FARMINGTON -- After years of delays, the biggest proposed commercial development in this city's history has gotten off to a very quiet start.
Without much fanfare, developers have installed much of the infrastructure needed to move ahead rapidly with development of Station Park, a project that carries an estimated price tag of $250 million and is expected to bring as much as 1 million square feet of retail business to the city.
CenterCal Properties LLC is the project developer. CenterCal is one of only five retail development joint venture partners of the California State Teachers Retirement System.
Craig Trottier, vice president of Development for CenterCal, said most of the roadwork on the 67-acre site is done and builders have already completed a building pad for a new 16-screen Cinemark theater and should complete a pad for a Harmon's grocery store in short order.
He said Harmon's expects to have a groundbreaking for its new facility within a few weeks. Both facilities should be completed by May 2011, according to Trottier.
Trottier said the work was done without much publicity, because CenterCal already hosted a kickoff to the project in 2008 only to have the event followed up by a slowing economy and months of delay.
"There's so much going on there is no sense of doing another," Trottier said of a project-wide kickoff.
City Manager Max Forbush said CenterCal has already set the wheels in motion to get building permits for both new structures. He said there are some wrinkles to still work out in the permit process.
Building and impact fees associated with the project have been a major discussion point, as work has moved forward.
Developers will have to pay six different impact fees as part of the process.
Between the storm sewer, transportation, police, fire, and water development fees, Forbush estimates the total price tag for the process will be in excess of $4 million to the city alone. He does not have an estimate on how much a sewer impact fee, imposed by the Central Davis Sewer District, could cost.
For Mayor Scott Harbertson seeing the project move ahead after the delays is good news.
"I'm feeling pretty good about it," Harbertson said of the project.
Harbertson said there could be work done on an additional 350,000 square feet of space later this year, beyond Harmon's and Cinemark. He said the village phase of shops would follow, potentially in 2011.
Years in the making, Station Park has been promoted as a transit-oriented development with a mix of retail, entertainment, restaurant, office and hotel space. The city's Redevelopment Agency approved approximately $18 million in tax deferments years ago, as part of a package with the county, sewer district and school district to help move the project forward.
Plans have called for 900,000 square feet to 1 million feet of development on 67 acres of property near the commuter rail station, including RDA property.
Development projections have included a six-story hotel, about 60 shops and 10 to 15 restaurants.
Developers touted a preliminary tenant list including a Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Ross, Staples, J.C. Penny, Lane Bryant and a Bed, Bath and Beyond.