Vallejo eyes partnership with car facility for Mare Island
A special Vallejo City Council meeting is set for May 31 to consider an exclusive negotiating agreement with the firm, they said.
The project would be the first new automobile manufacturing facility built from the ground up in California in decades, and would bring hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment and a long-sought major employer to the former U.S. Naval base, city officials said.
“When we first started marketing this property, our first objective was good-paying jobs with green technology and an employer willing and able to make the necessary investment,” Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis said in the announcement. “Faraday Future and its plans to make Vallejo its second manufacturing site and bring green technology to Mare Island checks all the boxes.”
Faraday Future is a 2-year-old private California corporation based in Los Angeles, where its research and development operations are housed, according to the announcement.
The company employs more than 760 people in the United States and 200 more worldwide, it says.
“In recent months, it has introduced a first concept vehicle, displayed a vehicle platform designed to enable rapid development and production of an entire line of electric vehicles, and kicked off development of its first U.S. manufacturing facility in North Las Vegas,” city officials said. “After evaluating 187 sites nationwide, Faraday Future chose Mare Island, Vallejo and the North Bay in large part due to its proximity to Silicon Valley, an employee base that can be trained to build cars, and a strong market for electric vehicles and new technology and transportation innovation.”
The manufacturing plant would establish Mare Island and Vallejo as a hub of clean-tech, consumer-oriented, climate-protective ingenuity in the Bay Area, city officials said.
The waterfront property that would be the subject of the negotiations is 157 acres on North Mare Island with entitlements for more than 1 million square feet of light industrial, office and commercial uses, they said.
The Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) agreement set for consideration on May 31, would set the timeline and terms for negotiations between the city and Faraday Future, with an eye toward the sale of the 157 acres and approval for the factory project. The agreement provides a six-month negotiation period, with two potential 90-day extensions, officials said.
During these negotiations, Faraday Future and the city will refine the project concept to address the scale of buildings, number of jobs created and timing of construction, according to a city staff report.
Both the city and Faraday Future confirmed the site would require significant work to prepare it for use.
“Faraday Future recognizes that the site requires backbone infrastructure, demolition of existing buildings, and other site work to address the geotechnical conditions that are estimated to exceed $50 million,” city staff said.
If a final agreement is reached, the city is expected to hand over the site to the company “as is,” due to the amount of work needed to rehab the site, according to the same staff report. The company will supply a $200,000 fee to the city, along with paying for Vallejo’s legal and consultant fees associated with the project. That fee is expected to be at least $372,000, staff said.
The city council is expected to consider a disposition and development agreement in November of this year.
The Mare Island Naval Shipyard closed in 1997, and since then, the city has adopted a Mare Island Final Reuse Plan, Mare Island Specific Plan and related environmental analysis to govern reuse and development.
The relationship between the city and Faraday began a year ago, when Vallejo officials, in collaboration with Solano County, Solano Economic Development Corporation, local utilities and workforce training providers, submitted North Mare Island to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) for possible consideration by Faraday Future, the announcement says.
Faraday’s plans call for design and development of a light industrial facility for manufacturing electric vehicles along with an experience center where customers can learn about the company’s products and technologies, observe the process, take delivery of finished cars and road test vehicles, it says.
The company’s 3-million-square-foot, $1 billion North Las Vegas manufacturing facility is projected to start producing vehicles in a couple of years, it adds.
The company has previously confirmed to other media outlets that Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, CEO of the Chinese media giant LeEco, has invested in Faraday Future.