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CONCORD, CA-The City of Concord recently rounded out its ownership of a thumb-shaped Downtown block, acquiring six parcels from affiliates of DeNova Homes. The City paid the residential developer $4.8 million for a total of 2.3 acres covered in part by a vacant car dealership, a 10,600-square-foot single-story office building and a Masonic temple.

The properties comprise the majority of the block surrounded by Concord Boulevard, Galindo Street and Clayton Road. It is bordered on the north and south by newer high-end apartment complexes, including Renaissance by Signature properties, which replaced another car dealership and was heralded as key to the city’s effort to revitalize its central core. One block away is the city’s Bay Area Rapid Transit station.

DeNova had planned an apartment development for the property but ultimately canceled its plans and began marketing the property for sale. The plans were reportedly abandoned after project delays caused by litigation over the proposed demolition of the temple and, more recently, the economic recession.

The City’s director of planning and economic development Jim Forsberg tells GlobeSt.com that properties were acquired over time by DeNova. John Montagh, the City’s housing and redevelopment tells GlobeSt.com the city did the same for the remainder of the block save for one parcel at the west end that remains privately owned.

“DeNova was looking to sell it off in pieces,” Forsberg says. “We decided that in the long term it could become a major development so we decided to buy and hold, potentially for years, until the market comes back.”

What eventually will be built also remains up in the air, Montagh says. “It’s a key site in our downtown due to its proximity to [Bay Area Rapid Transit] and the Downtown core,” Montagh says. “These sites provide opportunity in the future for a catalyst development.”

The office building, at 1899 Clayton Rd., is in part occupied by the Dept. of Veteran Affairs, according to a search of the Internet. The car dealership, at 1795 Galindo St., is a long, skinny parcel that runs along Concord Boulevard from Galindo Street to Clayton Road.

DeNova had the office property on the market for six months according to Eric Erickson, Trigger Reital and Edward Del Beccaro of Colliers International, who reportedly had the disposition assignment for that property. Erickson was not available Tuesday for comment.

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