February 7, 2020 Dean Boerner, Bisnow San Francisco Reporter

A joint venture handling a massive Bay Area project has gone out of state to find a developer to lead it.

The Nimitz Group, which includes Tenessee billionaire Gaylon Lawrence Jr., Napa winemaker Dave Phinney and Depiction Wines-owner Sebastian Lane, has chosen Nashville, Tennessee-based Southern Land Co. to lead its massive mixed-use development on Mare Island, it said Wednesday.

In November, The Nimitz Group brought its total holdings on the Vallejo-adjacent peninsula to 800 acres, acquiring about 500 acres of the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard from Lennar, where it plans to develop housing, job opportunities and more.

Those 500 acres are already entitled for 1,400 units, 350 of which were built as single-family homes by the previous owner. But The Nimitz Group and Southern Land Co. will likely seek to establish a master plan with the city before commencing construction, working with previously enlisted architect HOK on a long-term plan.

“As we begin this process, we look forward to sitting down with the businesses, residents and community to get their thoughts on what they see in Mare Island’s future," Southern Land Co. founder Tim Downey said in a statement.

Founded in 1986, Southern Land Co. has an 18-project pipeline it says is valued at over $2B, with much of its portfolio in the central United States. In addition to its Nashville headquarters, the developer also has regional offices in New York City and Denver.