Concord City Council Moves Forward With Seeno Group To Develop Former Naval Weapons Station

October 27, 2021 10:39 am · 41 comments

By Tony Hicks –

Over the objections of dozens of residents upset that Seeno/Discovery Builders is part of the equation, the Concord City Council unanimously decided early Wednesday morning to begin negotiations with Concord First Partners to develop the former Concord Naval Weapons Station.

“We’re going to go down the right path on this,” said Mayor Tim McGallian, after the meeting had stretched well past midnight. “And this is something that, again, it’s for all of us to make sure that we are going to honor all the commitments that are in front of us.”

The 5,046-acre site on the city’s northeast side has been the city’s biggest issue since the Navy abandoned it 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.

It 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 council voted 3-2 in August — with Carlyn Obringer and Laura Hoffmeister dissenting — to move forward with Concord First Partners, a group of companies allied for the massive project, including Seeno Companies and its housing arm Discovery Builders Inc., Lewis Group of Companies, and California Capital & Investment Group.

Using local developers with ties to local organized labor was key throughout the process. Concord selected Lennar Five Point as master developer in 2016. That agreement crumbled in March 2020 when Lennar’s initial exclusive negotiating agreement expired and its negotiations with local labor unions failed.

“This council was, by a 3-2 vote, able to fire Lennar. I know we have the backbone to fire this one if we don’t get what we want,” said Councilman Edi Birsan at Tuesday’s meeting. “And that’s what it’s all about.”

Founded in 1938, Seeno has a history of running afoul of environmental laws, having been fined millions of dollars over the years for destroying wildlife habitat while developing projects in East Contra Costa County.

Hoffmeister followed up on public comments concerning the bidding process, asking how many developers were contacted about the project.

Guy Bjerke, the city’s economic development and base reuse director, said the city did its due diligence, but the project’s massive size limited how many companies could realistically be considered.

“If we were to reverse course today, I’m not sure how many people — given what happened to Lennar and given what reversing course might mean tonight … it’s not clear to me how many people would be willing to come in and participate in a process in Concord,” Bjerke said.

Council members said they are committed to having 25 percent of the housing be for low-income residents, with another 130-200 units committed to homeless residents.

Ricardo Shilly Shally October 27, 2021 at 11:04 AM

Homeless? WTH?

DF October 27, 2021 at 11:18 AM

having homeless deadbeats living next door to people who will we working their butt’s to live in theses “affordable” units….its already a comedy show

Well Folks October 28, 2021 at 8:40 AM

Pretty much. Having the homeless “integrated” with the other residents has always been in the plan even with Lennar. And the “affordable” isn’t that affordable. $400,000+ isn’t that affordable for many. This like most things in Concord is a complete cluster F

Cellophane October 27, 2021 at 11:33 AM

Seeno is where the money comes from.

Seeno is where the money goes.

All bought and paid for.

Wrapped up in pretty paper with a little bow.

The good citizens of Concord have been sold out again by our corrupt City Council.

All of who will probably be out of office before all of the costs to tax payers becomes apparent.

Bub October 27, 2021 at 1:09 PM

Totally agree. City Council once again “Paid Off”. Should have taken this to the Citizens of Concord to decide then maybe we would have really seen where “Loyalty” lies. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been the Seeno’s. Being Seeno missed out on the first time frame to bid is why the City drug their feet until the other Group bailed out and said put all that where the sun don’t shine (and that’s to put it mildly).

MikeT October 27, 2021 at 1:24 PM

100% agree

Glen223 October 28, 2021 at 10:02 AM

The only thing Concord is looking at is more property taxes coming in… they don’t give a $hit about traffic, infrastructure, water, power or any thing else.

Prove me wrong – ANYONE!

Doh October 28, 2021 at 11:01 AM

“Seeno has a history of running afoul of environmental laws, having been fined millions of dollars over the years for destroying wildlife habitat while developing projects in East Contra Costa County.”

So why is the Concord City Council doing business with them? Where is the water these homes would need coming from? Have they considered the extra county and city resources these new home would need? Could the development be split between other reliable companies?

