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STOCKTON, CA-A.G. Spanos Cos. recently unveiled plans for a new environmentally sustainable master-planned community here on 1,800 acres it owns north of Eight Mile Road and west of Interstate 5. The Preserve is being designed by the San Francisco office of Gensler to meet the guidelines for a “One Planet Community,” a global initiative that encourages “true sustainability” by subscribing to 10 principles that address public transit, economics, natural habitats, energy and water, jobs, education and well-being.

Spanos’ senior vice president of development David Nelson tells GlobeSt.com that the project is being designed to include approximately 8,000 dwelling units in a mix of low- and high-density formats, including live-work units; a 1.6-million-square-foot job center, including a community hospital; 1.2 million square feet of retail, mostly in the form of a neighborhood community center; 350,000 square feet of educational facilities, including a K-12 school and possibly a university outpost; and 650 acres of parks, wetlands, agricultural land and open space.

As for funding the infrastructure work, nelson says he’s hopeful that with Spanos’ track record it will be able to obtain the level of financing it will require, which he did not disclose. “We will look for ways to collaborate with local and state government for financing the larger infrastructure pieces,” he says.

Total investment in public and private facilities is expected to crest $2 billion. Given the economy, once the entitlements are in place Nelson expects a multi-phase, 15-year to 20-year build-out that would most likely begin with the jobs center, which is roughly three- to five years out. “The residential is probably last on the list,” he says.

The Preserve is being designed to meet the criteria of a One Planet Community by following its ambitious goals for public transit, local economics and jobs, natural habitats, water conservation, zero carbon emissions from buildings, zero waste, healthy food, education and well-being. Among other things, agricultural land within the development is expected to produce between 3% and 10% of the community’s food, and 100% of its non-potable water use will be recycled or harvested from rainwater.

“The Preserve will introduce advanced sustainable practices and hopefully will serve as a model of responsible development for the rest of the country,” says Michel St. Pierre, Gensler’s director of planning and urban design. “For us this is a very exciting project.”

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