The City Council postponed a decision on a 10-year extension for Napa Logistics Park’s second phase, saying they want more things included in a development agreement calling for concessions from the developer.
Orchard Partners informed the council it needs more time to construct the four remaining buildings for Napa Logistics Park, which is expected to have 2.9 million square feet of space for warehousing, manufacturing and e-commerce in northern American Canyon.
In asking for a 10-year extension to complete the project, Orchard Partners offered several “community benefits” to win approval from city leaders.
Last month, the American Canyon Planning Commission endorsed the development agreement, but not before some commissioners said they’d like to see more concessions from the developer.
City council members picked up on that vein of thought at their meeting on Oct. 3 and also asked for more from Orchard Partners. After the developer hesitated at some of the suggestions, the council decided to continue the matter until its next meeting scheduled for Oct. 17.
Like the Planning Commission, the council said it wanted Orchard Partners to contribute more money towards the American Canyon Fire Protection District’s capital fund. The developer has agreed to pay $250,000 towards that fund, in addition to the impact fees it will pay to support the fire department.
But Councilmember Mariam Aboudamous insisted the contribution be doubled from $250,000 to $500,000.
She said the size of Napa Logistics Park could stretch the resources of the American Canyon Fire Department, which may have to build a second firehouse someday in the area. The department currently has only one fire station, located further south and across the highway.
Aboudamous noted statistics provided at the meeting by Fire Chief Glen Weeks, who said emergency calls to the Green Island area have risen in recent years, from 46 in 2014 to 74 last year.
Also, Napa Logistics Park’s buildings could top out at 100 feet in height, making them far taller than any existing structure in American Canyon. Aboudamous said the fire department might have to purchase new equipment to battle a blaze at the project.
Napa Logistics Park is located just north of the Green Island industrial area, but it could become connected to it if Devlin Road is extended and intersects with Green Island Road. Orchard Partners has committed to spending $4.7 million in traffic impact fees to construct the new road.
The project may also be asked to help pay for the rebuilding of Green Island Road — a new concession that Orchard Partners balked at during the council meeting.
“We’re cognizant of the needs of the community, and we want to continue to contribute to that community,” said Ernie Knodel with Orchard Partners. “But we can’t agree to something that’s unknown. It just isn’t logical.”
The city of American Canyon wants to form an assessment district consisting of local property owners to help pay for the million-dollar project to widen and repave Green Island Road. But it will need two-thirds of them to approve the district’s creation, and officials have not said how much tax each owner would have to pay.
Knodel refused a stipulation offered by Aboudamous that Orchard Partners agree in writing to not oppose the assessment district. She also sought more concessions from Orchard Partners to mitigate traffic created by Napa Logistics Park.
“This project will bring a lot more traffic into American Canyon,” she said, demanding that improvements to the intersection of South Kelly Road and Highway 29, including the addition of turning lanes, be completed before the first Napa Logistics Building opens for business.
Just as he did at the Planning Commission on Sept. 12, Knodel said a tenant has signed a lease for the project’s 646,000 square foot building. But he did not give the company’s name.
“It’s a lease with an international manufacturer and retailer that is growing their e-commerce platform,” said Knodel. “This is the first of its kind as a stand alone facility that will be providing fulfillment of its products directly to customers.”
He told the American Canyon Eagle that Orchard Partners is waiting on the company to make the formal announcement about moving in.
In the meantime, Knodel will be negotiating with city staff about making changes to the development agreement.
In addition to Aboudamous’ demands, Councilmember David Oro told Knodel that the concessions contained in the agreement “benefit you and the people in the area” of the project.
Oro sought something larger that would benefit the entire city.
He suggested the developer provide “seed money” for a capital project, and went to lament how American Canyon must use the middle school gymnasium as a community center.