Ricardoh October 27, 2021 at 11:40 AM

Just what you need, 13,000 more cars on the road.

Dawg October 27, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Most families have two cars, and if their kids have a car, they might even have three or four. Traffic all over Concord will become a crawl.
Over the objections of dozens of residents, the city counsel is doing it anyway. As long as they are getting a piece of the action, they don’t give a damn about Concord’s citizens.

Concord Grape October 27, 2021 at 11:42 AM

What a joke. Many greased palms in that transaction. I can’t wait to see the quality of the 190+ homeless units, or quality in general.

Bub October 27, 2021 at 1:10 PM

I agree, WHAT QUALITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tsa October 27, 2021 at 11:57 AM

Corruptifornia politics at work…

Phil October 27, 2021 at 12:19 PM

I guess there wasn’t enough of a criminal element in Concord politics. How many charges/permit violations/etc. has this group faced, anyway? I’ve lost track. Figures Bursin would support them. He wants to move up the political chain, and can use their financial support. Edi baby: I don’t trust you.

Almost Famous October 27, 2021 at 12:45 PM

So the counsel fires Lennar because they (Lennar) can’t commit to Union labor and then the counsel awards the project to Seeno? Whats wrong with this picture?

Well Folks October 28, 2021 at 8:45 AM

And it’s not like Seeno uses union labor 100% of the time.
And let us not forget that Seeno and any/all subsidiaries are band from building anything in NV. In short Concord has been “had”

Bub October 27, 2021 at 1:13 PM

Short on participants for bid?. Ha ha ha, City Council, your a joke. Because less and less Contractors etc want to deal with your conniving ways and crookedness. .

No Excuses October 27, 2021 at 1:46 PM

From day one, I could not figure out how Lennar got the drop on Seeno. The word is: Bjerke. Who else is wriggly enough to drag out the process, keep himself making a million bucks in salary every 3-4 years, back-slappin’ the starry eyed (ooooh, I’ll get a street named after me!) City Council, while accomplishing exactly what he intended from the beginning. Another Seeno Shack Town. Bull dozing over natural hill run-off, destroying the creek nature created, Ticky Tacky boxes made from foreign components tacked and glued together and hidden behind elaborate facades, planted on radioactive dirt… What’s not to love.

No Excuses October 27, 2021 at 2:03 PM

…and… Bjerke want us to fall for the old …”but the project’s massive size limited how many companies could realistically be considered.” — It seems to me the “massive size” might limit the number of qualified builders…but should have…ZERO bearing on how many qualified companies you should “consider.” You had just One Job to do
Bjerke!

Gittyup October 27, 2021 at 2:26 PM

The operative word here is B JERK E.

Just me October 27, 2021 at 6:19 PM

Made with the least expensive, least quality building materials money can buy. The buildings will start to deteriorate very quickly. The entire project will turn into “The Projects” in ten years or less. It will blend into Shore Acres. Great job, Concord. “Where dirty money comes first.” Everyone knows Seeno houses are garbage. That family has had Pittsburg in their pocket for almost 100 years and now Concord in there too.
The entire leadership for the City, Mayor, Council, Manager, and every idiot who rules the City needs to be disappeared. They, along with Newsom, Biden, and the rest of the liberals, are turning our City, County, State, and Country to $h!t.

https://youtu.be/VUoXtddNPAM

Mutts October 27, 2021 at 2:26 PM

What’s wrong with you guys, giving this over to Seeno? He has the worst reputation ever. Do you think so little of yourselves and your own integrity , are you that greedy?

No Excuses October 27, 2021 at 6:28 PM

Yes, Mutts–they are indeed that greedy—- and $$$-blinded-$$$ to the majority wishes of the citizens who actually own that land.
The Navy would have been thrilled with a simple University, a Military Museum surrounded by a free Park. If the original Bjerke/Hoffmeister cabal had stopped with that…this process would have been a done deal 10 years ago.

Exit 12A October 27, 2021 at 2:32 PM

.
Seeno builds crappy homes and will run roughshod over the Concord City Council and city staff.
.
Concord should meet with Pittsburg staff to learn from their horrors in dealing with Seeno and Discovery Builders.
.
Concord is going to regret this decision.
.

