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The Concord City Council has agreed to give a developer more time to submit a required legal document related to redevelopment of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station.
At its meeting Tuesday, the council voted 4-1 to extend until Jan. 31, 2023, the deadline for Concord First Partners to have a negotiated term sheet in place. CFP is the Seeno/Discovery Homes-owned LLC the city designated as master developer of the former weapons station property.
But the council also denied CFP requests to amend the agreement to give them early property rights and reimbursement of costs should the deal fall through.
Councilmember Carlyn Obringer voted against extending the original deadline, which had been set to expire this week. She said she didn’t have faith CFP would not present more demands down the line, risking taxpayers’ money.
“There is a real trust issue; I hear it from my constituents every single day,” Obringer said.
The city already granted CFP a one-month extension. The company wanted an additional 90 days — to Aug. 23 — to complete a term sheet, a timeframe in which council members said they don’t have faith would be enough to reach an agreement.
“There is a real trust issue; I hear it from my constituents every single day.”Councilmember Carlyn Obringer
CFP also wanted to negotiate an early-stage “outline” disposition and development agreement (DDA) before land use planning and environmental review moves forward. It also asked for an “enforceable right in the CNWS property in the early-stage outline DDA’” and the council to “reimburse CFP for certain expended costs should the city council fail to approve the future EIR (environmental impact report) and specific plan.”
“That’s off the table,” said Vice Mayor Laura Hoffmeister.
CFP agreed to continue negotiations. Guy Bjerke, the city’s director of economic development and base reuse, told the council progress has been made, but the term sheet would likely be done now if not for CFP’s amendment demands.
Staff recommended the council deny CFP’s proposed amendments as not being in the city’s best interests. The city didn’t get the request until May 10, which staff said did not allow enough time for review and negotiation.
The fate of 5,046 acres on the city’s northeast side has been one of Concord’s biggest issues since the Navy abandoned the area in 1999. The Navy officially designated it as surplus and made Concord the local reuse authority for the site, of which 2,300 acres are targeted for 13,000 units of housing and millions of square feet of commercial space.
The site will also be home to a new 2,540-acre East Bay Regional Park, named Thurgood Marshall Regional Park — Home of the Port Chicago 50, commemorating the nearby Port Chicago tragedy during World War II.
The city has been consistent in its demand the development includes more affordable housing than the state requires. It also wants a guarantee that local labor is used, which was a sticking point with its first master developer, Lennar Five Point. The company pulled out of the project in March 2020 when its initial exclusive negotiating agreement expired and its negotiations with local labor unions failed.