Concord council ponders new options for naval base

Update: Council extends agreement with Concord First Partners for CNWS development

CONCORD, CA (May 26, 2022) — This story is an update to our previous report: Concord Base reuse project could hit a wall Tuesday.

The Concord City Council denied Concord First Partner LLC’s demands for changes to their Exclusive Negotiation Agreement for the  Concord Naval Weapons Station on Tuesday. The changes would have given the CFP enforceable rights to the property before the final plan and environmental studies were approved. It also guaranteed reimbursement of certain development costs if the deal fails to cross the finish line.  In a 4-1 vote May 24, the council denied the changes but agreed to extend the time to reach a negotiated term sheet to Jan 31, 2023.

Council member Carlyn Obringer voted to deny the extension to the agreement which was set to expire the following day.

“There’s a real trust issue,” Obringer said. “I hear it from my constituents every day.” Obringer said she had no confidence the developers would not be asking for more changes down the road.

In an email to the Pioneer today, Jeb Elmore, spokesperson for CFP said they were “disappointed with the results of our proposed ENA Amendment, but very much appreciate the City’s commitment to CFP by extending our negotiations to promote continued dialogue on the project negotiations.” Elmore is vice president of acquisitions for Lewis Planned Communities, CFP managing partner.

Guy Bjerke, the city’s base reuse director concurs.  “I’m confident given more time, we can get this done,” he said just before the vote Tuesday.