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FAIRFIELD, CA-Though considered a Bay Area city, this town, an hour east of San Francisco, does not outwardly reflect its booming economic success. Vacancies are common along Texas Street, the central business district, apartments and office space are still relatively affordable and construction levels are comparatively low. Except for one hillside.

Ground was broken recently on a previously undeveloped slope on the northeast corner of Hilborn and Martin Roads, where a new Social Security office is being built. Not too far away, a 120,000-sf office complex is proposed. County planners began reviewing a preliminary design for the project, which is being marketed by Colliers International.

As San Francisco and the Silicon Valley price more and more businesses out of the market, Fairfield hopes to become a boomtown for lower-cost office development along with many other cities on the fringe of the megalopolis.

The hillside was originally proposed for a mixed-use project including an Edwards Theaters cinema chain. But a proposed gas station caused public outcry over possible tank leakage and traffic, and was ultimately the death of the project.

Public sensitivity to land usage has not gone unnoticed by the new project’s primary developer, Panattoni Development Co. of Sacramento. The company will hold a public meeting to gain input on the proposal later this month. The project goes before city building officials in November.

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