Mare Island FAQs
Mare Island FAQs
- Who is Nimitz? Who is Southern Land? How are they interrelated?
Southern Land Company (SLC) is an experienced real estate development firm that works on communities across the United States. Southern Land Company was hired by The Nimitz Group to be its operator and developer for Mare Island. Southern Land is committed to create a more equitable, self-sustaining Vallejo.
- What is Southern Land Company proposing?
Southern Land Company seeks to revitalize and transform the Island into a mixed-use community with an array of housing choices, entertainment, hospitality and business opportunities.
- When do you expect to break ground? What is the general project timeline?
We are working to study every aspect of the island. We will continue to engage with the community throughout the planning process. The timetable will be affected by feedback from our discussions with city officials, the public and market volatility. We would like to be ready to break ground within the next year. The Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) for North Mare Island is expected to be approved in Q4 2021. We expect to receive approval of the Specific Plan and Environmental Impact Report by early 2024.
- Is the City supportive of the project?
City officials understand the positive impact this project can have on Vallejo and the greater Bay Area. Any concerns that community members raise we discuss with City officials on a regular basis.
SCOPE AND DESIGN
- How large is the project?
SLC is looking to develop approximately 800 acres of the 5,000-acre island.
- Who is the architect?
We are working with several design architecture, engineering and urban planning firms. HOK is leading an island wide plan, with Hart Howerton on the Island’s future residential districts and Sasaki on the commercial districts. As the project continues, more specialists will be added to the team.
- Will there be height limits? What will the increased density look like?
We will follow the regulations put in place by the City of Vallejo.
- How can you ensure historic preservation?
We place a high priority on maintaining Mare Island’s legacy – while creating an urban space that ensures equity and diversity. Preservation of the island’s significant historic resources is a key priority.
- How will you create an environmentally friendly island?
Being environmentally conscious is one of our top priorities. We have a full-time environmental engineer on staff, and, in addition, we are working with ARUP, a worldwide leader in sustainable strategies, with expertise in smart cities, energy and resource management. Additionally, we consult with transportation engineers on strategies for car-lite options for Mare Island.
- What is your streetscape plan?
There will be enhanced pedestrian amenities such as new sidewalks, curbs, lighting, seating, landscaping and bike lanes at various locations across the Island. The redevelopment goal for Mare Island is to ensure safety and enjoyment by all.
- What is the status on the updated plan for Mare Island and EIR?
We hope to have a draft Specific Plan presented mid-2022 and the EIR completed by late 2023.
- How many units will be constructed? How many of those units will be affordable?
We are still very early into planning. All our estimates are subject to change based on feedback from city officials, community members, and local policy makers. Our plan is to help with regional housing goals.
- Will housing be built near transit-friendly areas?
We will include a Transit Oriented Development Plan in our design.
- Can members of the public purchase historic houses/buildings?
We do not currently anticipate selling any of the island’s historic homes or buildings.
- What are the plans for maintenance of the existing officers’ mansions?
There are many historic buildings on Mare Island that require regular maintenance and periodic repairs. Repairing these buildings requires significant capital and resources and will take time to assess, oversee and complete. We have a maintenance and restoration plan that prioritizes buildings based on their current uses and market needs.
- How are you going to mitigate the expected influx of traffic onto the island?
We have hired Fehr & Peers as our transportation consultant and will work with their team, community members, and Vallejo officials to address the expected traffic impacts.
- Has your team conducted a traffic study? When will it be available to the public?
We are still in the planning and outreach phase of the project, and a traffic study will be done as part of the CEQA process. When complete, it will be available to the public.
- How will parking change – more, less, shifts from one place to another?
Parking will evolve in support of new uses on the island, and a plan will be included as part of the new Specific Plan.
- Are you going to offer shuttles on and off the island?
We understand the need to couple transportation planning with land planning. We will be exploring all options for enhancing transportation.
- Will there be a new bridge or bridges?
No new bridge or bridges are planned at this time. The new specific plan will address future transportation needs.
- Are you going to offer enhanced ferry services?
The Water Emergency Transit Authority (WETA) provides the existing ferry service, and we will work with them on strategies for boosting ferry service to and from the Island, and meshing it with other transit providers to offer the most effective system possible.
- How will you ensure pedestrian safety?
One of our top priorities will be pedestrian safety. We will work with our transportation engineer, Fehr & Peers, a leader in the field of pedestrian safety, and they will play a lead role in this area.
- What will the island look like for bicyclists?
Consistent with our goal of making Mare Island as friendly to people moving about in modes of transit other than privately owned cars as possible, we intend to design a bike-friendly island, that includes bike lanes, biking docks, and bikeshare programs.
- What are you doing to make sure you’ve adequately studied and addressed sea-level rise? Have you made any project changes based on considering this concern?
Our team continues to work with experts to conduct site reviews to assure our project plans will protect Mare Island from climate change. Our team has included climate-induced challenges into our planning.
- What are you planning to do about potential flooding? Will you be constructing a seawall?
Our team will work with environmental experts to engineer Mare Island to be resilient, combatting anticipated sea level rise and other climate change outcomes.
- Has the project undergone environmental review?
The prior owner spent 20 years working with multiple Federal, State and local environmental agencies on the remediation that helped prepare large areas of the land for the next steps for island development.
- Are there still toxic cleanup issues on Mare Island?
There is more environmental clean up to be done. For detailed information see the posted presentation on our website from our March 31st, 2021 Townhall .
