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ALAMEDA, CA-Catellus Development Corp. and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County have negotiated project labor agreements for three construction projects in Alameda and Fremont, which total approximately $2 billion.

The deal covers two projects to be constructed on a 180-acre site, which formerly housed Alameda Naval Air Station Fleet Industrial Supply Center and the 840-acre Pacific Commons business park in Fremont.

According to Catellus Senior Vice President Dan Marcus, the use of PLAs–negotiated pre-hire agreements designed to improve safety, protect job stability and increase productivity on construction projects–provides greater access to a pool of highly trained workers. This is important in completing projects on time and on budget.

They are also controversial. Critics would argue PLAs add costs and are unfair to non-union workers. Proponents argue that they ensure projects are built by skilled workers and come in on time and on budget.

The three Catellus projects involved in the agreement will create about 3,500 union construction jobs every year for a decade. The first Naval Air Station project occupies half of the aforementioned 180-acre site and is slated for residential use, including 485 single-family residences and 99 affordable multifamily units. The remaining half of the project site is planned for 1.3 million sf of commercial office, research and development space.

Pacific Commons in Fremont, slated to be the largest business park bordering the San Francisco Bay, is the third project to be built with a PLA. This business park will also consist of 8.3 million sf of office, research, development and retail space to be built on 450 acres. Construction of all three projects is estimated to take place over the next decade.

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