Overview of the Reuse Project

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

Located in the City of Concord, CA and part of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Concord Naval Weapons Station (CNWS) was created by the Navy in the 1940s during World War II. The Inland Area of the base was deactivated in 1997 and declared surplus property by the Navy in 2007. Closure of the 5,028 acre Inland Area spurred the City and community to envision a new future for the former weapons station.

The reuse of the Inland Area of the CNWS represents a significant opportunity for Concord and for the region to grow and provide long-lasting benefits. The City led an open and transparent planning process with the local and regional community from 2006-2012, culminating in the Concord Reuse Project Area Plan, which will result in a world class, transit-oriented project.

Starting with the Concord Community Reuse Plan, and succeeded by the Area Plan, the City envisioned a future for the Inland Area that would improve the quality of life for residents of Concord and the region through creation of new jobs, construction of a variety of housing types, significant open space, preservation of natural resources, active parks, pedestrian and bike trails, and community facilities. The Reuse Plan and Area Plan represent a balanced approach to development that is economically feasible, environmentally sensitive, and sustainable. The Reuse Plan established the vision, goals, and preferred development concept for the Inland Area. The Area Plan then refined and translated the Reuse Plan into a regulatory document suitable for incorporation into the City's General Plan. The City is now working on implementing the Area Plan.

Concord Naval Weapons Station Profile

Site Description

The 12,800-acre Concord Naval Weapons Station was divided into two separate parts: the Tidal Area and the Inland Area.
  • Army Deep Water Port in Tidal Area: The Tidal Area of approximately 7,630 acres to the north borders Suisun Bay and includes a deep water port. Responsibility for port operations was transferred from the Navy to the Army in 1999. An additional 115 acres in the Inland Area was transferred to the Army in 2007.  The Army property is referred to as Military Ocean Terminal Concord (MOTCO) and is not part of the Concord Community Reuse Project.  MOTCO continues to be operated as an active Army installation.
  • Inland Area: The Inland Area was a weapons storage and maintenance facility, established following the Port Chicago disaster in 1944. It is located entirely within the limits of the City of Concord. The Inland Area was approved for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in November 2005 and surplussed by the Navy in March 2007. Munitions are no longer stored on the site. This area is the focus of the Concord Reuse Project Area Plan.
For more about the history of the CNWS site, visit our history page.
Map of the Tidal and Inland Areas

Reuse of the Property and Ownership

The Department of Defense selected the Concord City Council to act as the Local Reuse Authority (LRA) for the Concord Naval Weapons Station in 2006. The City Council, acting as the LRA, prepared the Concord Community Reuse Project Reuse Plan and Area Plan and amended its General Plan to be consistent with the Area Plan in 2012.

There are three conveyances agreed to under the Area Plan.  Two Public Benefit Conveyances - 2,600 acres is being transferred to the National Park Service who in turn will convey the property to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD); 78 acres is expected to transfer to Contra Costa County (Sherriff's Dept./Contra Costa County Fire District).  The City is negotiating the terms of an Economic Development Conveyance with the Navy for approximately 2,350 acres to be developed consistent with the Area Plan.

As of April 2021, the Navy has transferred about 2,300 acres to the National Park Service which has given constructive possession of that property to the East Bay Regional Park District (July 2019).  The Navy continues to own the balance of the property. Initial land transfer to the City and/or the County is anticipated in the 2023/24 timeframe.

The Planning Process

In 2006, the Concord City Council, acting as the Local Reuse Authority (LRA), launched a multi-year process to prepare a Reuse Plan for the property. The City committed to an open, transparent and inclusive planning process that involved all members of the community. Residents of Concord, business leaders and representatives from a wide range of community-based organizations play an important role in determining the future civilian reuse of the property.

Phase I – Initial Public Outreach (2006)

In 2006, the City Council spent the year conducting a massive public outreach campaign. The community responded with hundreds of comment cards, emails, and letters. Information was distributed and verbal comments were heard at a May Ideas Fair and City Council working sessions on June 10, June 20, July 11 and August 1. Additional information was obtained through a community-wide telephone survey, stakeholder interviews, focus groups, Council drop-in sessions, and an information booth at public events. A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was formed as an advisory body to provide input and encourage public participation during the development of the Reuse Plan. The CAC was ultimately disbanded in 2009 after recommending a final alternative.  Learn more about the Community Participation process: Realizing the Vision: Community Participation.
Planning Process Figure
Public Outreach Photo
Goals & Guiding Principles
The project's Goals and Guiding Principles, compiled from the input received through the public outreach process, were approved by the City Council in August 2006. The goals and principles serve as the foundation for the CRP Area Plan.

Phase II - Preparing the Reuse Plan (2007-2008)

Phase II of the project was completed in three stages. Stage one included preparation of a site inventory, analysis and assessment by the Project Team. In stage two, alternatives development and evaluation were completed. In stage three, the Reuse Plan was completed along with a strategic framework for moving forward.

