Marysville's idea for development of a Fifth Street Commerce Center on land that was home to a departed car dealership is being endorsed by the largest landowner on the block.

Susie Sosebee, development manager and leasing director for San Jose-based Barry Swenson Builder, said her company supports the idea of a Bounce Back initiative project on the former site of a John L. Sullivan dealership. Barry Swenson is a subsidiary of Uchiyama-Swenson, owners of the property that was home to the dealership.

"There are a lot of options and opportunities out there," Sosebee said of the property along Fifth Street west of E Street. "It seems like it would be wonderful for the community."

The Silicon Valley-based company owns the largest share of a 11⁄2-block area targeted by City Manager Walter Munchheimer for possible development. All six property owners have verbally agreed to work together to develop the 120,000 square feet as one project, he said.

Munchheimer said a formal agreement among property owners to develop the land as one project would be beneficial both to them and the community.

But he also said that Barry Swenson, described by Munchheimer as a "large player" in the Bay Area, is clearly needed for such a project.

"They are in a very good position to drive the big project if they care to," he said. "It is an ideal situation."

Such a center, seen as possibly going hand-in-hand with the ongoing expansion of nearby Rideout Memorial Hospital, could include condos, medical offices, restaurants and a hotel, Munchheimer said. It would be included in the medical arts district as outlined in the city's Bounce Back economic development initiative.

The targeted property is bounded by Fifth and Sixth streets, and G and Willow streets. It would not include property fronting on E Street.

Sosebee said company representatives have toured the city and are aware of the city's Bounce Back effort.

"We have visited with multiple property owners surrounding our property," she said. "We are looking forward to working with them."

Oakland-based City Design Collective, already developing a $92,675 Bounce Back plan for the city, is also completing a more detailed $16,000 master plan for the commerce center site. That is expected to be finished in about 30 days.

Once presented, it will be reviewed by the property owners. If there is consensus, a formal development agreement could be reached.

"We are waiting for the design to come back from the consultant," Munchheimer said. "And then we will have a project there.

"I am convinced of that," he said.

Sosebee declined to speculate on what specifically Barry Swenson would like to see on the property. But she agreed it could be uses that would support the hospital expansion.

"I think we will wait for the consultants to give their opinion," Sosebee said. "We are definitely open to any opportunities."

CONTACT Eric Vodden at 749-4769.

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