County to study moving offices to corporate park

2013-01-03T19:23:00Z 2013-01-05T22:05:19Z County to study moving offices to corporate parkPETER JENSEN Napa Valley Register
January 03, 2013 7:23 pm  • 

Napa County may abandon redevelopment of the Health and Human Services Agency’s campus on Old Sonoma Road, choosing instead to buy the Dey Labs facility on Napa Valley Corporate Drive, some two miles south of Imola Avenue.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether to enter into further negotiations with Dey Labs’ corporate owners, Mylan Inc., that could lead the county to buy the 25-acre property and the 154,500 square feet of building space that once housed one of Napa County’s largest employers.

Mylan announced in June that it was shuttering pharmaceutical operations at the site by December 2013.

The estimated price tag is $25 million, but the site offers benefits that are likely significantly cheaper than if the county pursued its current plans to redevelop the agency’s campus on Old Sonoma Road, said Larry Florin, director of the county’s Housing and Intergovernmental Affairs Department.

Those plans call for a phased-in demolition and construction of new buildings. The county has determined that it will need at least 100,000 square feet of office space, and the first phase of the project at Old Sonoma Road is estimated to cost $27 million, Florin said.

That would get the agency only 65,000 square feet of office space, and the remaining portion of the project would have to wait until it could be funded. The total project was estimated to cost $50 million, and was scheduled to start in 2014 and continue over a 20-year period.

One of the biggest priorities for the redevelopment project is to consolidate health and human services into one location. They’re currently spread out among three locations on Old Sonoma Road, First Street and Imperial Way.

The cost estimates associated with achieving that consolidation were starting to balloon as the county went further into the planning process, Florin said.

The county recognized that it wasn’t getting halfway toward its goals with the money it’s set aside for the project, he said. “We really, financially, couldn’t see past phase one,” Florin said.

The Dey Labs site boasts 93,000 square feet of office space in two buildings, and could potentially be a cheaper way to accomplish that consolidation, Florin said. Outfitting the space would carry its own costs, though, which will need to be determined.

The site has two other buildings that have a mix of manufacturing, warehouse, laboratory and office space that the county would most likely lease out, Florin said.

“This was an opportunity that we thought was worth studying,” Florin said. “It caused us to sort of re-evaluate the course upon which we were going. I think there’s more sufficient space to consolidate them for the amount of money that we have.”

Florin said if the board does give a nod toward continuing negotiations, the county could potentially return with a purchase-and-sale agreement in early February. Following that, it would take four to six months to assess the buildings’ conditions, and to determine if the space would be a good fit for the agency.

A move would coincide with another decision the board made late last year to pursue locating the new Napa County jail away from its current downtown location to a potential location near Napa State Hospital on Highway 221.

An environmental impact report for the Old Sonoma Road project is underway. That report was already evaluating the option of moving the agency to an offsite location, so Florin said it could take account of the Dey Labs property with some adjustments.

Florin said the county would have to decide on what to do with the agency’s existing locations if it went ahead and bought Dey Labs. It would also have to devise access for public transit users, which would likely entail having the Napa County Transportation and Planning Agency connect a bus route to the site, he said.

Randy Snowden, director of the Health and Human Services Agency, said the majority of the agency’s more than 30,000 clients use cars to drive to and from its facilities, but acknowledged that accessibility to the Dey Labs site is a question that will have to be answered if the county moves forward.

“I’ve just learned about the option and glanced at the facility once,” Snowden said. “The important thing is that it is convenient for the county residents being served. Until the experts can come in and take a look at it, I just know it’s an attractive-looking site.”

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(15) Comments

  1. rpcv
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    rpcv - January 03, 2013 8:32 pm
    Terrible idea. Please don't join the cities like Santa Rosa and Vallejo that are moving public services to far-away places where those who need them the most have no easy way to get there! At the present location, folks can walk from anywhere in downtown.
  2. glenroy
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    glenroy - January 04, 2013 7:23 am
    Best thing they could do for downtown.... county offices should be located in the county not in the middle of town on prime property.
  3. David Ingraham
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    David Ingraham - January 04, 2013 7:59 am
    This is a bad idea, the corporate park is in a poor location for the people to access. There would be a traffic hazard for people walking to that location or riding a bike there. keep the county offices in our major population center.
  4. rocketman
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    rocketman - January 04, 2013 9:08 am
    Excellent idea and financially sound!
  5. BennyD
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    BennyD - January 04, 2013 10:50 am
    Excellent idea. The best thing about this is straightening transit infrastructure.
    Report Abuse
    REPUBLICANKID - January 04, 2013 4:59 pm
    Glenroy the couny seat is the city of napa. Is it Law the offices have to be in the city limits? To RPCV We pay for buses for the Low income to get around.
  7. crooked6pence
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    crooked6pence - January 04, 2013 5:36 pm
    "that once housed one of Napa County’s largest employers"

