The council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, agreed Aug. 6 to pay the costs during discussion with the developer, Olson Urban Housing. A staff analysis found that "the work is necessary to the successful redevelopment of the property."
It is another example of the city putting up money to redevelop the Old Town area. In this case, however, the city won't be expecting any sales tax revenues coming from the development, which will be entirely residential.
Not that Olson is getting a free ride. The firm did agree to buy the development site from the city for $1.8 million and half of any net profits.
The development will include 20 moderate-income houses, something the city is required to provide by a state mandate. In addition, the new houses will help eliminate the blight caused by dilapidated buildings, inadequate lighting and ventilation and improper sanitary conditions, among others. City officials also agreed to pay up to $300,000 for road and utility work in the area.
Olson will build a new park to replace the existing Marina Park.
Sometimes the city doesn't use money, but provides land to encourage development or to retain major revenue producers. Such a practice occurred at the Aug. 6 meeting, when the council, again acting as the Redevelopment Agency, approved conveying 7.5 acres at 1301 Standard Oil Ave. to Antioch Building Materials (ABM).
The property, east of Loveridge Road and north of the Pittsburg-Antioch Highway, is currently is not being used by the city. Except for a small bridge and a dirt road, the site is almost inaccessible. It once served as a sewage plant for Camp Stoneman and more recently was used to park towed cars.
But the big reason the property is changing hands is that ABM, one of Pittsburg's largest non-automotive sales tax producers, must relocate from its current location before the end of the year. If it can't find suitable space in Pittsburg, it might move to another city, taking those coveted tax dollars with it.
A staff report notes that it probably would cost the city more than the property's $700,000 appraised value to clean it up in order to meet environmental standards. The report also noted, however, that the property cleanup will be revisited soon when the agency is presented a request by ABM for $900,000 for site cleanup.
Meanwhile a towing company the city says has used the land for a parking lot rent-free is getting the boot. City Manager Marc Grisham said the firm was given a 30-day notice to vacate.