VALLEJO, Calif. (KTVU) - It's a hidden gem, rich in Bay Area history and will soon celebrate its 110th anniversary.
“People in Vallejo don't even know about it, people around the Bay don't even know about it,” said Lighthouse owner, Nima Gabbay.
The lighthouse is situated at the end of Glen Cove Marina in Vallejo.
“It was a 28 room residence, three story building with a mechanical lighthouse,” said Gabbay.
In 1955, it was sold for a dollar and was moved to its current site from the Carquinez straight.
“Taking a building of this size, putting it on a barge, boating it over and planting it on this site is something that I think is a marvel in itself,” said Gabbay.
It's beauty and aura is what sealed the deal for Nima Gabbay, who took ownership of the property in 2007, just before the economy crashed.
Vallejo was one of the few Bay Area cities to go bankrupt. Gabbay continued working to redevelop the old lighthouse into something shiny and new. Expansive glass windows brought in the light. New hardwoods gave it a modern touch. Large palm trees were planted, lush green lawns were landscaped and it wasn’t long before it finally transformed into a desired venue.
“Since then we've been booking weddings and having many of them. Even my own,” said Gabbay.
Last year was about love. This year is about risk. Gabbay says he took a leap of faith with the marina.
“I’ve actually in a way condo'd my slips so that you can sell them individually and I’ve given people the opportunity to own a piece of the Bay itself,” he said.
A week in, and 10 percent of the slips have sold. He says it's a sign the Vallejo community is growing.
“I don't think I can tell you how many times I’ve heard the words "this is Vallejo",” said Gabbay.
New development is popping up all over the city, even neighbors are noticing.
“I think it's a really nice place to live and I notice a lot of people moving into the city because its affordable to live here,” said Vallejo resident, Michelle Jacobsen.
Affordability is one reason. Convenience is another with the Vallejo ferry getting commuters to San Francisco. Gabbay says he just hopes The Lighthouse is part of that renaissance.