Concord, California – The Concord City Council moved a significant step closer to realizing its long-held vision for the development of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station site as it unanimously passed a resolution approving an Exclusive Agreement to Negotiate (EAN) with Brookfield Properties on Tuesday.
This move comes after the city designated Brookfield Properties as the project’s new master developer in August. They were the sole company to be interviewed for the role after Housing America withdrew its application earlier the same month.
The approved EAN outlines a 120-day initial negotiating window, during which Brookfield will prepare and propose a term sheet to the city. But that’s just the beginning; the agreement further stipulates a 24-month timeline during which the developer must complete a specific plan, environmental impact report, and a disposition and development agreement. All these documents must gain the city’s approval.
Financially speaking, Brookfield is obliged to reimburse the city a sum of $250,000. This amount accounts for costs the city has already incurred and will also act as a deposit moving forward.
Setting a clear boundary, the city has explicitly expressed its desire for Brookfield to abstain from either making or soliciting campaign contributions. This applies to candidates vying for city offices and extends to council members running for different roles. Furthermore, this also encompasses associated political action committees that either support or oppose these candidates during the term of the EAN.
Once the 24-month period concludes, and provided everything aligns with the city’s vision and terms, the U.S. Navy’s approval will be sought. It is pertinent to note that the U.S. Navy remains the property owner of the site.
Council members revealed that a meeting is likely scheduled for November 14th to provide updates on the negotiations.
The Concord Naval Weapons Station project represents one of the city’s most ambitious undertakings. Since the Navy vacated the site in 1999, the city has envisioned the transformation of the sprawling 2,350-acre space. Plans include the construction of 13,000 housing units and several million square feet of commercial space. In addition to this commercial and residential revamp, approximately half of the original 5,046-acre site will be dedicated to the East Bay Regional Park District. This will manifest as the Thurgood Marshall Regional Park, honoring the legacy of the Port Chicago 50.
Transparency is vital for the city. Therefore, as part of the terms, they require Brookfield to possess an executed project labor agreement with the Contra Costa County’s Construction and Building Trades Council. Moreover, this agreement must be accessible to the general public.
This recent collaboration with Brookfield marks the city’s third attempt at advancing with a master developer for the former naval base. A previous agreement with Lennar FivePoint came undone in March 2020 due to disagreements with local labor unions, which the city deemed essential. Another partnership with Seeno-owned Concord First Partners was terminated in January after the council declined CFP’s term sheet. This decision was influenced heavily by community feedback, as many criticized CFP’s proposals, particularly concerning early property rights and cost reimbursement conditions.
Concord’s endeavor to reshape the Naval Weapons Station site is laden with past challenges, but with the new EAN with Brookfield Properties, the city holds renewed hope for a successful transformation.