Payton Perspective: Antioch Council should reject college, approve new auto dealer in the AAA building on Auto Center Drive

Payton Perspective logo 2015By Allen Payton

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Antioch City Council will consider the appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval for a medical college in the AAA building and property, at 1700 Auto Center Drive at the corner of Costco Way. The appeal is being brought by Tom Nokes, the owner of the dealerships of the Antioch Auto Center, who owns the land next to the AAA building and parking lot.

He plans to open another auto dealership using the building, parking lot and the two adjacent parcels.

The building is currently occupied by the CSAA Insurance Exchange, which will be relocating to the former Johnny Carino’s restaurant at Slatten Ranch and has put their building up for sale.

Nokes says he was in negotiations with AAA, when they told him they accepted another offer, from the college, instead.

According to the city staff report for the Council’s agenda item, #3, at their August 19, 2015 meeting, the Antioch Planning Commission approved a Use Permit on a 6-1 vote for the Contra Costa Medical Career College. But Nokes appealed the decision to the city council.

While the zoning for the property is Business Park and Planned Business Center which allows for the college, the property is on Auto Center Drive and should have a focus of auto related businesses.

More importantly, an auto dealership will produce more revenue for the City of Antioch through sales and property taxes, as well as more jobs than the college will.

The current dealerships of the Antioch Auto Center generate more sales tax for the City than any other business in town. Those funds go into the General Fund which mostly pays for police. The Antioch Auto Center also currently employs about 250 people, according to Nokes, and he estimates the new dealership would create about another 100 well-paying jobs.

It makes no sense to me to have a medical college locate in the AAA building on Auto Center Drive, instead of another auto dealership. The college can locate in one of a variety of empty retail buildings, throughout the city, such as the current CVS location across the freeway, which will soon be vacant, as the store will be relocating to its new building on Buchanan Road, near Somersville Road.

We need the City Council to do whatever it can to approve Nokes’ appeal, deny the Use Permit of the college, work with them to find a more suitable location, and allow a new auto dealership to be located in the AAA building, instead.

The Council meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday and will be held in the Council Chambers between West Second and Third Streets in downtown. To read the complete Council meeting agenda item, click here: Appeal of college by Nokes ACC101315

the attachments to this post:

Appeal of college by Nokes ACC101315
Appeal of college by Nokes ACC101315

8 Comments to “Payton Perspective: Antioch Council should reject college, approve new auto dealer in the AAA building on Auto Center Drive”

  1. Karl dietzel says:

    I agree on that issue, a new auto dealer in the old
    Aaa building/ land.
    There are plenty of empty buildings around antioch
    Suitable for a “medical college “

  2. Nancy Fernandez says:

    From the first day Mr. Duran heard about Mr. Nokes’ plans he has been against them as he is against everything else not his idea in this city. The AAA corner has been part of the development of “auto center” since the beginning and Mr. Nokes, who pays plenty of taxes to this city should have the lot.

    Be prepared for all the dealerships to move to Century Blvd in Pittsburg just around the corner. If the Nokes group decided to do that I would support them 100%

    This city council needs make the right decision and vote FOR this car lot. There are plenty of spaces on Lone Tree to give to the medical college.

  3. Garry Holman says:

    I agree that it makes more sense to add another dealership to what has already been set aside as “Auto Row.” Plenty of other locations that would be suitable for the medical college.

  4. Miguel says:

    Really??? Come on the Auto business industry bring lots of money to the city. Antioch has many more buildings that can accommodate the college. Sometimes we need to make it appealing for business that generate jobs and revenue to stay in our city before they leave. Pittsburg has a very big lot that is just around the corner open and would also suit the dealerships. Come on government do what is right to our city before is too late.

  5. Karl dietzel says:

    It’s time the city shows some “vision” for the auto
    Center drive .
    My Vision is: auto sales / repair / services

    No schools/ colleges

  6. There is a medical “college” in the shopping center off Blue Rock, near the Starbucks and I think there’s another one off Lone Tree. Put the auto dealership there – not another medical college.

    • romymouse says:

      Private property rights and compliance with zoning regulations trump wishing and hoping for more dealerships and property taxes. Mr. Nokes should be negotiating with the medical college folks instead of trying to end run their plans by appealing a planning decision. Capitalism and economics should decide who builds not special treatment by the city council.

  7. Miles Johnson says:

    The first mistake was naming it Auto Center Drive. In the age of GPS do we really need to dumb down the street names like that anyways? If that College goes there, the City is going to look pretty stupid. But, hopefully they won’t be naming other streets like that again.

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