CA: Hercules Council to Consider Waterfront Land Deals, Development Agreements

Feb. 28--The Hercules City Council will consider a set of land deals and development agreements Tuesday designed to jump-start the long-stalled development of the waterfront into a mixed-use transit village anchored by a combination train station, ferry terminal and bus transfer area.

The deals, between the city and developer Hercules Bayfront LLC, include long-term development agreements for up to nearly 1,400 residential units, offices, shops and flex space and purchases of land by the city for its adjacent intermodal transit center.

The two projects are separate but symbiotic — the city-sponsored transit center, to be financed mostly by state, federal and other public funds; and the private, Hercules Bayfront transit village, to be developed by a group that includes the landowning Pankey family and developer AndersonPacific LLC.

The development agreements would largely reaffirm and update entitlements for the transit village that the developer acquired by virtue of a 2008 waterfront initiative originally floated as a ballot measure but ultimately adopted by the City Council as an ordinance amid public support, obviating the need for a referendum.

The Bayfront development would occupy about 42 acres.

The land deals before the council on Tuesday call for:

--Purchase of right-of-way by the city for the train station and related infrastructure. There are two components: 1.33 acres for the train station for $1,865,300 cash and 11.7 acres of road and creek right of way to be paid by $524,520 of credits of future development impact fees.

--Purchase of about 50.55 acres on the water side of the existing Union Pacific Railroad tracks. It includes 39.6 acres underwater for $296,933 cash, and the 10.96-acre Hercules Point peninsula for $493,200 in credits of future development impact fees.

The total of the purchases would be almost $3.2 million: $2,162,233 cash and $1,017,720 in fee credits.

One of the development agreements incorporates the two parties' rights and obligations, including financial terms, many of which are flexible in terms of timing and method of payment because of the city's precarious financial position and the uncertainty of when the city can raise cash for land purchases.

The deal also calls for the city to reimburse $2.375 million of Hercules Bayfront's predevelopment expenses, on the rationale that some of the expenses were incurred by Bayfront to accommodate the city's transit center. Much of the repayment will be in the form of developer impact fee credits.

On Thursday, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority will consider Hercules' request for more than $4 million in Measure J appropriations, for right-of-way acquisition for the train station and construction work, including extension of John Muir Parkway.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760.

Copyright 2012 - The Oakland Tribune, Calif.