Lennar Urban, one of the largest Bay Area developers with thousands of units in the region, has been accused by rival Catellus Development Corp. of improperly lobbying the city of Concord over rights to develop a giant $6 billion mixed-use project at the city's former naval base. In response, Concord has cancelled a planned Tuesday vote to pick one of the developers and may investigate the claims.
The Concord City Council was set to pick either Lennar or Catellus after naming the two developers as finalists as part of a nine-year redevelopment process. The project is zoned for up to 12,000 units of housing and more than 6 million square feet of commercial space, making it one of the largest project sites in the Bay Area.
The city cancelled the vote after Catellus lawyer Andrew Giacomini, a managing partner at law firm Hanson Bridgett, wrote a letter to City Manager Valeria Barone accusing Lennar of trying to influence the decision with backroom meetings with city officials, despite signing an agreement not to lobby the city. Catellus cited the relationship between Lennar and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, whom it described as "a high powered out-of-town lobbyist."
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