Application submitted for vast entertainment venue
by Bob Brownne
Sep 28, 2012 | 7984 views | 19 19 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The developer who hopes to build a mammoth entertainment center north of Tracy has submitted a formal application to the city.

On Sept. 12, James Rogers of Los Gatos turned in an application to amend the city’s general plan so he and other unnamed backers could build a 628-acre project that could include race tracks, a casino and an amusement park.

Rogers also turned in the financial information regarding some of the project’s investors, and expects to hammer out details over the next six to eight months.

Rogers didn’t give details regarding the investors or how much the initial planning process will cost, but said he has enough money lined up to build Spirit of California, a billion-dollar-plus venue that will include a 300-acre motorsports park, a hotel, casino and convention center, a marina along Sugar Cut, plus a golf course, amusement park and wine center.

A city-hired consultant, National Development Council, will verify if the initial group of investors Rogers has rounded up has the financial ability to buy the land and get the project through the planning process, as well as local and state government reviews.

National Development Council, an economic development consultant based in New York City with offices nationwide, including an office in Napa, will look at investors’ federal tax returns and bank account information.

The review is confidential, as outlined in the negotiating rights agreement approved by the City Council in March.

Rogers said the information he submitted to NDC represents more than enough money to get through the planning process.

“All we showed the city is enough to entitle the project,” he said. “What we’re going to do over the next six to eight months is redesign the project using information from our consultants.”

The general plan amendment application he took to the city two weeks ago includes a tentative layout of the site, which he has showed investors and consultants over the past year and is also on the project website, www.spiritofcalifornia.com.

Rogers said that consultants will complete environmental and traffic studies.

The land is outside of Tracy city limits and is designated by the city’s general plan as agricultural land. A general plan amendment is the first step in making that land available for commercial uses and a potential annexation into city limits.

Rogers and the city now will draw up a new exclusive negotiating rights agreement, which assures him that he will be able to buy the city-owned land just north of city limits. The new agreement will reflect the scope of Spirit of California, a much larger project than the one proposed by the former entity, Tracy’s California Blast, which started as just the motorsports park.

Rogers expects to have that agreement up for council approval on Oct. 16.

City Development and Engineering Services Director Andrew Malik said the agreement could be ready by then, or could be up for council review in November. It would be the council’s first formal look at the plan.

“That’s when he will show the full scope of what he wants to do,” Malik said.

Malik added that follow-up reviews include drafting a specific plan, which would include more details and more focused review than the general plan amendment. State-mandated environmental studies would follow.

“How we get there and how quickly we get there, I don’t have that answer yet,” Malik said. “There’s no rush to it. We want to be very methodical. Council wants it to be an informed decision. There are a lot of steps still to come.”

Comments
(19)
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C3TJ
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October 02, 2012
Interesting that the casino has been downplayed in every article but from Mr. Rogers' investment packet:

"The Casino project is an integral key aspect to the project development and success. Historically, it is proven that casino gaming drives high revenues and substantial profits that other types of venues cannot achieve."

Perhaps Mr. Rogers and the city of Tracy don't realize there's a whole lot more to getting a casino approved that slipping a few bucks under the table, namely the feds getting involved before the governor has the ultimate say. And if it's approved, the ensuing lawsuits from the other Indian casinos.
crap1210
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October 01, 2012
I'm not holding my breath on this one. Someone will find some kind of animal that needs protection. How much money did the council waste on this cunsultant? Did the council even know about this money being spent?
RedHotChilliPeppers
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October 02, 2012
I thought the kit fox was alteady relocated?
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 02, 2012
How much money did th council waste on consultin fer every other project th city has entertained in th last 30 years? Every project, EVERY one of em, had a consultant that was an expert in th field of endeavor for ALL of th thangs th City has done in over thirty years. Whair th city has really gotten itself inta trouble is when they didn't have a consultant, th consultant was wrong, which happens but fortunately rarely, or whair they have ignored th consultant an did it thair way anyway.

Yes, I thank council new th money was spent an if ya go down ta city finance offices they can probably tell ya what was spent.

Yep, th kit fox was relocated from whair it wasn't ta whair it isn't. That happened over th trifecta fiasco between th Safeway Distribution warehouse, Mark Connolly an California Fish an Game. Interestin story, ya ought ta examine th details. Very illuinatin. Start at County Public Records.
tracyresdnt
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October 01, 2012
gimme a yard sign, I'm in full support of this being built here. Tracy really is perfectly located for this. We're 60 miles from just about anywhere with nothin' but land and people that need local jobs. I really hope this gets built. Tracy City Council, don't screw this opportunity up!
C3TJ
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October 02, 2012
Minimum wage service jobs? No thanks.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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September 30, 2012
vegitrks

Yeah yer right, I sure do complain about peaches, avocados,grapes an other short seasoned fruits an vegetables that I can buy any time of year in th produce section of my local grocery store without havin ta do without until thair next local growing season.

