Bay Area leaders discuss new shoreline development


The area stretches from Hercules to Oakley along Contra Costa County's northern waterfront. It already generates millions of dollars per year for the county, but many local leaders think there's more that can be done.

The area is already part of the second most industrialized county in California behind Los Angeles but some community and business leaders envision much more for than just factories and refineries.

"It is our hope that we can bring economic development, jobs, new commercial businesses, restaurants, a variety, to brings jobs and improve not only our city, but this entire region," Antioch Mayor Wade Harper said.

Contra Costa Supervisor Federal Glover is leading the effort and bringing together the stakeholders to create a regional plan for the county's 50 miles of northern shoreline. The area runs all the way from Hercules and Pinole in the west, through Bay Point and Pittsburg, to Antioch and Oakley in the east.

"We have rail. We have water. And we have the ability to do goods movement. But the other thing is we're not leaving out the other component that's really important, and that's our recreational opportunity along the waterways," Glover said.

It's an endeavor that could prove challenging. Eastern Contra Costa County was especially hard-hit by the state's cutting of redevelopment funds as well as the foreclosure crisis and job losses. It's an area where the economy is just starting to rebound.

"What I would say is that the work that's being done now is the preliminary work, so that when things do pop, we're ready," said Sean Wright at the Antioch Chamber of Commerce.

One study shows expanded development of the northern coastline could bring as many as 5,000 new jobs to the area over the next 20 years.

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