Joshua Mikesell October 27, 2021 at 2:46 PM

am i the only one thats not against sheltering those without a home?it said nothing about sheltering deadbeat drug addicts or thieves..

Ricardoh October 27, 2021 at 3:06 PM

There is a thirty seven acre parcel by Seven Hills School and Heather Farm that if the county has it’s way will make Seven Hills School Six Hills School. They plan to flatten the hill now home to wild animals and places to hike to build a huge home for the rich aged.

Dorothy October 27, 2021 at 4:56 PM

Wonder how much it cost Seeno get the bid handed to him.

Rolaids October 27, 2021 at 4:56 PM

Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

Bob Wiley October 27, 2021 at 6:08 PM

Well it only took 15 years to widen Hwy 4 and 680 interchange. I’m sure 13,000 more homes won’t put a strain on that….

Pete V. October 27, 2021 at 7:18 PM

it’s not clear to me how many people would be willing to come in and participate in a process in Concord,” Bjerke said.

Oh NO, how AWFUL it would be to NOT develop all that open space and NOT pollute it with low income and homeless housing, not to mention 13,000 units is absurd. A few hundred houses for middle/upper class plus SMALL handful low-income would be feasible and not an overwhelming burden on surrounding infrastructure…but 13,000 is obnoxious, and ONE QUARTER will be low-income? All part of the leftist plan to destroy the suburbs by bringing the s*** they created/enabled in big cities to your suburban doorstep.

Bring back the frickin tule elk and call it a day.

TheFearless Spectator October 27, 2021 at 7:43 PM

Love it or hate it NIMBY will put a serious constraint on the salability of the other 75% of the homes. Likely, the developer will overcome this by assigning more expensive price tags to “premium lots” located furthest away from the low income and homeless lots.

As a curiosity, who pays the property tax, HOA, and insurance on the low income/homeless units?

Yep, just as I thought………

Cautiously Informed October 27, 2021 at 9:23 PM

Shoddy craftsmanship crap building materials houses built by criminally corrupt Seeno on a hazardous waste dump site, thanks to Concord city politicians who have zero community pride.

Whoe Jim October 27, 2021 at 9:24 PM

My question is, where will all the power and water come from to accommodate this additional community the Concord taxpayers are subsidizing to pay for? One strong rain storm won’t cut it. But the million dollar question is, what is the amount of kickbacks, cash and treasures given to the Concord City council members who voted to approve the bid for this weapons station project? Something tells me those figures won’t be divulged.
Well at least for a consolation prize we didn’t have to pay for a soccer stadium in downtown Concord……

Caroll House October 28, 2021 at 8:35 AM

So Concord now has a “planned ghetto” – lovely!
We don’t have enough Water or Electricity to adequately sustain the current population, but we’re going to add 52,000 more people (13,000 x Family of 4).
Good thinking! What about the over stressed sewer system, not to mention our roads that are already maxed out…..

Well Folks October 28, 2021 at 8:51 AM

Residents of Concord
Did you are least get a cigarette and thank you after this screw job?
Just Me said it best. It will be a substandard build done with the cheapest materials possible.

Well Folks October 28, 2021 at 9:01 AM

No Excuses
There will not be a “university” as neither the UC or Cal State systems have any expansion plans at this time. At best Concord will dig up a crappy degree mill ala DeVry, of something like the former Trump University (which had ZERO accreditation) where they take the money and run and in the end the students have a worthless piece of paper.

So all the Concord leader and residents need to get over the “University” scenario and build an elementary and Jr high schools at the site and leave room for a high school if need be in the futures. Current schools will not be able to handle all the kids when this thing is finished if it’s ever finished

ConcordMike October 28, 2021 at 9:22 AM

Am I mistaken, but didn’t a city attorney die (supposed suicide without witnesses) over all this CNWS? Was he in the way of Seeno?

