A Redding power company and a global real estate development firm have their sights on Stillwater Business Park.
On Tuesday, the City Council is expected to give City Manager Barry Tippin the OK to negotiate purchase sale agreements with Electric Innovations Inc. and Panattoni Development group.
In other Stillwater news, Lassen Canyon Nursery, the first company to buy land there, has offered to sell its lot back to the city. The council will meet in closed session before Tuesday’s regular meeting to discuss the proposition.
“There is a passage in our contract that if we hadn’t broken ground in five years, they had a choice of whether or not to buy the lot back. So our plans have kind of fallen through, so we thought me might offer it back to them and see what happens,” Liz Elwood-Ponce of Lassen Canyon Nursery told the Record Searchlight.
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Lassen Canyon Nursery of Redding purchased 16.75 acres in Stillwater Business Park in late 2015 but postponed its plans in 2017 to build there due to the economy. The company paid $840,000 for the property.
“I think the way it is in the contract, that the price would be the same,” Elwood-Ponce said when asked how much the city might pay to buy the property back.
Redding Development Services Director Larry Vaupel declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Electric Innovations and Maas Energy Works are currently on Meadowview Drive east of Airport Road and look to buy a 15-acre lot in Stillwater, according to a report from Vaupel to the council members.
“The businesses have outgrown the current facility off Airport (Road),” Vaupel wrote.
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Electric Innovations, among other things, designs and builds biogas-powered digester generators that provide usable power and sell excess power to utility companies, the company’s website says. Maas Energy Works converts cow manure into power.
The purchase price would be determined by an updated appraisal. A 2018 appraisal valued the property at $560,000.
A message left at Electric Innovations office Monday morning wasn’t immediately returned.
In the spring of 2018, Panattoni Development wanted to buy the remaining 15 lots in Stillwater. The city envisioned Panattoni taking ownership of the park, marketing the remaining lots and filling the place with the type of businesses it wanted. But those talks between the city and Panattoni never came to fruition.
Now the company is looking to buy three lots, about 115 acres, in Stillwater Business Park.
Tim Schaedler of Panattoni said it seems to be a better time to move forward.
“When we began these discussions over four years ago, it was a bit premature, but over the last five months we have seen a greater demand for e-commerce industrial development and a large number of companies looking at areas with a better quality of life for their employees,” Schaedler wrote in an Aug. 15 email to the Record Searchlight. “With the hopeful addition of a portion of the Stillwater Business Park, we are excited to spend our time and money recruiting companies to this part of Northern California.”
A 2018 appraisal valued the three lots at approximately $5 million. An updated appraisal would determine the current purchase price.
Should Panattoni Development and Electric Solutions buy land in Stillwater, they would join PACE Engineering of Redding, which broke ground on its new headquarters in the park this summer.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection also bought land in Stillwater. The state agency purchased the northern 35 acres of parcel 11, where it wants to relocate its Cypress Avenue headquarters.
However, the financial crisis due to COVID-19 means there is no money for the project, state officials have said.
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David Benda covers business, development and anything else that comes up for the USA TODAY Network in Redding. He also writes the weekly “Buzz on the Street” column. He’s part of a team of dedicated reporters that investigate wrongdoing, cover breaking news and tell other stories about your community. Reach him on Twitter @DavidBenda_RS or by phone at 1-530-225-8219. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today.