Safeway is on the road to opening shop in Hercules. The Hercules City Council passed a resolution Thursday to finalize a purchase and sale agreement for with developers from the grocery store chain for the Sycamore Crossing lot.
“This is a site that we’ve looked at for many years so we’re anxious to proceed and move forward with great haste,” said David Zylstra, Chief Operating Officer of Property Development Centers, LLC., the shopping center development arm of Safeway.
If the city is able to negotiate past a deed restriction on the site sell the site, Property Development Centers would develop Sycamore Crossing into a 55,000 to 65,000-square-foot Safeway store with a gas station and adjacent shops.
The gross sale price would be about $9.3, city records show. But certain pre-sale expenses to the city, including the cost of dirt removal from the site, could bring proceeds down to as low as $5 million, the records show.
Safeway would also bring in roughly half a million dollars in property taxes to the city each year, City Manager Steve Duran said.
Sycamore Crossing sits at San Pablo and Sycamore avenues, next door to Sycamore North.
Councilwoman Myrna DeVera pointed out that the city’s original vision plan for Sycamore Crossing—which involved a mix of retail, residential and office spaces—looked very different than the Safeway plan.
“We put together a plan that we know is economically viable and one that can actually be developed,” Zylstra said. “That’s something that the council, the planning commission and the community is going to have to review because the (original vision plan) is not a plan that we will be pursuing,” he added.
Ultimately, all five council members supported the purchase of sale agreement. Mayor Dan Romero said he has been disappointed with the city’s lone grocery store—Lucky. He said it would be good for the business to have a competitor in town.
Romero also brought up a concern he had with the way the agreement was written: it proposed that the planned Safeway would receive power through the Hercules Municipal Utility, which has historically been heavily subsidized by the city. An amendment was then made to the agreement that said that if Safeway used HMU for electricity, it would have a net zero cost to the city.
By approving the agreement, the council authorized City Manager Steve Duran to work with the company through the design and entitlement phase, close escrow and make sure all agreements and permits are honored during construction.
8:30, CITY MANAGER REPORTS AND RESOLUTIONS
1. Adopt A Resolution Authorizing The City Manager To Finalize And Execute A
Purchase And Sale Agreement With Property Development Centers For The
Sycamore Crossing Site For The Development Of A Safeway Anchored Shopping
Center--PASSES 5-0 WITH AMENDMENT TO ADDRESS HMU ELEMENT OF THE DEAL.
2. Consider A Request From The Friends Of The Hercules Library For A Waiver Of
Banner Fees--COUNCIL DIRECTS STAFF NOT TO WAIVE FEES.
3. Adopt A Resolution Approving And Authorizing The Execution Of A Termination Of Affordable Housing Agreement Between The City And The Redevelopment
Agency Of The City Of Hercules For The Sycamore North Project--PASSES 5-0
4. Adopt A Resolution Approving A Funding Program From Wastewater Revenue Bonds And Authorizing Execution Of A Contract In The Amount Of $298,780 With BKF Engineering For Design Services The Intermodal Transit Center Project--PASSES 5-0
5. Receive Report Regarding Election Of City Finance Director Or City Treasurer--COUNCIL DISCUSSED POSSIBILITY, BUT DID NOT MAKE A DECISION.
6. Adopt A Resolution Determining That The Sale Of The Hercules Municipal Utility Is In The Public Interest And Necessity Pursuant To Article 2, Chapter 1, Division 5 Of The California Public Utilities Code (Section 10051 Et. Seq.) And Directing Staff To Notice A Public Hearing And First Reading For The Adoption Of An Ordinance Calling For A Special Election On June 5, 2012, To Obtain Public Approval For The Sale Of The Utility--PASSES 5-0
7. Adopt A Resolution In Support Of The Proposed Bayfront Intermodal Transit Center Project And Directing Staff To Update And Revise As Necessary The Funding Plan For Submittal To The Contra Costa Transportation Authority With A Request To Advance Measure J Funds To Phase I Of The Project--PASSES 5-0
7:58, CITY COUNCIL REPORTS AND RESOLUTIONS
1. Conduct Discussion And Authorize Recruitment For All Vacancies And Expiring
Terms On The Various City Commissions, Committees And Boards And Schedule
Date And Time For Candidate Interviews--PASSES 5-0
2. Receive Report And Conduct Discussion Regarding The Approved Locations For
Posting Of Political Signs On Public Property--CITY WILL INCREASE NUMBER OF PUBLIC PLACES TO POST POLITICAL SIGNS AND ELIMINATE ONE OF THE AREAS.
7:52, PUBLIC HEARING
1. Adopt A Resolution Amending The City Of Hercules Master Fee Schedule To Include An Administrative Charge Of An Amount Not To Exceed $20.00 For The Inspection And Certification Of Correctable Traffic And Parking Citations Issued By Agencies Outside Of The Hercules City Limits--PASSES 5-0
7:33, CONSENT CALENDAR
1. Adopt A Resolution Authorizing The City Manager To Negotiate And Execute An
Amendment To The Existing Agreement With Charles A. Long For Advisory And
Project Management Services, Extending The Term By One Month To February 29, 2012 And Authorizing An Additional Expenditure Of An Amount Not To Exceed
$5,000, Bringing The Total Maximum Expenditure Under The Amended Agreement To $75,000--PASSES 5-0
Discussion: "We are very close to wrapping up two things...The remaining work is finalizing negotiations and finalizing our funding plan...We are hoping those things will come to fruition in February," said City Manager Steve Duran.
2. Adopt A Resolution Authorizing The City Manager To Execute An Amendment To An Existing Agreement With Art McAuley Solutions, For An Amount Not To Exceed $60,000, To Provide Energy, Utility Operations Management--PASSES 5-0
Discussion: "Mr. McAuley has been invaluable to us...Not only is (he) running the utility but he is doing a lot of the legwork" in determining what to do next with the HMU, acting Assistant City Manager Liz Warmerdam said. The city is looking at either trying to sell or lease the utility. "We have been very clear that we're selling HMU. It's going to be very difficult to retain staff knowing that they'll be out of a job" in a few months, Warmerdam said in response to Councilman Gerard Boulanger's request to provide incentives to contractors like McAuley to sell the HMU.
7:22, PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS
A representative of Local 159 who wants to see the waterfront project "move forward as soon as possible."
Sarah Creeley, the resident and local school teacher talks about upcoming events at the Hercules Public Library. Go to HerculesLibrary.com to make a donation to the establishment.
Steve Kirby, Mentions citywide garage sale coming up to benefit the library. Also, in June, the city will celebrate library fund raising successes. In October, the library will hold another dinner-dance. Library fundraisers are interested in coordinating efforts with the Relay for Life volunteers.
7:10, CITY OF HERCULES INTRODUCTIONS/PRESENTATIONS
1. Receive Presentation Regarding The Doctors Medical Center Stroke Program
The program involves prevention, identification and treatment. Signs and symptoms: 1) Acute weakness; 2) Difficulty with speaking; 3) Acute inability to talk/walk/dizziness; 4) Acute vision loss; 5) Headaches
7:08, Tonight's moment of silence is for all victims of domestic violence, Mayor Dan Romero.
7:06 p.m., Reportable action from closed session: None. A discussion about Hercules Bayfront will be deferred to later this evening.