Oakland, CA – On June 28, 2023, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission awarded pilot grants to the East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA) and Contra Costa County to advance their Priority Production Areas (PPA), which are regional growth areas that have been prioritized for economic development investments and a key part of MTC Plan Bay Area’s broader effort to achieve a better jobs-housing balance across the Bay Area. The East Bay’s industrial employment lands are one of the region’s greatest strategic advantages within the greater Bay Area, offering incomparable quantity and diversity of industrial land uses and buildings compared to the rest of the region.
Led by East Bay EDA and the cities of Fremont, Oakland, San Leandro and Union City, the multi-jurisdictional project titled “Leading the Next Generation of Industrial Buildings and Districts” will implement modern, resilient building and site design standards in seven PPAs as well as provide technical assistance to cities seeking financing mechanisms to fund critical infrastructure needs in their industrial districts.
The fast-growing I-880 corridor cities of Fremont, Oakland, San Leandro, and Union City continue to drive demand for industrial repositioning and in recent years, have attracted a growing number of advanced industries seeking modern, flexible spaces to accommodate a variety of functions, including R&D, manufacturing, logistics, and more. At the same time, these PPAs are located in low-lying areas and along the Hayward Fault, making these areas vulnerable to sea-level rise and seismic activity. The project will bolster economic diversity and the continual growth of innovation industries by also working to ensure these building and infrastructure investments will be resilient and responsive to climate change.
“As demand heats up for East Bay industrial space, we see this moment as an opportunity to prepare and design for the next generation of flexible and resilient industrial buildings and districts,” said Carol Dutra-Vernaci, MTC Commissioner and Mayor of the City of Union City. “This pilot project will assist cities in evaluating and reviewing current and future development proposals, provide developers clear direction of our goals, and serve as a model for other industrial cities.”
In Contra Costa County, the “Northern Waterfront Priority Production Areas Technical Assistance Project” will identify and implement common tools for infrastructure improvements across multiple Priority Production Areas (PPAs) of the County and the Cities of Concord, Pittsburg, Antioch, and Oakley. The Multi-Jurisdiction Technical Assistance Project for the seven PPAs covered will increase opportunity in Contra Costa County by expanding employment in communities with a jobs-housing imbalance. The Northern Waterfront of Contra Costa County is home to a robust labor force and this project will expand and upgrade the infrastructure capacity to attract the industries that support economic revitalization and address the jobs-housing imbalance.
Supervisor Federal Glover, MTC Commissioner and Chair of the Northern Waterfront Ad Hoc Committee said, “We are looking forward to working with MTC-ABAG and the cities of Concord, Pittsburg, Antioch, and Oakley on developing a common set of tools and a direct path to infrastructure improvements that are so vital to advancing our economic development goals. Sixty percent of the industrial land in Contra Costa County is on the Northern Waterfront, and yet it is an older built environment with aging infrastructure. This project will leverage the multi-jurisdictional nature of the Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative to produce benefits at a regional/multi-jurisdictional scale.”
For more information about MTC-ABAG’s Priority Production Area Program, please visit the MTC website.