This past year, the City of Brentwood engaged ULI to convene a Technical Assistance Panel to evaluate and provide recommendations for implementation of the Priority Area 1 (PA-1) Specific Plan area, which is approximately 430 acres and the potential site of a future eBART station. Brentwood envisions PA-1 emerging as one of the city’s primary future employment centers, offering individuals and businesses access and opportunities to create high-quality jobs across a diverse array of industries. The establishment of the employment center will assist the city in achieving its goal of a healthy jobs-to-housing balance, reducing commute times for residents, and establishing new opportunities for economic growth and employment within the city. In addition, the city foresees PA-1’s development as a vibrant, compact, mixed-use district, focused around a transit station that will provide links to other eastern Contra Costa County communities and the wider Bay Area region beyond. With this in mind, the TAP panel was asked to focused on the following questions provided by the City:
Draft a mission statement for Priority Area One (PA-1) based on the Specific Plan and insight from the city and stakeholder interviews. What balance of land uses is needed to create a complete community with an emphasis on job creation and what kinds of regulatory requirements are needed to give the flexibility to achieve this mission?
The City intends to construct backbone infrastructure to serve the site. Are there detailed design considerations and innovative concepts that we should pay attention to in developing the infrastructure and guiding the design of the layout and buildings?
What incentives are needed to spur this development and what is the most effective form they would take? Are value-capture techniques or infrastructure financing mechanisms likely to be effective and appropriate here?
How should the city engage the current property owners and stakeholders to become partners in this process?
Drawing from our seasoned professional membership base, ULI SF composed a panel of professionals from a wide variety of disciplines reflecting diverse perspectives, including market analysis, land use and design, architecture, finance and development strategies, governance and policy and real estate development. TAP Panelists included:
After several months of preparation and a two-day onsite workshop consisting of walking tours, stakeholder interviews, and panel deliberations, the Technical Assistance Panel proposed the following draft mission statement for consideration:
The mission of PA-1 is to enhance and incentivize good-quality local job opportunities while creating a complete community and serving as the premier gateway to Brentwood.
In addition to the mission statement, the panel made the following recommendations to address the city’s questions:
Focus early efforts on placemaking, intermodal connectivity, East Contra Costa BART (eBart) funding and design prioritization, and “rightsizing” infrastructure around the realities of the market and financing mechanisms.
Balance uses throughout the site plan, remaining flexible to phasing, performance-based metrics, and multiple nodes of amenities and activity.
Connect and unify by infusing local heritage and agricultural uses into public space and commercial/ residential opportunities to create an authentic sense of place that speaks to local residents and the whole region.
The full report provides details and suggested implementation strategies for each recommendation. These range from placemaking alternatives to focused infrastructure financing mechanisms. The purpose of both the recommendations and suggested implementation strategies is to provide the city and stakeholders very specific steps they may take to realize the potential for PA-1.
Read the full Brentwood TAP Report to learn more about Brentwood, the TAP methodology, and final recommendations.