Blanca Torres, San Francisco Business Times
The City of Pittsburg is considering an ambitious development plan for land surrounding its BART station that officials expect to adopt in August.
The plan encompasses a 50-acre site, including the BART station and vacant lands adjacent to the station, and calls for up to 1,200 residential units, 130,000 square feet of commercial space including 30,000 for retail, and 2,300 parking spaces in two garages.
City and BART officials have been working on developing the master plan for the site for three years thanks to a planning grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. An environmental impact report is under review through Aug. 1, after which the City Council expects to approve the plan.
“With the (environmental review) out the way, the progress of the project will happen as fast as the development community can go,” said Loreli Cappel, who worked on the proposal with PMC, a municipal services firm specializing in environmental and urban planning.
Once the plan is adopted, BART will select a master developer for the project. So far, West Coast Homebuilders has signed on to develop a portion of the residential units.
The project calls for $56.9 million infrastructure improvements, including new streets, a kiss-and-ride, sanitary sewers, two parking garages and a park.
Pittsburg, a city in eastern Contra Costa County, is home to the end of one of three East Bay BART lines. The station already draws hundreds of motorists from eastern Contra Costa and the San Joaquin Valley who park there and commute west. The goals of the project include increasing BART ridership, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating more services near transit and improving pedestrian and bike access.
BART has several other transit-oriented development projects in the works in the East Bay: at both Dublin stations, Union City, Walnut Creek, San Leandro and MacArthur in Oakland.
“The scale of the projects can be rewarding,” said Cynthia Parker, president and CEO of Bridge Housing, a nonprofit developer that is the master developer of the MacArthur project and is also part of the San Leandro team. “We certainly plan to do other TOD projects with these agencies, but they take a very long time.”