Concorde – Three major developers have emerged as the latest contenders for the opportunity to transform the former Concorde Naval Weapons Station site into a full-fledged community – one of the East Bay’s largest projects to date.
As envisioned by the city, the 2,300-acre site could become home to 13,000 housing units and millions of square feet of commercial and office space in the years to come.
All three proposals submitted by developers last month and those released publicly by the city on Tuesday generally reflect that vision – including the promise that a quarter of homes will be listed at affordable prices.
So it is the key difference between the proposals that could ultimately determine which master developer the city council chooses at its August 31 meeting.
“It’s like a job interview for a partnership with the city,” Guy Bjarke, the city’s director of economic development, told this news organization.
One applicant is Brookfield Development, a multinational company that has developed thousands of housing units, including Pier 70, a 28-acre waterfront community in San Francisco.
The company, which is publicly traded, has provided the city with a detailed account of its finances and glowing references from past partners, according to the city’s agenda for its August 21 meeting.
Another potential developer is Irvine-based Citi Ventures, which has undertaken larger projects in the state and around the Bay Area, including The Orchard, the development of 188 townhouses and 10,000 square feet of retail space in San Jose. The firm provided the city with financial details, indicating that it has the bandwidth to take on the Navy’s weapons site development.
Unlike its two competitors, who say their ideas for the naval weapons site are in line with the city council’s stated vision, City Ventures’ proposal focuses more on housing and less on commercial development, according to city staff.
The third contender is the Sino Company, a longtime local developer with a history of legal battles against East Bay public agencies and environmental groups, a track record so controversial that Save Mount Diablo has already launched a letter-writing campaign. in which the city council has been urged to reject it. Proposal.
Sino and Discovery Builders, its partner in the Naval Weapons Station Application, sued in 2018 to block the US Navy from transferring weapons station assets to the city, arguing that the proposed development’s massive traffic congestion. and will produce air pollution. Can damage their own nearby housing and office projects.
And last year, the company also filed a lawsuit to block the Navy from transferring adjacent land to the East Bay Regional Park District, citing similar reasons.
The city has received more than 200 letters opposing Sino’s proposal – most of them picking up opposition text that Save Mount Diablo posted on its website – and is receiving more letters every day, Bjarke said. That said, he has only received one comment in his inbox that supports choosing Sino as the master developer.
“Cenos has a history of breaking environmental and other laws and not acting in the best interest of the public,” the form’s letter states. “Their business practices have been unethical and illegal.”
But at least for the time being, Sino has one important merit point over its competitors – an agreement to exclusively hire local union workers for on-site construction and related work. Other companies are still negotiating similar agreements.
The city has made it clear that any developer interested in taking over the naval weapons station must be willing to cut into a deal with local unions, known as the Project Labor Agreement.
The site’s eventual master developer, Lenner Corp., walked away from the project after refusing to commit to hiring union employees entirely, even though it had spent years trying to complete the project.
Sino is less coming to town about its finances than the other two developers, telling Bjarke in an email last month, “We think a broad, general request for financial information (at this point) is premature. First and unnecessary.”
Representatives for three developers did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
After the council has made an election, the city and developer must negotiate the final terms to proceed and create a specific plan that shows what the new community will eventually look like. That process could take 18 to 20 months, Bjarke said.
The development is likely to take years to complete.
Counselor For counselor Eddie Birson, the sooner the better. “In two and a half years, I want to see the shit move,” he said in an email last month.