The council gave the go-ahead to project developers Capital and Counties, USA, to move ahead in the permit process, with the caveat that outside surveillance cameras be installed and an agreement to explore the need for future security patrols be considered.
"I have no problem bringing in outside security if needed," said Councilman Reggie Moore, referring to the southeast Antioch location. "There is nothing wrong with raising the bar (on safety), and those who want to do business in our town need to understand our city's needs."
Located at the future site of the Orchard at Slatten Ranch retail center, west of Empire Road, the council had requested that the developers provide both outside camera surveillance as well as security patrols. The council has since agreed to take a wait-and-see approach on the security patrols.
Citing the recent kidnapping of a young woman outside a Target store in the Midwest, and the surveillance cameras that aided in the search, Councilman Arne Simonsen agreed that advanced security makes sense.
"In light of things that have happened in the Midwest," said Simonsen, "my concern is for security cameras, and the question of regular security patrols."
The proposed four-building retail center sits on 13.64 acres adjacent to Slatten Ranch Road. Penney's is the anchor tenant of the project, which includes three smaller buildings as well.
Sensitive to recent commercial developments in Antioch that some claim have not lived up to their potential, specifically Lone Tree Landing, Councilman Brian Kalinowski said the council must be precise and clear on which businesses are allowed to come to the Orchard project.
"The current state of retail in southeast Antioch and repeats of such, is concerning to me," said Kalinowski. "I would hope that this project, and the council, will look for the best possible uses and that we don't get the same old things. I'm worried, but I will watch this develop before I make a judgment."
A list of over 100 potential retailers suggested by the developer are currently in the revision stage. Businesses red-lined include credit agencies, movie theaters, employment centers and 24-hour establishments.
"I have been very blunt about what my expectations are about this, and in that I want this to be upscale," said Mayor Don Freitas. "We all have great expectations."