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Hall Equities, TID reach agreement to advance Monte Vista Crossings Project
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Hall Equities Group, which owns Monte Vista Crossings, agreed to install an electrical loop at the Countryside Drive property by November 2017. - photo by Journal file photo

Hall Equities Group and Turlock Irrigation District have reached an agreement regarding the required installation of an electrical loop for the Monte Vista Crossings Project that will allow the development company to move forward and ensure business openings in time for the holiday season.

At TID’s Board meeting on Tuesday, representatives from both Hall Equities Group and TID staff gathered to hash out the details regarding the required installation of an electrical loop for the Monte Vista Crossings Project. Hall Equities previously filed an appeal to modify the electrical infrastructure requirements, rather than adhere to the conditions required by TID staff. 

“TID does the design, there is nothing in there that says anybody else can do the design,” said Electrical Engineering and Operations Department Manager Ed Jeffers. “We use our prudent engineering judgment to determine whether a loop or radial system is appropriate.”

The loop circuit in question has the ability to supply power from one of two directions. Right now, the electrical infrastructure is structured in radial lines, only allowing power to flow one way. If the loop is completed, TID can isolate an electrical problem and feed power from the other direction in order keep lights on for as many people as possible and lessen the severity of a possible outage.

Hall Equities Group Project Manager Tom Miller stated that the development company is not arguing with TID regarding the necessity of an electrical loop for the Monte Vista Crossings Project infrastructure. Rather, Miller said that the issue was inherent in the district’s timing of the project.

“We are not opposed to the loop,” said Miller. “The question is why do we have to do this now?”

The reason underlying Miller’s concerns revolves around seven acres of undeveloped space near the intersection of Tuolumne Road and Countryside Drive that Hall Equities Group would have to include in their electrical loop. However, when and if a new tenant’s designs differ from the previously installed infrastructure, Hall Equities Group would have to rip out the loop and reinstall it to fit the new business’ electrical needs.

“We don’t know what we’re doing in that south parcel,” added Miller. “We are not in the business to build $200,000 worth of infrastructure just because, and then rip it out.”

Miller argued that the loop is not needed to provide power for what Hall Equities Group is building today. However, when the remaining seven acres is developed, Miller emphasized that Hall Equities would not be against installing the electrical loop in question.

TID suggested that Hall Equities give a letter of credit in the amount $150,000 and be required to build the electrical loop by November 2015. If Hall Equities Group fails to comply by that time, the district would then pull their letter of credit and complete the loop themselves.

Miller argued that would not be in Hall Equities Group’s best interest to complete the loop until they have a plan for development for the remaining seven acres.

“A year is not enough time. We just can’t dictate how long it takes a tenant to sign a lease,” said Miller. “We would just like to agree that we will do it when we have a plan.”

At the conclusion of their discussion, Hall Equities Group withdrew its appeal regarding the electrical infrastructure conditions for the Monte Vista Crossings Project and the Board agreed to grant the development company a three year letter of credit, which will give Hall Equities Group an additional two years on top of their previously suggested letter of credit.

Hall Equities Group plans to return to the Board each year to give TID an update on the project. TID is hoping that the extra time will allow the company more insight on how development is going. As for the Monte Vista Crossings Project, the new stores are set to receive power as soon as the papers regarding the meeting are signed.