• Vallejo City Council Unanimously Selects Nimitz Group for North Mare Island Development Negotiations

    May 16, 2018
    VALLEJO, CA - On May 15, the Vallejo City Council unanimously selected Nimitz Group to enter into exclusive right to negotiate to develop the 157-acres, City-owned North Mare Island waterfront. This decision continues Vallejo's economic development momentum.

    Founder of Oren Swift wine, owner of Savage & Cooke Distillery, and one of the majority shareholders of Nimitz Group, Dave Phinney, shared personal sentiments and the Group's vision with a touching message about his desires for legacy of the project. Mr. Phinney, during his presentation, shared about the immediate acceptance and cooperation of the City citing his excitement for the "'relationship...when you have a cooperative city government and when capitol is not an issue, the barriers to development disappear, and that's what we have...its infectious at least for us as a company." A touching message followed as he shared his 20-year vision. "The outpouring of support and positivity, I have never experienced anything like that and as you can tell I take it very personally. I now feel like we are a part of this community...I want to protect it as best I can and be part of a greater movement that I see happening in Vallejo and Mare Island."

    "Dave Phinney and Nimitz Group have a plan that is exciting, forward-thinking and high-end," said Mayor Bob Sampayan. "This vision is something Vallejo has been clamoring for since North Mare Island opened for development several years ago. Their plan of diversifying the types of businesses they propose are in themselves job producers and revenue generators. I am very excited that the City Council unanimously approved the plan to partner with the Nimitz Group. This is an exciting time for Vallejo!"

    Representatives Steve Smith and Mark Walters of SHM Partners Film Mare Island were also in attendance as one of the businesses who submitted a letter of interest. This announcement comes just before the official release of the second season of the Netflix series 13 Reason Why this Friday, May 18. As proposed, SHM Partner Film Mare Island would be the primary anchor user with 75 acres of studio space including a 600,000 square foot building. Vallejo has been elevated in recent years with various productions at their South Mare Island location including major feature films (Paramount) and episodic television series and filming throughout the City.

    In addition to Mr. Phinney, Nimitz Group shareholders include Gaylon Lawrence Jr., a private farmer with more than 200,000 acres, owner of seven community banks in the Mid-South region and recently purchased a Napa winery; and Sabastian Lane, real-estate broker, Napa Vintner and owner of Depiction Wines.

    The submittal expressed interest from entrepreneurs with developing retail and commercial outlets including restaurants, a full-scale bakery and other opportunities in the retail space. Conceptually, Phase I projects 1,500 to 1,600 permanent jobs with a four-year time line for permitting, infrastructure improvements, and construction of initial anchor tenant facilities. In addition to the North Bay Media Campus, the concept includes approximately 75% of the 1.2 million square foot development for winemakers Joel Gott Wines and Safe Harbor Wine Partners. As Council Member McConnell pointed out during the meeting, [1,875] "jobs even at a rate of $20 per hour that's $78 million a year moving through Vallejo's economy."

    The action of the City Council authorized staff to proceed with developing an exclusive negotiating right agreement which will include the following elements:

    * Time period for negotiations of at least 120 days
    * Good faith negotiating and consultant expense deposits by the developer
    * Conceptual plans for building layout and design
    * Infrastructure requirements, construction timing, and financing plan
    * Due diligence studies, including geologic investigations
    * Economic impact study
    * Preliminary financing plan for anchor building construction
    Photo Credit: Ronald Becker
    Additional information about the action item before the City Council can be reviewed in the May 10 press release here and video of the City Council meeting here.

    Other related press includes developer Lennar Mare Island's release announcing Factory_OS' official opening of its New Manufacturing Facility.

    Joanna Altman, Assistant to the City Manager
    (707) 648-4362
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