' Bragdon said.
The project 'dovetails in well with that is going on Main Street,' Suisun City Assistant Planner John Kearns said. The changes such as the plazas will make the shopping center more pedestrian-friendly, according to Kearns.
For more information about the Marina Shopping Center and leasing opportunities, call 339-9600.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabe Thorn, with Pellarin Construction, does surveying work at the Marina Shopping Center in Suisun City Thursday morning. The center is undergoing an extensive renovation. Photo by Brad Zweerink