Definition of Industry and Warehouse for North Mare Island

By Michelle Whitney


Tonight, at the City Council meeting, City Manager Dan Keene will ask for “clarification on Council’s decision at the January 15, 2015 council meeting regarding North Mare Island land use concept”. What this means is that he will be asking for definations of what industry/warehouse means and how they foresee that vision coming to fruitation on future projects.

I ask my community members to please formulate what industry/warehouse concepts mean to you and articulate those concepts at tomorrow’s meeting, if you can make it, in addition to emailing your Council members. As a community, to show Council and City Staff what we define industry/warehouse use is especially important as we may not get another opportunity such as this.

With the City Council approving the Staff Report suggestion that industry and warehouse development is the best use for the North Mare Island site, rather than the resort complex development, my thoughts are that we can have the best of both concepts. The city and community can work together by embracing a development that incorporates light industry such as start-ups and tech firms with residential needs for shops, stores, night life and restaurants combined with the natural and historic beauty of the shoreline to including walking trails, hiking paths, habitat restoration and small ferry service to the mainland of Vallejo as well as Napa.

Along the northern end of the island, I envision a stylistic version of early Modernism for the office and warehouse buildings – clean swept lines supported by arches and large pane glass to embrace natural light and scenic beauty. These buildings, maximum of three stories in height, would be interconnected by wide boulevards surrounded by native landscaping and water features. These buildings would also be joined together with the existing businesses in that area, EPS and Alco, and have easy access to the freeway. To further enhance marketability, this office park can also incorporate share use programs that would include a faxing/copying/emailing service with reception as well as a share car program. This share use concept could also be extended to current businesses on Mare Island.

Nearer the Mare Island Straits, a shopping area that would mimic the office park’s clean lines in building style and would incorporate the needs of the residents of the island as well as new office employees. Small scale grocery stores, cafes, wineries, shops, and local businesses that would rent bikes, kayaks, etc. for recreational use would all have a place here. Between the shopping area and the waterway, would be a walking promenade where people can gather for lunch or enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee while watching the sunset or perhaps hop the ferry to Napa or downtown Vallejo.

I feel that by incorporating both ideas of resort style development along with start-up/ tech firm’s development, the City of Vallejo and its community could reach a fair compromise with providing much needed services to the current residents of the island in addition to partnering with any light industry/warehouse proposals.
I urge City Council members and City Staff to think carefully on what their definition and their vision is for North Mare Island. We have a wonderful opportunity to create a new blueprint for the City of Vallejo that will chart the course for generations to come.


Note: All opinions expressed in the “Primal Scream” column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.

'Definition of Industry and Warehouse for North Mare Island' have 10 comments

  1. January 27, 2015 @ 2:44 pm Anonymous

    What a waste of valuable time. Nobody knows what “industry/warehouse” means? Are we that uneducated?
    Here’s the Google image search if you need to know ……


    • January 27, 2015 @ 4:40 pm Mousy

      Clearly you don’t understand the importance of legal definitions.


    • January 28, 2015 @ 12:30 pm Michelle Whitney

      Thank you everyone who posted those most insightful comments.

      It is important that we all understand what the city definition of industrial/warehouse development is.
      The city’s definition of it could mean something different than what I define it as and you may define as something entirely else. The dictionary has nothing to do with it.

      The city has a lot of irons in the fire right now and downtown and Mare Island are just a few examples. One of the important things to address with Mare Island development is that the island residents have zero services. Anything they need, they have to motor off the island. Not such a bad thing most times, however, it is the same concept as anyone who lives in a neighborhood that does not have access to a grocery store, a bank, a gas station, etc. The future developers have to take into consideration these services when they are building for warehouse use and/or office park facilities and that is part of defining the use concepts.

      I would like to suggest that instead of creating snarky commentary, you put your time to good use and work with the city to fulfill your ideas of a better Vallejo.


  2. January 27, 2015 @ 3:00 pm Calamity James

    Here’s the thing: We already have the opportunity for a lot of these things (“shops, stores, night life and restaurants”) on the downtown side of the strait. The reason we don’t have many of them (the Mare Island Brewing Co. taproom is the exception) is because the market doesn’t support them yet. I can’t see anyone building those things on the very isolated north end of Mare Island until downtown is built out and thriving.

    In the meantime, let EPS expand and let’s see what else the market will support. The whole island is going to look a lot more attractive to potential leaseholders and investors if the north end doesn’t look like it’s abandoned.


  3. January 27, 2015 @ 4:39 pm Mousy

    Warehouse can meet huge sales taxes for a city. The company I work for (trust me, you’ve heard of us) buys a huge amount, you’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars, of capital equipment purchased once the truck arrives in Fremont. Which means the sales tax for that hundreds of millions goes straight to the city.

    Down side of warehouse, terrible, low paying jobs. Traffic. Dead end sections of of town, but revenue generators for the city coffers.

    Definitions are important. And the question is 3 part – do you want a place that is inviting to the public, a job generator without much city revenue, or a cash cow without the jobs? Getting the mix right will make or break us, because you can only pick 2.


  4. January 27, 2015 @ 10:37 pm Clara Berman

    Dear Ms Whitney,
    If you want to come across effectively then don’t be lazy when it comes to proof reading your writing prior to publishing it, because it is loaded with misspelled words, bad grammar and punctuation errors.


    • January 28, 2015 @ 7:59 am tramky

      Full of errors and misspellings? Oh, really.


  5. January 28, 2015 @ 6:47 am Anonymous

    City Manager Keen addressed the issue of “industrial/warehouse” concept at the 03:05:14 mark of the video (link). Council agrees with Keen… light industrial, commercial, and office use. Now we can proceed forward with real prospects for development.


  6. January 28, 2015 @ 8:33 am education advocate

    clara, i’m sure your criticism was meant only to be helpful but i would point out that this is an opinion not an english assignment. i appreciate ms. whitney’s participation and good ideas. apathy is the problem not grammar.


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