An ain't it grand that we took a pristine watershed an tarned it inta an ecological cesspool as we irrigated a desert in th Central Valley an polluted it while stopping the Colorado River from reachin th Gulf of California?

Whair were yer complaints about that sort of activity as th destruction of our nation's major natural watersheds took place in th name of agriculture?

Ain't Mono Lake just grand? An tell me, just what happened ta th orange orchards that populated Anaheim before Disneyland was built an why we don't have fresh oranges ta eat?

It's called change an it's been happenin since th birth of mankind. Some good, some bad but it's gonna happen an ya need ta larn ta deal with it.

Ta tout agriculture in this valley as bein all that friendly ta th environment is a stretch of th imagination an ta forget it wouldn't exist here without mankind's design isn't right either.
Sneaky
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September 28, 2012
I would love to see this thing get built but I am not holding my breath. In fact I would be 10 to 1, heck, 100 to 1 that it will not ever happen.
RedHotChilliPeppers
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September 28, 2012
I think the Sierra Club feels the same way, Sneaky. But so far, we have only seen them make one statement. Something about millions of people in nearby cities. That statement kinda does not help the Sierra Club's cause though. Those people are all potential employees. In a downturn economy. Juat to play devils advocate. We all know these developers are greedy as anything. We better write our letters to the editors before we end up locally employed and do not have time for the letter writing.

Hug a tree. Power to the people. Peace. Poppy seeds.
vegitrks
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September 29, 2012
I hope it never happens...Tracy is and should be a farming community. Take that away for projects like this and dont complain when you see more and more produce in the stores that come from Chili, Mexico and other places.
Sneaky
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September 30, 2012
I dont see how anyone can be against this, nor do I see how it prevents Tracy from being a farming community. You could still have farms all around the thing. In fact that would be preferrable due to the noise concerns that will no doubt arise (although myself I dont think there is much of anything more beautiful than a V8 in full song).

As for produce from Mexico, Chile, whatever I am not the hippy dippy sort to complain about that. As long as its cheap I dont much care where it came from. Also, there is more than enough other land in the central valley to grow on. Even if there were not, its not like anybody except illegals needs ag jobs and they shouldnt be here anyway.
audreygaia
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September 28, 2012
Was there seismic activity at the cemetery? I'm wondering because the golf course encompasses my family's ENTIRE property.....land that my father worked his tail off to buy and farm---he paid not only in dollars but in sweat and tears....I'm sure he's turned over in his grave many, many times these past few weeks...I WAS planning on retiring there and living out my final years in peace and quiet.....
ChrisRoberts
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September 28, 2012
Ain't NO JOBS in Tracy.
Ohiogirlatheart
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September 28, 2012
Los Gatos, Napa, New York City....what's best for Tracy, hmmm....
RedHotChilliPeppers
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September 28, 2012
Banks and finance are the world over. One house I purchased was financed through a Chicago title company and sold to so many other banks I lost track of all the names and cities.

RedHotChilliPeppers
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September 28, 2012
How funny Tracy Press staff forgot to mention this in their list of "long term" suggestions for telling you how to vote, but took the time to enumerate their reasons why they think TRAQC is all things wonderful and we might not need a swim center after all.

Public works.
me-here
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September 28, 2012
Red Hots, WHAT? You don't think TRAQC is all things wonderful? They win their law suits, they value the airport,they are fighting for our 4009'

airstrip runway; they warn about the old existing gas pipe lines between the airport and Tuso's land where Serpa wants to put houses.

Looks like they have a better plan for Tracy than you seem to.

All you do is tear down everybody. Go eat some more peppers.
RedHotChilliPeppers
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September 28, 2012
me-here,

Sorry to push your buttons, but did they win against Carnegie? Did they win against the Lab?

And the last we heard in the newspaper the pipe had nothing to do with it. In fact, it turns out the pipe does not go under any homes. It does go underneath MANY of the roads you drive on, in Tracy though.

In fact, the Tracy Press told us elsewhere the lawsuit hinged on a technicality regarding placement of homes. Meaning they could reside elsewhere. And the Tracy Press told us that the lawsuit did not have enough merit to avoid a legal challenge.

Either way, it sounds like the Tracy Press is involved in their delay tactics, if you ask me.
RedHotChilliPeppers
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September 28, 2012
I actually do not believe TRAQC is fighting for the airport runway 4009 feet. If you ask me they could be using you.

The airport runway is federal. And in county limits.

Last time a plane crashed, I was driving home and saw several county sherrif vehicles out there. Did not see one TPD out there.

If TRAQC shows up at a city council meeting, regarding the airport, my guess is they're only looking for the judge to grant them their legal fees.

Have they cashed their check for that yet?

Maybe you can tell us, here?

I would not expect TRAQC to help with the airport, in fact I think they've made things worse. And I do not think they're being very straightforward with their airport 'interest'?

Do you feel otherwise?

Seems to me like they done nothing but play political football with your airport.

But I could be wrong, you seem to think so.


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