CONCORD (CBS SF) — The Concord City Council is set to decide Tuesday night whether to continue evaluating a proposal from a Walnut Creek developer calling for an 18,000-seat soccer stadium, a convention center, a hotel and other amenities on a long-vacant parcel downtown near the Concord BART station.
The council is set to decide Tuesday whether to sign an “initial exclusive negotiating agreement” with Hall Equities Group LLC for that firm’s proposed on mixed-use soccer-specific stadium, hotels, a convention center, apartments and retail/commercial space.
This agreement would open the way for formal studies of the project’s feasibility (including market studies) and projected fiscal impacts of the project.
The project could cost $750 million and might require significant financial help from the city.
Hall Equities Group is headed up by Mark Hall. Hall is also CEO of Hall Sports Ventures, acquired the rights for a United Soccer League (USL) Division 2 franchise for the Oakland East Bay area.
Hall said the project would occupy land now owned by the city (once owned by the city’s now-dissolved Redevelopment Agency) as well as some BART-owned property around the downtown Concord station.
In May, Hall said the Sacramento USL franchise routinely sells out the 11,500 seats at its Cal Expo stadium. He also said soccer’s popularity in central Contra Costa County is growing, and that he expects the team would be a regional draw.
The City Council took its first action related to Hall’s stadium proposal last May, when the council voted 3-2 to and agreed to pursue “advanced exploration” of Hall’s stadium/hotel/retail plan, with no assurances beyond that.
In May, council members Laura Hoffmeister and Tim McGallian voted against proceeding with Hall’s proposal. McGallian cited concerns about downtown traffic problems and whether funding it would require sale of the city’s Concord Pavilion performance venue. Hoffmeister said she was concerned about whether the city’s infrastructure could handle the stadium and the rest of the proposed project.
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