Several large-scale projects in Contra Costa County could transform the suburban county into a thriving employment center with live-work-play dynamics.
The region’s biggest challenge will be actually getting to that point. Many investors and developers think the county is well on its way.
“What is wonderful about Contra Costa County is that it is unmatched quality of life if you can afford to live here in terms of work, play, live opportunity,” East Bay Leadership Council President and CEO Kristin Connelly said during Bisnow’s recent Future of Contra Costa event. “I’m a huge champion of the East Bay. We are poised to be the center of the mega-region in Northern California because of our assets.”
While more development is occurring in Contra Costa County, many cities are struggling to be attractive to employers, and many residents are still commuting elsewhere for their jobs. The East Bay Leadership Council found that 78% of Contra Costa workers commute to Western Alameda County, San Francisco or San Jose, Connelly said.
Cities like Walnut Creek and Concord are having to build more housing to meet the needs of current and new residents.
“When you’re seeing the South Bay having a 10:1 job-to-housing ratio, we’re the ones in the East Bay and the suburbs having to pick up the slack because of that,” City of Walnut Creek Mayor Justin Wedel said.
Cities are working to create better balances that can be attractive for employers seeking a live-work-play dynamic.