Developers of a large, mixed-use project in downtown Windsor that includes an Oliver's Market as an anchor tenant are hoping to break ground this spring.
But first they will have to convince the Town Council of a number of modifications, including eliminating 77 very-low-income household units that were a previous condition of approval.
Bell Village, located northeast of the Town Green on the site of the former Windsorland trailer and mobile home park, is one of the largest projects to be proposed in years in Windsor.
The Town Council two years ago approved the 387 multi-family housing units and 83,500 square feet of commercial space on 25acres between Highway 101 and Old Redwood Highway.
Since then, the developer has been working to bring it to finance and construction phase, according to town planners.
At Wednesday's Town Council meeting that begins at 6 p.m., the developer, Oakmont Senior Living LLC, will ask for a number of changes, including building the commercial portion first, dropping a proposed pharmacy, and paying in-lieu fees for some of the affordable housing, instead of having to build the dwellings.
None of the changes appear to pose significant further delays for the project.
"I'm pleased to see it coming to the council," Mayor Bruce Okrepkie said Friday. "It has all the attributes and components we need to make it a good project for the town of Windsor. And it's in a great location."
"I think it's great for the town, and we'll see if we can make it work," he said.
Among other things, Bell Village will transform Old Redwood Highway into a complete street with pedestrian and bicycle facilities, a roundabout and reverse angle parking.
"I think the project will move forward," said Councilwoman Deb Fudge. "It's some of the detail that still needs to be discussed by the council."
She noted that Bell Village's acreage and number of residences represents roughly twice the size of the downtown that's been built around the Town Green in the past dozen years.
"This is what I would call a very important piece to what we've already created," Fudge said.
Although there are two supermarkets -#8212; a Safeway and a Raley's -#8212; on the other side of the freeway, Fudge said that "people on the west side have been wanting a large supermarket. People love the fact that Oliver's, particularly, is coming to town."
In a letter to the council, an Oliver's official stressed the importance of moving forward without delay.
"We need to be in and operating our new Windsor location by the fall of 2015, or we will need to take advantage of other opportunities," said Oliver's General Manager Tom Scott.
He said a ground-breaking this spring will allow the developer time to deliver the building shell and gives Oliver's time to perform tenant improvements.
"There are a number of other internal circumstances that make it impossible for us to stay involved in the project if there are any further delays in the start of construction of Bell Village," he stated in his letter to the council.
Fudge noted that the project was essentially approved by the council two years ago, with some details and design that needed to be completed by the developer.
If people are anxious about the progress and how it might affect Oliver's, she said, "The delay was not the fault of the town."