Antioch Council approves city’s first transit oriented development project

Rendering of the approved Wildflower Station project along Hillcrest Avenue. By SDG Architects.

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13, the Antioch City Council voted 3-1 to approve the first transit oriented development (TOD) project in the city’s history. Councilman Tony Tiscareno was the lone no vote, Mayor Sean Wright recused himself because he owns his chiropractic office which is located within 300 feet of the site. Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe took over as acting mayor to run the public hearing.

Known as Wildflower Station, the 23-acre, mixed-use project by DeNova Homes is located between Hillcrest Avenue near the intersection of Davison Drive and Deer Valley Road, and Wildflower Drive, near the KFC restaurant. It will include 98 condominiums, 22 single family homes and 89,422 square feet of retail, office and dining space, as well as 576 parking spaces.

The land is vacant and has mainly been used for the placement of community event and political campaign signs.

The single-family homes will have lot sizes ranging from 3,062 to 5,691 square feet and will be approximately 2,187 to 2,303 square feet in size.

Transit oriented development refers to commercial and residential development within a quarter-mile to a half-mile of a transit stop. The project site is located just over half a mile from the new Antioch BART Station which is scheduled to open in May. It is hoped that people who live there can walk to the BART Station.

Preliminary plans for the project were first submitted in 2015. At their Jan. 17 meeting, the Planning Commission voted 4-1, with two members absent, to recommend approval of the project, according to Paul Junker, contract planner for the city who presented the staff report.

Councilman Tony Tiscareno wanted a development agreement for the project. “It is my understanding it was not negotiated.”

Junker who presented the staff report responded with, “There is not a development agreement associated with the plan.”

Only the project proponent, Trent Sanson, representing DeNova Homes spoke on the item. No one spoke in opposition.

“We’re very excited to be before you tonight. We’ve worked diligently with staff. We concur with all the recommendations,” he said, referring to it as “a world class project.”

One sticking point arose over a project labor agreement sought by Tiscareno.

He asked Sanson, “All in all the project seems to be a nice project. It constitutes in my opinion a good quality of life for the City of Antioch. But quality of life also consists of jobs, taking care of our veterans. This is something that is very passionate to me. There is no project too big or too small to take care of our citizens, our local veterans, our folks that have an opportunity to work in our city. And one of the things that assures that for me is a project labor agreement. So, I’m very adamant about that. The reason I asked why there wasn’t a development agreement is because that probably would have been where you would have had negotiations on that. That concerns me quite a bit. I have mixed emotions about this. But do I like it well enough to not have my local residents to have the opportunity to prosper in a good job, prosper on a good wage, potential education through job training. I think I expressed that to you when we met. I don’t want to eliminate a good project knowing we can still work this out. But, if not I have no alternative to not support the project. This particular project is big enough to sustain that. If you can convince me differently, try. But this is where I stand.”

Sanson responded by saying, “I do not disagree with you on…local labor, local jobs and that everyone who builds are homes can prosper and thrive. As we mentioned before, in this day and age, with pre-negotiated labor agreements, we are experiencing…because we have the trades know and the unions choose to not come to that job as the first one because they know it’s always there, we are always struggling to keep the project staffed. If they can choose to go to larger projects, then they walk off the job.”

“We always prefer to go to our local trade partners, over the unions,” he continued. “We prefer to use union labor and will pay an economic premium to do so. But we need that competitive economic sustainability…we can go to another trade partner that isn’t under that pre-negotiated labor agreement. It sounds like you have your mind made up, unfortunately. But, I’m here to tell you that we will not be signing a PLA on this project.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s a total labor thing,” Tiscareno responded. “I want to see structure…local people, local veterans, which is negotiated in a project labor agreement.”

Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock added her list of requests saying, “I would like to see 50% of the hires at least locally with veterans and local hires. That to me is big for the city.”

She also wanted the park included in the project be all-accessible for children with all abilities saying,“I don’t think we should build a project without parks that all children can go to.”

“It’s a needed project in the city,” Ogorchock concluded.

Rendering view of the project from Hillcrest Avenue at Wildflower Drive.

Councilwoman Monica Wilson said, “I really like this project. You guys were very thoughtful on this project. This is the future and this is the trend. I like the single-family housing, the multi-family housing and commercial.”

“You were very thoughtful knowing how close you are to the BART station. This is a really good project. It’s something that the city really needs.”

Thorpe, who campaigned on supporting in-fill and TOD projects was also enthusiastic about the project, expressing “the importance of smart growth. We just have to be embracing smart growth…making public transportation available to people.”

“I’m all for PLA’s. I’m pro-union and all that stuff,” he said. “But, when we look at what is being built in the city…we are creating that synergy and that excitement about wanting to come to Antioch and I don’t think we need to hit the breaks on anything. We need to keep this project moving forward. I think we need to get this done, tonight.”

“I trust you when you say that you’re going to make local hire a priority, labor a priority,” Thorpe said to Sanson. “I want to echo Councilwoman Ogorchock’s sentiments that we do prioritize the importance of the trades and the importance of local hire. I think this project overall is much more important than those issues. I think getting this done, tonight…is critically important for the growth of this city.”

Ogorchock moved approval, Wilson seconded the motion and the council voted 3-1 approving the project.

To see more about the project, view the archived video of the Council meeting at and click on 3.) Wildflower Station.

the attachments to this post:

Condos rendering

Wildflower Station view 2

Single-family renderings

Commercial rendering

Wildflower site map

Wildflower Station view 1

2 Comments to “Antioch Council approves city’s first transit oriented development project”

  1. Julio says:

    Not one thing was mentioned about traffic except to say everyone living there would use ebart. That is BS. Those surface streets, currently dead locked, will be worse. Mrs. Wilsons comments were typical nonsense and not a reason to vote yes. Actually this item should never have passed on the traffic situation alone. Where are you people? Dreamland? Not one of you should be elected or re-elected to anything.

  2. SAM says:

    Totally agree in total with this comment.

Leave a Reply