Phase III – Detailed Reuse Plan (2009-2010)

In Phase III, the City Council prepared, finalized and adopted the Detailed Reuse Plan and community facilities plan. Phase III included infrastructure planning, designating land uses, and developing an implementation strategy. At the completion of Phase III, the LRA forwarded the Reuse Plan and Homeless Accommodation Plan to the U.S. Navy and the Department of Housing Urban Development (HUD) for review per Federal regulations. See the Reuse Plan section for more information on the Reuse Plan process. 

Phase IV - Concord Community Reuse Project Area Plan (2011-2012)

The Reuse Plan is a Federal document without regulatory authority under California land use law, so the City needed to amend its General Plan to reflect the vision of the community. The City prepared and adopted a detailed Area Plan setting policies and standards for land use, transportation, environmental protection, labor agreements, affordable housing, and public safety. It includes a land use diagram that is based upon the Reuse Plan diagram but slightly simpler.

The Area Plan consists of three books. The diagram depicts different land use "districts," which represent different development intensities, community characters, and mixes of land use. Area Plan Book One explains different elements of the diagram and district types.

Area Plan Diagram

Area Plan Diagram

Area Plan Book 1

Area Plan Book 1

Area Plan Book 2

Area Plan Book 2

Area Plan Book 3

Area Plan Book 3

Phase V - Master Developer Selection and Preparation of Land Transfer (2013-2016)

In Phase V, through a competitive process, the City selected Lennar Concord LLC (Lennar) as the Master Developer for Phase One Development, an area of approximately 500 acres.  The outline of an agreement between Lennar and the City was spelled out in a Term Sheet. After completing the selection process, the City and Lennar began discussions with the Navy to prepare for the transfer of ownership of the CNWS to the City. Negotiation, oversight, and resource permitting activities continued as remediation and disposal planning proceeded.

At the end of 2016, Concord City Council selected community members to serve on a newly-formed CNWS Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The purpose of this committee is modeled after the original CAC formed under Phases I and II of the project: to serve as an advisory body to provide input and encourage public participation during the development of a Specific Plan.

Phase VI - Lennar Specific Plan Preparation (2017-2020)

In 2017-2018 Lennar and the City held numerous community workshops, neighborhood meetings and monthly CAC meetings to provide input into the drafting of the Specific Plan.  On August 22, 2018 the City Council reviewed a proposed land use diagram for use in drafting the Specific Plan.  The diagram was based on the Area Plan but incorporated community comments, input from city staff, CAC, Planning Commission, and City Council; as well as results from an assessment of market feasibility.  While the City Council directed Lennar to move forward with preparing an Administrative Draft Specific Plan based on the diagram - the diagram has not been approved by the City.

Lennar was in the middle of preparing the Administrative Draft Specific Plan in 2019 when a disagreement about the amount of union labor required to be used in constructing the project was unable to be resolved.  After City Council consideration, the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Lennar was allowed to expire on March 31, 2020.

Phase VII - New Master Developer Selection (2021)

The City issued a Request for Qualifications to the development community seeking a new Master Developer or Master Developer team on April 15, 2021.  Statements of Qualifications are due back to the City by June 18, 2021 and City Council interviews of respondents are planned for August 2021.  A Master Developer or team may be selected in August with subsequent discussions and decisions by the City Council regarding an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement and Term Sheet.

Future Phases - Property Conveyance and Site Development (2021-Future)

The following key milestones must be reached before development can begin on the former CNWS:
  • Property Conveyance from the Navy to the City. For the property to be transferred from the Navy to the City, the Navy has completed an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and made a "Finding of Suitability for Transfer" (FOST) determination for the First Transfer of approximately 1,200 acres.  The final step is for the Navy and City to come to agreement on the terms of the property transfer in the Economic Development Conveyance Agreement.
  • Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA). The City and new Master Developer must agree to a DDA which will codify the terms outlined in the Term Sheet agreed to by the City Council in Phase VII when the new Master Developer is selected.
  • Specific Plan and Infrastructure Master Plan. The new Master Developer will prepare a Specific Plan, including an Infrastructure Master Plan, to guide the development of the City's 2,300 acres. Building on the Area Plan, the Specific Plan will provide more detailed guidance on site development.  The City will analyze the Specific Plan's environmental impacts through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process. The Specific Plan will also include an Infrastructure Master Plan, which will ensure that infrastructure is designed to meet sitewide needs at full buildout.
  • Permitting. Progress toward receiving a variety of permits required for site development continues, including Environmental Permitting, National Historic Preservation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Federal Clean Water Act (Section 404).
Once these major activities are complete, site development can begin. Development is anticipated to begin in 2024 or 2025.
In a separate but related planning process, the EBRPD has adopted their land use plan for the regional park to be located east of Mount Diablo Creek.  The land use plan for the Concord Hill Regional Park can be found on the EBRPD website.

Page Updated: April 15, 2021