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Concord picks two finalists for $6 billion naval base development project
Roland Li | San Francisco Business Times


A rendering of Lennar Urban's Concord redevelopment proposal. The Concord City Council has selected Lennar Urban and Catellus Development Corp. as the two finalists to redevelop the city's former naval base.

The Concord City Council has selected Lennar Urban and Catellus Development Corp. as the two finalists to redevelop the city's former naval base into up to 12,000 units of housing and over six million square feet of commercial space, though developers may choose to build less than that.


The development promises to be one of the largest real estate projects in the Bay Area. Building out the project will involve an estimated $6 billion in construction spending.


The City Council's decision on Tuesday night came after an advisory board recommended Lennar and Catellus as the finalists.


“Catellus is very excited to be selected as one of the top two candidates to serve as master developer for the Concord Naval Weapons Station," said Steve Buster, vice president of Catellus. "This is an incredible opportunity and we believe our successful track record in public-private partnerships will serve this project well. We are looking forward to the next steps in the selection process."


"We are excited about the opportunity to work collaboratively with Concord, just as we’ve done in San Francisco and elsewhere, in developing a world-class plan for the Navy property," said Kofi Bonner, president of Lennar Urban.


"We have gained a lot of experience and know-how through our work on The Shipyard, Treasure Island, Mare Island and the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Irvine," he said. "That experience will be extremely helpful as we now work through the details of a development plan with the city of Concord and the U.S. Navy.''


A third developer, Irvine-based SunCal, which is working on projects in Oakland's Oak Knolland Coliseum City, was not selected. The city is expected to select a winner in June.


The board said in a report that Catellus and Lennar had similar experience in redeveloping military bases, and SunCal had weaker experience. It also said Catellus and Lennar had stronger design, engineering and remediation teams. It also noted that Catellus and Lennar would be principal equity holders in the project, while SunCal would need outside financing.


The board said Catellus' plan, which is centered around the Concord BART station, was more consistent with the community vision for transit-oriented development. The first phase of the plan would have 4,285 housing units, Another 1.7 million square feet of commercial space would be built in phase one, with potential office, retail, hospitality and entertainment space.

Lennar's plan was also consistent with the transit-oriented plan. The Lennar plan covers a smaller area, totaling 860 acres for 5,700 housing units. It plans a solar farm on a former bunker site.


SunCal's proposal was not centered on the BART station and received lower scores, according to the report.


"Although SunCal was not selected for the Concord project, we remain very much interested in the Bay Area and will continue to seek out new development opportunities in this and other leading markets across the nation," said Joe Aguirre, a spokesman for SunCal.