Concord Base Transfer On Track For 2018
The Navy is on schedule to transfer ownership of slightly more than half of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station to the city by late 2018, Concord Community Reuse Project Director Guy Bjerke told BIA|Bay Area members during a conference call. Held in late June, the call was the first in a series of quarterly updates held for BIA members only. The next call will be held at 10 a.m. on Oct. 4, 2017.
Coupled with the scheduled adoption of a specific plan around the same time, the 1,200-acre land transfer will allow Lennar, the master developer, to start constructing the major infrastructure in 2020-2021. Lennar and other builders will then begin erecting the homes, offices, schools, shops, parks and other amenities identified in the plan. (The master developer deal with Concord requires Lennar to sell at least 40 percent of the residential parcels to other builders.) The reuse project area plan calls for building up to 12,200 housing units and 6.1 million square feet of commercial space on 2,300 acres. Additionally, the East Bay Regional Park District will receive 2,600 acres for the future Concord Hills Regional Park.
In other base redevelopment milestones discussed during the conference call:
- The California Historic Preservation Office has signed off on a plan to protect two Indian burial grounds located on the former military base. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife issued final biological opinions related to the regulation of the endangered tiger salamander and red-legged frog. Both of these actions were necessary for the Navy to complete its environmental impact study or EIS. Bjerke expects the Navy to issue the final EIS late this summer.
- The Navy and Concord have started negotiating the final sale price for 2,300 acres that will transfer to the city. In addition, the Navy wants to turn over day-to-day management of the former base to the local agencies prior to formal transfer.
- The city expects the Navy to publish in July what is called a Finding of Suitability to Transfer or FOST1, a document that explains everything that has been done to clean up the first 1,200 acres that will be transferred to Concord. These acres are bounded primarily by Willow Pass Road, Highway 4 and the North Concord BART station. The Navy will continue cleaning up the acres commonly referred to as Bunker City and the airfield in preparation for the next property transfer.
- Concord, Lennar and its team have embarked on a specific planning process that will continue throughout the summer and fall. The City Council is scheduled to select a preferred development alternative in September and the city hopes to conclude the environmental analysis by late 2018 to coincide with the land transfer.
- BART staff has asked Concord to consider adding the 18-acre parking lot at the North Concord BART station into the Naval Weapons Station specific plan.
- Following a two-year retention study, the U.S. Coast Guard has decided to sell the 58 acres it owns off Olivera Road adjacent to the former Naval Weapons Station. The city was in negotiations in 2014 to buy the land until the Coast Guard decided to study the matter. Now, Concord will again look at whether to buy the property and potentially incorporate it into the Naval Weapons Station planning process, Bjerke said.