Concord, CA

Three developers apply to turn Concord Naval Weapons Station into housing development

Built in the Bay

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By Ian Firstenberg

(CONCORD, Calif.) Three major developers have applied to convert the former Concord Naval Station Site into one of the East Bay's largest mixed-use projects ever.

Concord-based Seeno Companies, with added help from Discovery Builders Inc., Lewis Group of Companies and California Capital Investment Group were one of the applicants. The other two, Irvine-based City Ventures and multi-national Brookfield Development, also submitted their applications to the city Friday, according to The East Bay Times.

The site, which has been embroiled in development controversy for years, appears to finally be poised for redevelopment and Concord officials are done waiting.

"In two-and-a-half years, I want to see dirt moving," Councilmember Edi Birsan said in an email to The Times.

According to the applications submitted by the development groups, they intend to take the 2,300-acre weapons station and convert it to 13,000 housing units and millions of square feet of office space. At one point, the redevelopment was estimated to cost $6 billion.

Next month, city officials will release summaries' of the three groups' proposals and in August, the City Council will interview at least one but possibly all three of the candidates depending on how the early screening process goes.

In March 2020, former development company Lennar walked away from the site after working with the city for almost four years over a reported dispute with the city regarding labor.

City officials initially stepped in to clarify development guidelines between the builder and labor negotiators but the deal eventually fell apart when Lennar and the Contra Costa Building and Constructions Trades Council reached an impasse.

Lennar wanted to negotiate with just one union rather than the Trades Council and the Concord City Council eventually ruled that the developer and the union representatives needed to work it out amongst themselves. The deal eventually faded out with both the city and the Lennar walking away.

In August 2020, one of the three development groups, Seeno Companies, sued the East Bay Park District over an environmental impact survey related to the development of the site.

In late 2016, Albert Seeno III, whose father headed the development company and whose grandfather initially founded the real-estate empire in the early 20th century, was ordered to pay $11 million for a "builder bailout" scam. Seeno III claimed he had no knowledge of the scam, but that was later disproven by longtime employees who indicated that both Seeno Jr and Seeno III personally directed employees to continue with the mortgage fraud scheme.

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