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Concord Resurrects Massive Mixed-Use Development Plan For Former Naval Weapons Station Site

The Concord City Council on April 6 gave the green light for the city to move forward with a master developer selection process for what could become the Bay Area’s largest mixed-use project at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station with potentially 13,000 housing units and millions of square feet of commercial space.

However, before a project gets off the ground, the Navy-owned land must be transferred to the city in an economic development conveyance. The city must then create a specific plan to guide future development and complete an environmental impact report to create entitlements for the 2,300 acres still held by the Navy.

Concord, California

“Since 2006, we have been working with the United States Navy to complete steps under the Base Realignment and Closure Act to achieve transfer and redevelopment of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station,” said Concord Economic Development and Base Reuse Director Guy Bjerke at the meeting. “We created a community-driven reuse plan and offered more than half the property to the East Bay Regional Park District and Contra Costa County as part of public benefit conveyance process.”

The city plans to release a request for qualifications for potential developers on April 16, followed by a deadline for responses by June 18. The city council will then interview selected respondents and potentially make a selection by late August. The council would then decide on approving an exclusive negotiating agreement with the proposed master developer in October.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the site's "Inland Area is being addressed through federal cleanup actions by the U.S. Navy and the Tidal Area is being addressed by the U.S. Army. Investigations of potential threats to human health and the environment at NWS Concord sites and actions to address risks posed by those sites are ongoing."

The land can't be transferred or sold for reuse until the cleanup is complete, according to the city.

In 2016, the city had chosen Lennar Five Point as the master developer; however, after labor union negotiations failed and the negotiating agreement expired, the developer withdrew, as reported by Patch.

Although the project's housing component gets most of the focus, the job creation aspect is essential, Council Member Carlyn Obringer said.

“It is a direct requirement that if we want to do the economic development conveyance that there is job creation to replace the jobs that were lost when the naval base closed,” Obringer said. “So I just want to emphasize that yes, this project is important in terms of housing, but it's much more than a housing development, and that goes back as far as the BRAC process as well as the community vision.”