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Lathrop Chevron office for marketing, emergency operations
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LATHROP — TCN Properties has six months to complete the improvements of the portion of Golden Valley Parkway between Towne Centre Drive and Brookhurst at Mossdale Landing.

That was the first key element in the agreement between the city and the developer that was approved by the City Council during a special meeting held Saturday, Dec. 20.

Completion of these road improvements was a crucial point in finalizing the deal that will bring Chevron to Lathrop.

The fourth largest non-government energy company in the world with a reported $220.904 billion revenue in 2007 is headquartered in San Ramon and reportedly wants to have a “secondary” main office at Mossdale Landing. A city official familiar with the project said Wednesday that Chevron, which ranks fourth in the U.S. Fortune 500 list with approximately 59,000 employees in 180 countries, will use its Lathrop office for marketing and emergency operations in the valley. The city official also said the building permit for the construction of the building that will house the Chevron office was issued earlier this week.

“We’ll start work in a couple of weeks,” said TCN Properties owner Tom Luckey about the construction project.
Councilman Robert Oliver, who, along with Council member Sonny Dhaliwal helped facilitate the negotiation talks between the city and TCN Properties, said construction costs for the Chevron building is estimated at between $6 million and $8 million.

The location of the building to be constructed is a vacant parcel in the 18.4-acre Mossdale Landing Business Park which will offer a total of 10 commercial buildings with approximately 241,000-square-feet of office and business space at completion. The business park is currently home to a number of businesses that have opened in the last two weeks.

These include the Community Banks of Northern California, the outdoor recreation sporting goods store Polaris, and the recently opened Lathrop Veterinary Center. This development project was approved in July 2005. It is located just south of Target store which opened just this summer in the Lathrop Marketplace, a Watt development that still has to build the remainder of the centrally located shopping center just off Interstate 5 on River Islands and Golden Valley parkways.

Luckey also insisted that no city money is involved in the improvements to Golden Valley Parkway that was recently approved by the city.

“None of the money is coming from the general fund,” he said.

Interim City Manager Cary Keaten confirmed that the city’s general fund is not being used for this road-improvement project. According to the agreement inked by the city and TCN Properties, and as specified in the exhibit on Sources and Uses of Funds for the project, money for the Golden Valley Parkway improvements will come from Community Facilities Fees Transportation Funds, funds already deposited by the city that are earmarked for frontage road improvements, and cash infusion from TCN Properties which includes fees that the developer has paid to the city and have been deposited for this project. The total coming from the aforementioned city accounts is $1,078,687. TCN Properties portion of the $1.5 million project cost is $441,763. That does not include plan check and inspection fees amounting to $126,300 that will come from TCN’s own pockets.

That is the simplified version of the complicated negotiation between the city and TCN Properties regarding the Mossdale Landing Business Park, with both parties saying they owe each other money. In fact, the agreement addresses these mutual disagreements which was approved with both parties understanding that this was done “while preserving (the two parties’) respective rights in that dispute and without resolving it.”

Lien put on all TCN properties in Lathrop to save Chevron project

During the Dec. 20 emergency council meeting, Mayor Kristy Sayles insisted that a lien be put on all TCN Properties’ projects in Lathrop as part of the Golden Valley Parkway improvements agreement. TCN officials said they agreed to that stipulation only because they did not want to lose the Chevron deal. But even with that acquiescence on the part of TCN, Sayles voted against the agreement with Vice Mayor Martha Salcedo following suit.

In a story in the Sun Post, the mayor explained why she voted against the staff recommendation in favor of approving the agreement, saying, “This is the wrong way to go about this deal. This meeting should have been done on a Tuesday night and in full view of every member of Lathrop.”

However, Oliver and Dhaliwal said that it was crucial to get the agreement done so the city does not lose the businesses that are coming to Mossdale Landing Business Park. In addition to Chevron, two or more other businesses are being processed to move into this location, according to city officials but declined to identify them at this time.

In the same story in the Sun Post, Sayles was also quoted as saying that “this (Golden Valley Parkway) agreement pads the pocket of the developer,” a charge that was strongly denied by TCN Properties officials who insist that no city funds will be spent on the project.

All construction cost receipts, in fact, will be submitted by the developer to the city which will then write the checks for the developer’s subcontractors working on the project, according to the terms of the contract.

TCN last year brought new businesses to a depressed Lathrop economy

While the gloom-and-doom stories surrounding the Richland Planned Communities project in Central Lathrop that includes the problem-plagued new Lathrop High School, not to mention the record-high foreclosures in the mortgage meltdown that hit the city hard, dominated the news from the youngest incorporated city in San Joaquin County throughout 2008, TCN Properties brought a bit of silver lining into the business horizon in Lathrop.

In 2008 alone, the company owned by husband and wife Tom and Cathie Luckey brought in new businesses at their developments on North Harlan Road and at Mossdale Landing Business Park. With the opening of their Lathrop Crossings on North Harlan, situated on the east frontage of I-5 between the new Best Western hotel and the Save Mart shopping center, the city saw In-Shape Fitness, Little Caesar’s Pizza, and a beauty supply opening business in Lathrop.

The business park brought in Polaris, the Lathrop Veterinary Center, Community Banks of Northern California, KB Home showroom, and a deli restaurant. The deli, which was the first dining place to open in west Lathrop, folded after only a few months. As the housing industry fell, KB Home also closed its Lathrop location.

It was also TCN Properties which rescued the city when it could not find an appropriate and large-enough location to build a new City Hall when its staff outgrew the leased building at J.R. Simplot on Howland Road. TCN sold the parcel where the $16 million City Hall was built at a discounted cost. The land was once part of the back yard of the Luckeys’ home, which was an old farm house, which now serves as offices for TCN. Walgreens on the corner of Lathrop Road and North Harlan just east of the freeway was also a TCN Properties project.

And with River Islands declaring that they don’t foresee any building happening to their Stewart Tract development in 2009, and possibly in 2010 due to “too much foreclosure and too much inventory,” TCN Properties appears to be the only major development that will be keeping City Hall employees busy in the coming months processing new incoming businesses. River Islands, however, will continue to keep city staff busy with permit processing in anticipation of the actual start of home construction.