No Excuses October 28, 2021 at 2:43 PM

Concord, and Central County residents are still being “soaked” (pun intended) by CCWD for the “temporary water rate increase” needed to pump adequate water for the extensive build out and development of East County over the last 40 years! When they had wall to wall (eye-roll) houses, they soaked current Central County again to build a new dam…! Seeing the EBMUD is suing the county for approving 125 houses in Tassahara Valley, ‘because they do not have enough water to supply the 30 acres addition,’ it’s hard to think what the next “temporary increase” will cost current residents.
I have fond memories of my lush lawns and 5 showers or baths per day in my little Concord home, and water bill never went over $15.per mo. Now it costs over $20.per mo just to have water run past my house, AND for ‘my share’ of the elected CCWD Board’s outrageous salaries! Minimum bill every two months: $42. — even when no one is home, and not a drop of water is used! … One person living brown lawn, parched, and thirsty here — paying double-double what I used to.
The current Concord City Council has a solution for the water shortage we are enduring…and what we face in the future, I’m sure. Please. Convince me!
~~~ and you remember correctly ConcordMike.

No Excuses October 28, 2021 at 2:57 PM

AND… maybe we should discuss what Concord homeowners are now charged on property taxes for “Sewer Service” … vs… what it was! ($306 in 2010 ~~~$674 in 2021) I know my household uses less than 1/6 the sewer service it did just 10 years ago…but is paying more than double …!
Sewer service and sewage treatment for 40,000 new residents in 13000 new houses on 2500 green acres, and etc etc etc … who will have to pay for the new Sewage Treatment Facilities? I can’t find anything about the developer having to provide a separate Sewage Treatment Facility on the CNWS Plans.

jose October 29, 2021 at 4:35 AM

Gotta pay for the huge retirements the retired waste water workers get. They are one of the groups that are allowed to ‘spike’ their retirements so they may much more retired than they did working…..that is one of the things that is trashing this state into the condition it is in.

THE BLACK KNIGHT October 29, 2021 at 1:17 AM

Most of Concord’s residents have been against these projects and wanted the CNWS and USCG properties declared open space, but every incarnation of the Concord City Council over the last 15 years has told us that we hiave to build, they obviously haven’t been representing us.

At least a decade ago the CCWD told the Concord City Council that they would have more than enough water for the planned housing and commercial developments of the CNWS, USCG, and North Concord/Martinez BART Station properties. The development of these projects are also supposed to include a recycling system for the use of grey water.

The Concord City Council believes the required installation of solar panels on all new construction on these 3 properties will provide enough electricity for all necessary uses on these propertied.

The Concord City Council has admitted that “traffic and parking will be a problem and existing residents will just have to deal with it!!!” Concord Mayor Tim McGallian and Concord Councilmember Edi Birsan have repeatedly said they believe “self-driving cars” and “smart traffic signals” will be the answer to the coming traffic and parking problems. Councilmember Laura Hoffmeister has repeatedly said “self-flying human carrying drones” to ferry individuals around town will be the answer to the coming traffic and parking problems.

Don’t forget the Concord City Council has plans to house 22,000 people in downtown Concord apartment buildings. The Concord City Council is intent on making Concord a city of 200,000 in population as quickly as possible!

There has been some discussion of increased property taxes for existing homeowners if it has been deemed that existing property owners “have benefitted” from whatever is built on these 3 properties.

The Concord City Council has yet to tell Concord residents how they will benefit from these projects, other than saying “your children will have a place to live” and Councilmember Edi Birsan promising “these projects will increase your property values,” despite being the opposite of the law of supply & demand. He often uses a Seeno infill project off of Olive Drive as an example of increased property values due to new construction and how neighboring residents were against the infill project being built, but how happy they all are now because existing property values have increased due to the new construction.

It’s not just Councilmember Edi Birsan that wants to use Concord as a stepping stone to higher office with his candidacy for a seat on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor, but Councilmember Laura Hoffmeister ran in 2018 “wanting to see through the development of the CNWS property because I’ve been on the council from the beginning of the planning process” and yet at the first opportunity she sought appointment to the Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder position, Mayor Tim McGallian has grandiose desires and plans for higher office as a career politician, while Vice Mayor Dominic Aliano and Councilmember Carlyn Obringer also have plans and desires for higher office.

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