“We believe we have made more progress toward commencement of [our] projects in the last 90 days than we had, due to continually catastrophic capital market conditions, in the preceding 20 months.”

   This was a preface to news offered Monday by Jim Connelly, principal with Boca Grande Capital (BGC)/Ripon Renew (RR).

   For the first time in a long time, Boca officials appear optimistic that work could begin on its long-awaited rehabilitation initiative for downtown Ripon.

   In a three-page press release and accompanying cover letter, Connelly renewed his commitment to move toward construction on a series of projects in Ripon’s downtown.

   Mayor Gary Will seemed optimistic progress is forthcoming in a press release he issued Monday.

   "... I do believe we are closer to seeing some progress with downtown development than a year ago,” he wrote. “The developer still seems very motivated and is currently working with other investors and developers, none of which we are privy to until ... they have everything lined up for a specific project and/or projects ...”

   Connelly admits, though, these projects will not be the same as those the city of Ripon agreed to when it entered into a developer’s agreement with Connelly and Boca Grande in fall 2009.

Read the full story in the June 21, 2012 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.