There is an old saying that real estate land prices in populous areas will always go up in the long term because “they just aren’t making any more land.”
We are sure many of our readers can remember when Fairfield had half the 105,000 residents it has now and was home to a plethora of vacant commercial and residential land sites. As Fairfield’s population expanded, land fronting Interstate 80 became a desired commodity for expanding national retailers. And open fields once used for farming became residential subdivisions.
Even with the economic slowdown, there are still buyers with a need to purchase land in Fairfield (and of course sellers who are ready, willing and able to dispose of acreage). Buoyed by uplifted consumer confidence, national retailers are on the hunt for vacant sites and developers of industrial land are recognizing the value of owing Fairfield land.
Fairfield recently closed escrow on the sale of 1.48 acres of vacant property at the I-80 freeway frontage intersection of North Texas Street and Manual Campos Parkway. This tear drop-shaped parcel zoned “Regional Commercial” is the future home of a Chevron service station, car wash and convenience store. The land was purchased by North Texas Solano, LLC. Additional land is available nearby to accommodate other retail uses.
The future Chevron will be across the street from the new Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse store, which sits on land the city sold in 2010. Prior to the 2010 project that completed realignment of North Texas Street and opened the connection to Manual Campos Parkway, a small Chevron station was located just to the north of the future station. The former station is programmed to be demolished and the land made available for future retail development.
During the construction of the Lowe’s store, the city arranged for the Lowe’s contractor to deliver more than 10,000 cubic yards of dirt to the property that will house the new Chevron station. The dirt allowed the developer of the Chevron site to close escrow, knowing construction could commence quickly thereafter.
Over the next 30 days, dirt will be moved around on the property to create the buildable pad for the Chevron station and related parking. A pylon sign with panels from several nearby retailers will also be located on the property. Look for the project to be completed next spring.
Last year, Arco demolished an old AM/PM station and constructed a new service station and convenience store at Nelson Road and Manual Campos Parkway. The new store has become a favorite stop for I-80 travelers. The developer for the new Chevron site is hoping the company’s Extra Mile convenience store will also become a destination for I-80 travelers.
Another city-owned property, a 43-acre industrial site fronting on Cordelia Road and located behind Anheuser-Busch InBev, is in escrow to be purchased by the Buzz Oates Group of Companies. Buzz Oates is a major developer of flexible industrial space throughout central California. The planned 900,000 square feet of industrial and warehouse space will be their first venture into Fairfield. The land sale is scheduled to close later this year and will be the largest industrial land transaction in Fairfield during the past few years.
With the sale of these parcels, the city hopes to encourage development of job and tax-revenue producing commercial and industrial projects.
Economic Notes is an update from Fairfield City Hall written by Brian Miller and Karl Dumas of the Fairfield Planning and Development Department. They can be contacted at 428-7461 or email at [email protected] or [email protected]