City Considers Seizure as Holdout Landowner Prevents Redevelopment

<p>One holdout landowner is preventing the redevelopment of Pittsburg, California's waterfront, but the city is pushing for eminent domain.</p>
February 11, 2008, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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"A private landowner is taking the city to task over its efforts to acquire a key piece of waterfront property for redevelopment."

"Pittsburg's City Council this week approved starting the process of acquiring 2.7 acres owned by Marine Express Inc. in an area city officials have called blighted. Gaining the land would give the city assurance that it has buy-in from all three property owners inside an approximately 10-acre area west of Harbor Street it wants to see redeveloped, even if no concrete plan has emerged."

"Pittsburg for about a year and a half has held the leases on land to which Renova's proposal could apply -- and more waterfront land east of Harbor Street, owned by Tesoro and Isle Capital Corp., which leases to Koch Carbon LLC -- because of legislation Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed that transferred the leases to the city from the State Lands Commission."

"Without the Marine Express property, 'we have a gaping hole in the development of the waterfront,' said Brad Nail, Pittsburg's economic development director."

"The owner of that land -- formerly owned by California Portland Cement Co. -- has been the only waterfront property owner not interested in working with the city to redevelop about 33 acres near or along the shoreline."

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Published on Friday, February 8, 2008 in The Contra Costa Times
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