Breaking ground on East Bay light industrial park

OAKLEY — A Midwest developer broke ground Tuesday on a multi-million-dollar, light industrial business park that could bring thousands of jobs to the region.

The Oakley Logistics Center, a 2‐million‐square‐foot project from Kansas City‐based NorthPoint Development, will be located at the former DuPont plant site on Bridgehead Road in northwest Oakley. The former chemical plant was shuttered in 1998 after 32 years of operations, employing some 600 workers at its peak.

NorthPoint Development expects to generate 725 construction jobs, 1,890 direct jobs and 490 indirect jobs for services to the site at build-out some three to four years after opening, according to company strategist Jed Momot.

Mayor Kevin Romick said the site has long been tapped for a business or light industrial park that could help to address “the critical job, housing imbalance” in the area.

“We are a community blessed with the amenities of living on the Delta, vineyards scattered across our landscape and a bountiful supply of housing but we exist in a job desert,” he said. “Today we broke ground on an oasis. This also represents a significant step forward for the city.”

Romick said though the city has long supported development at the retired DuPont site, it was privately owned and a lengthy environmental remediation process had to be completed first to remove any toxic manufacturing byproducts. Over the years various attempts were made to sell the property — ranging from a power plant to a sports-based theme park, but all failed, he said.

In 2015, the plant was transferred to the Chemours Company, which took “a more aggressive path” to guide it through the remediation process and find a new use for the site, Romick said.

Grant Cape of the Department of Toxic Substance Control called the project “a shiny example of what we want to do throughout the state of California.”

“We essentially take contaminated properties and we want to make them drivers for jobs, homes and revitalized communities and to reintegrate communities. You have a really successful project here that accomplishes that goal.”

Oakley resident and Contra Costa Supervisor Diane Burgis also stressed the potential of the area.

“This is great for all of us, and that’s the point,” Burgis said. “We are working together to create jobs here in East Contra Costa. If you look at regional maps, it always puts us at the edge, but I love that the developer here is saying this isn’t the edge, we are in the middle of the Northern California megaregion and there are all kinds of opportunities.”

The 375-acre proposed development sits just south of Lauritzen Marina along the San Joaquin River, north of Main Street and east of Bridgehead Road. Under the plans, about 144 acres will be developed, with the rest, about 232 acres, being allotted for wetlands and recreational uses.

The developer, which specializes in brownfield developments, plans to develop the property in several phases with the first of five planned buildings already leased to a yet-unnamed business. The second building would be built speculatively and the next three would be constructed depending upon market conditions, Momot said.

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