    This is the only line of any importance and relevance in this article. One of Napa County's largest employers has left the Valley, eliminating all those well paying jobs. I find it ironic that it will now potentially be filled with government employees, who I am sure are also well paid, yet unfortunately funded by the taxpayer! A disturbing trend, which I am sure can not be sustained in the long run.
  8. napa1957
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    napa1957 - January 04, 2013 11:38 pm
    Although this will add traffic to my commute as I work around the corner from Dey, I am so glad that this is being investigated. I truly believe this is the right decision. The destruction of the old buildings was bad enough, but the new multi-story at that part of town is really not a good idea. I would assume that something could be worked otu with the transet company to get clients to this destination at a nominal, or perhaps "validated" rate. I understnd what crooked6 is saying, and I too decry the loss of the private sector employment, but that's the lemon and I'm looking for lemonaide here. Sort of is what it is.
  9. glenroy
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    glenroy - January 05, 2013 6:02 am
    Well then RK do I stand corrected? Within city limits fine if so..if that's the law, that's all within city limits down there now or will be soon...but not in prime RE downtown…it clogs the parking, traffic. It’s miserable having to get around or through town.
    Regarding others comments…why is it we have to provide healthcare, housing, food and transportation to those capable of providing for themselves? Those who have lazy family members unwilling to help them first?
    Those folks are destroying our economy.
  10. Old Time Napkin
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    Old Time Napkin - January 05, 2013 8:33 am
    If the county can save money by purchasing an existing building that satisfies their needs then they should do it. It's our money they are spending and they need to do it in a way that benefits everyone, especially the taxpayer. If they stay with the plan of redeveloping the old campus in phases, I'll guarantee that there will be cost over runs and it will be way over budget in the end. The county saved a lot of money when they bought the old Carither's building for offices. Looks like a great deal to me.
  11. gettingreal
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    gettingreal - January 05, 2013 5:42 pm
    With the security entrance and the dark windows this looks more like a FEMA fusion center than a county services building.
  12. NAPAsince1976
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    NAPAsince1976 - January 06, 2013 4:37 am
    I believe this is an excellent idea. The county should also consider redeveloping the current site on Old Sonoma Road into low income housing thus satisfying their housing requirement and eliminating the need to rely on the Napa Pipe project. Napa City could annex the Napa Pipe site and allow Costco and Lowe's to locate there while eliminating any housing element.It would be great to locate the jail on the Dey Lab site as well, the concrete tilt-up buildings seem easily adapted to that purpose.
    Lastly, move county offices out of the First Street old Carithers building to a newly constructed building at the old jail site behind the new court house. I am sure the County could sell the First street property for big bucks to a hotelier or restauranteur. KA CHING! EVERYBODY WINS!!!
  13. glenroy
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    glenroy - January 06, 2013 7:43 am

    Government for more government...the Blue State Way!

    Solano just lost Co-Parts..this state is toast for the middle class...
  14. gettingreal
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    gettingreal - January 06, 2013 9:55 am
    The problem with mass development on Old Sonoma Road is that there's no close freeway access. Notice that no matter which way they go, drivers will be forced to drive several blocks on small, residential streets just to access the freeway. This is actually about the worst location possible.
  15. cuthroat
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    cuthroat - January 09, 2013 2:33 pm
    What are you thinking??? I do not know where Randy Snowden, gets his information. Apparently he has not done a survey with the 30,000 clients.

    Very few clients drive, if they have a car it is usually in no condition to drive. They do not have the money to pay for repairs or to get the car smogged.

    Most the clients ride the bus, ride a bike, a few walk to their appointments. Question, will the bus go out to the proposed new location?? Will there be a safe bike path? Can clients still walk safely to the proposed new location two miles south?? The clients that come in a car might need a friend or family member to drive them. Family and friends are not always available. Therefore, the County can pay for the Taxi as the clients don’t have the money or have a problem making change.

    Move the office to the new location and leave the clients where they presently go.
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