High-tech center planned for Oroville

Chico-based development group is behind the effort

One bit of news to come out of the county supervisors’ special meeting on the general plan (detailed here) was that a consortium led by the Hignell Development Group, of Chico, was set to go public today (April 16) with big plans for a business and research park in north Oroville.

Called the Bayview Regional Innovation and Technology Center, it would be located on some 170 acres off Garden Highway east of Highway 99. Weldon Larson, a senior partner and principal in the Hignell Companies, told the supervisors that the concept was “extremely well thought out” and “one of the most significant projects in county history.”

At build-out, the center would have up to 1.5 million square feet of building space and could generate as many as 1,000 jobs, Larson said.

Supervisors didn’t comment much but seemed receptive. Don Swartz, who has long sought to build a business and research park south of the Skyway in Chico but has been rebuffed, told the board he supported the plan, adding that “if anyone wants to know another area [for such a development], I have an idea.” That elicited knowing chuckles.