- What is the plan for open green space on the island?
We recognize the rich natural environment we enjoy on Mare Island, and our plan will seek to strengthen easy trail and sidewalk connectivity among the open spaces on Mare Island – while looking to create new open space opportunities, as well as enhance existing parks and open spaces.
- Will the Mare Island San Pablo Bay Hiking Trail be affected?
The San Pablo Bay Hiking Trail will not be affected by development. We will work with the California State Lands Commission to help arrange for maintenance of the trail.
- How will you maintain the Preserve?
The Preserve is owned by the City of Vallejo. We look forward to collaborating with the City and the local community on any plans developed for the Preserve.
- How will the energy on the island be generated?
We have been exploring the evolving innovations in energy, and anticipate the inclusion of smart city practices for energy efficiency.
- Will trees be removed?
Some island trees may be removed due to environmental or health related reasons; new trees will be planted, as well. But we do not anticipate a significant removal of existing trees.
- What are you doing about Community Facility District (CFD) fees?
We are currently working with the City of Vallejo and local elected officials and community leaders to address this important issue.
- What are the benefits of the project for residents of Vallejo?
It is our desire to revitalize a historic place that will provide interim and long-term recreation, employment and housing opportunities to residents of Vallejo. Additionally, as part of the Specific Plan, our team will conduct a fiscal impact study, which will be made public once complete.
- Have you contemplated what the project’s community benefits package will be? If so, what elements will be included, what specific groups have you negotiated it with, and can you share monetary valuations of those elements?
We are currently working on the community benefits package. We are having conversations with key stakeholders, community members, and elected officials to ensure that the surrounding community’s needs are addressed.
- Will there be a community/recreation center?
Our team is exploring how the island operates from a holistic perspective. While gaining an understanding of the ways in which the island works, our goal is to include a range of services that will enrich the operations of this diverse community and bring new amenities to Vallejo.
- What are you going to do about current business tenants of Mare Island?
We plan to maintain and expand our business-friendly community, and hope to retain all existing businesses.
- Will there be office space?
Yes. The amount of office space will be determined based on demand, and we also have potential commercial space for an incoming institutional partner, healthcare, industrial/flex or office campus. We are working to determine what that space will look like. We will outline that program in the new Specific Plan.
- What kind of businesses do you expect to attract?
Our vision for a successful mixed-use community on Mare Island includes all real estate classes: office, residential, industrial, retail, and hospitality. We are continuously talking to potential tenants that are interested in bringing their business to Mare Island.
- What amenities will the project provide?
The best amenities are already here, of course. The expansive natural beauty and our outstanding collection of historic structures best define what is unique and special about Mare Island. Having said that, we are exploring how the island operates from a holistic perspective. While gaining an understanding of the ways in which the island works, our goal is to include a range of services that will enrich the operation of this diverse community and bring new amenities to Vallejo.
- Are you going to preserve the golf course?
It is unlikely that the golf course will be restored to its prior layout. We are exploring other options and are in discussions with the City and community members.
- How are you handling security during construction and once the project is complete?
During construction, all contractors will be required to have a safety plan in place to address site access and any construction impacts. There will be a designated site safety contact who can be reached at any time, and that information will be publicly accessible. Our focus on public safety will be ongoing, and be planned and executed in conjunction with the City of Vallejo & Vallejo PD.
- Will there be a police and fire station on the island?
There is currently police and fire presence on the island in building 127, and Vallejo Police officers and Fire Personnel currently patrol the island. Our plans will address any increased safety concerns as Mare Island begins to expand in size. We will work with the City of Vallejo to develop a plan that ensures public safety for all businesses and residents on the island.
- Will there be a hospital on the island?
The Veterans clinic currently operates on the island, and we would like to see medical services expand. We do not have current plans for a hospital, but would welcome one on the island.
- Does Vallejo PD patrol Mare Island?
Vallejo PD officers do patrol the island throughout the day.
- How many temporary and permanent jobs will the project create?
Job creation is one of our top priorities. Exact numbers are hard to predict, but we are focusing all future development with job creation on top of our list.
- Will Southern Land Company commit to the construction being a union project?
We plan on working with local trade unions to come up with the best agreement to benefit the local economy, and to gain the full support of local Trade Unions.
- Do the local unions support this project?
We intend to gain full support of Solano/Contra Costa Trade Unions.
- Are you considering jobs training programs? What will they look like? How can I apply? Will Vallejo residents get priority?
We plan to work with local job-training programs to hire and train local workers.
- Who will be constructing the project?
Mare Island will be developing many projects going forward, and the contractors will vary from project to project. Additionally, we will continue to strongly encourage all our contractors to hire local.
- What should we expect in terms of development in 2021 and forward?
This is the first time the North Island, the South Island and the golf course property are being considered together in preparing a cohesive overall plan. This development is complex and has many challenges, so it will take time. The development of the island will be a multi-generational buildout. We are in the process of drafting a development timeline, with the understanding that market fluctuations could both positively and negatively impact the schedule.
- What will you do to control noise, dust and vibration during construction?
All contractors will be required to follow City-mandated protocols for noise, dust and vibration – all of which will be monitored during construction through a construction management plan, the details of which will be included with each phase of the project.
- What will you do to mitigate traffic and parking on and off the island during construction?
All contractors will follow City requirements to minimize negative impacts to parking and traffic flow.
- What type of fencing will be put up around the island?
Fencing specifications will be included in the new Specific Plan.