CONCORD — A 59-acre U.S. Coast Guard parcel the city once hoped to buy and develop will instead go on the auction block next week for a starting price of $15 million.
The property, about a mile from the North Concord BART station, was transferred from the U.S. Navy to the Coast Guard in 2007 and had been used to house military personnel, although the buildings are not up to code.
The site’s two developments, Victory Village and Quinault Village — named after the S.S. Quinault Victory ship, which exploded in the deadly Port Chicago Naval Magazine disaster during World War II — include 40 duplex buildings built in the 1960s and 42 apartment-style buildings built in 1989.
Concord city leaders had planned to buy the property, which is adjacent to the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, and raze it to put up a mixed-use housing development. The last iterations of that plan envisioned 800 units and the city tapped DeNova Homes to potentially build a mixed-use residential project with 25% of the units marked for affordable housing.
After some negotiating, the Coast Guard last December denied the purchase offer the city and DeNova Homes made and subsequently decided to go the auction route, said Guy Bjerke, the city’s director of community reuse planning.
The General Services Administration serves as a real-estate agent for the Coast Guard.
“We are disposing of this property to reduce the federal footprint, create valuable savings for the government, and help stimulate economic development opportunities in the East Bay,” GSA Regional Administrator Tom Scott said in a written statement.
The public sale will begin at 11 a.m. on Oct. 15 in an online format via RealEstateSales.gov. Each bidder will have to pay $500,000 to submit a bid, and the minimum for the Concord site — which the GSA calls “Concord Villages” — begins at $15 million.
While the sale to bidders instead of to the city gives it less control over what will be constructed, any developer will have to go through the city for entitlements to build. Bjerke said some of the developers who have inquired with city staff have indicated they might partially rehabilitate the existing housing structures.
And while separate from the larger naval weapons station redevelopment project, their proximity means there will have to be some connecting infrastructure, such as streets.
The Coast Guard property’s development could move forward much faster than the naval weapons project, which stalled earlier this year, almost four years after the city selected Lennar to develop the first phase. The City Council pulled the plug on its partnership with the developer.
Bjerke said the official search for a new developer will likely start early next year and he hopes the City Council can choose a one by the end of next summer.