BETHEL ISLAND — Construction of an upscale residential development here that’s been decades in the planning finally will start in the next several months, the project’s developer announced this week.
The goal is to finish the first four model homes on Bethel Island, together with a couple of custom houses, by August, said a spokesman for SunCal, which has been preparing the way for the 310-acre project known as Delta Coves since it bought the property in mid-2012.
Located near Gateway and Stone roads, the site eventually will feature 494 single-family homes that overlook a man-made lagoon, each with a private dock so boat owners can head directly to the Delta.
SunCal, the master developer, has been laying the groundwork for the project by grading and installing water and sewer lines. The Irvine-based company has partnered with Davidson Communities, which will build the homes.
Delta Coves also will have 38 townhomes and 28 “cottages” that are smaller than the rest of the single-family models.
The development will include a 130-acre marina that can accommodate 230 vessels and an approximately 4,500-square-foot clubhouse with a fitness center and swimming pool.
While many might measure the benefits of building upscale homes on Bethel Island in economic terms, Scott Benedict says he and some of his neighbors welcome the influx of new residents.
“We think it will change the face of the community a bit, and that might be a good thing. It might dilute the ‘good old boy’ atmosphere,” said Benedict, who’s lived on Bethel Island for about 13 years.
Not only will some newcomers presumably want to participate in civic life along with the island’s well-connected old-timers, he said, but their presence could help combat a long-standing perception of the town as a magnet for drug users.
The homes will come in four designs and be built in phases — how many will depend on market conditions — and it is not yet known what their selling prices will be.
First proposed in 1973, Delta Coves received the green light from the county three years later, but delays ensued in part because the developer at that time had trouble getting the necessary permits and later because the project became tied up in a federal lawsuit.
Still more time was lost when Lehman Brothers, the investment banking firm that was financing the project, filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Preparatory work came to a halt and the property was fenced off.
Activity resumed after SunCal acquired the property, however. The developer built Delta Coves’ lagoon by dredging a basin 21 feet below sea level and then breached a levee to create a 160-foot wide channel that connects the marina to the Delta.
SunCal is still digging trenches to lay utility pipes, which includes extending a water main 1½ miles to the project site.
The company also must build a sewer pump station along with an emergency generator before home construction can start.
Source: East Bay Times
By Rowena Coetsee, firstname.lastname@example.org