Once at , Union City’s vision for a sustainable community near the BART station is another step closer to becoming a reality.
Earlier this month, the City of Union City and the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency received approval from BART to initiate Phase 2 of the city’s .
This week, city officials will sign a cooperative agreement among the three entities to begin construction planning.
With BART’s approval, the city will now be able to renovate the existing station, adding an eastern entrance point and a pedestrian pass-through to allow direct access to BART for residents in the new housing developments along Eleventh Street, Redevelopment Agency Manager Mark Evanoff said.
The pass-through will include a safe pedestrian crossing over the Oakland Subdivision railroad tracks that run between BART and Eleventh Street, Evanoff said.
The project is estimated to cost about $20 million and scheduled to be completed in two years, according to Evanoff.
A majority of the funding – $15 million – will come from a California Department of Housing and Community Development grant, which was approved by voters in 2006 through Proposition 1C, Evanoff said.
After the terms of the grant are finalized, BART will then oversee the construction contract, advertising the construction bid in July and awarding a contract in October.
The BART reconfiguring is the second phase of the city’s Intermodal Station District project.
In planning for 10 years and in development since 2007, the project will create new housing and office space, a retail pavilion and a transit hub that will allow people to board and transfer between BART, passenger rail (Capitol Corridor, Dumbarton Rail, ACE) and bus (AC Transit and Union City Transit) systems, according to Evanoff.
The project has been in flux since January when Gov. Jerry Brown announced the dismantling of community redevelopment agencies in his budget proposal.
Union City’s redevelopment agency, along with most of the 400 agencies statewide, continues to combat the governor’s plan.
With the BART station redevelopment in place, the city will be able to complete the new community as it envisioned, so long as Gov. Brown doesn’t take money from existing RDA bond funds, Evanoff said.
“We’re doing everything we can to protect those dollars, but it remains to be seen what happens,” Evanoff said.
Last month, the City Council of up to $40 million, securing funds to complete the project. and to transfer agency properties into the city's possession.
In the future, the city plans to build a passenger rail facility next to the BART station, Evanoff said.
The Oakland Subdivision railroad tracks would be raised to the same level as the BART tracks to create a common concourse for BART and passenger rail riders, Evanoff said. Passengers would be able to switch from BART, Capital Corridor, Dumbarton Rail and Ace systems.
The multiple transit station was originally scheduled for completion in 2017, but Evanoff said the agency isn’t sure now when it will be finished.
Union City is also being considered as one of the alternative routes for the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Altamont Corridor Rail Project.
The new rail service, operated by California High-Speed Rail Authority, would replace the ACE line that serves the Stockton to San Jose corridor. The line would connect residents to Los Angeles and Sacramento, Evanoff said.
It would take approximately two hours to get to Los Angeles and 45 minutes to travel to Sacramento, according to the City of Union City's website.
In that project, a tunnel would be built from I-680 through Niles Canyon to Union City’s new transit facility, according to a March 22 staff report.
Environmental impact reports are being prepared to determine if the project is feasible, Evanoff said.