Mare Island
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Redevelopment of Historic Naval Base and Shipyard

Location Vallejo, California, United States

Client Lennar Corporation and the City of Vallejo

Scope Planning, Landscape Architecture

Size 5,000 acres

When the historic Mare Island Naval Shipyard, the Pacific Coast’s first naval facility, closed in 1993, the 5,000-acre island was turned over to the City of Vallejo, a blue-collar city located at the mouth of the Napa River, 30 miles north of San Francisco. After preparing a basic reuse plan, the city selected a master developer, the Lennar Corporation, which in turn chose SWA to prepare a development plan for most of the island.

A central goal was to create an urban, non-military community with a wide range of jobs and 1,400 residences, while retaining the island’s historic qualities. Using the traditional bones of the old shipyard, SWA’s plan reuses the island’s appealing grid of small, tree-lined streets, extending and reconnecting them so that they terminate in dramatic views of the bay and river and a new public waterfront. A new town center with retail, entertainment attractions, and higher density housing will reuse historic areas with new infill development. All planning and design decisions have had to consider the complex nature of site contamination left behind by 150 years of military use, rendering many areas unsuitable for housing or schools. The project will also provide 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat and 800 acres of wetlands, and an interconnected open-space network that includes a waterfront plan designed in accordance with criteria of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

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