Start of large home-building project on Bethel Island is finally in sight

Start of large home-building project on Bethel Island is finally in sight

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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,

Delta Coves housing project in Bethel Island moves forward

Delta Coves housing project in Bethel Island moves forward

Comments Off on Delta Coves housing project in Bethel Island moves forward


A Bethel Island property, long expected to be the site of a luxury marina community, will soon be awash in activity, giving off ripples of hope it will one day be completed.

The project, southeast of the intersection of Bethel Island Road and Gateway Drive, is slated to include up to 419 homes with private boat docks. It has a rocky history dating back to 1979, and has sat idle since 2008. However, the SunCal real estate development company is preparing to move it along after purchasing the land.

“Our purchase of the property in mid-2012 is what brought new life to this project,” said SunCal spokesperson Joe Aguirre. “Since then, we have been busy with various preparatory steps that are necessary to move the project forward.”

Much of the infrastructure on the site will need repair or replacement because it has deteriorated or was vandalized from 2008 to 2012, after global financial services firm Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. Meanwhile, new project developments are taking place.

A facilities installation agreement was approved with the Diablo Water District in March, allowing building of water supply facilities to accommodate the project’s water service needs.

Construction will start in the off-site, water-supply line, which will bring its current location at East Cypress and Bethel Island roads to the Delta Coves entrance.

“In particular, recently securing a water supply is a significant milestone that brings us closer to readying the residential lots for sale to homebuilders,” Aguirre said.

Work on the project is complicated, since it involves coordinating with several agencies, including the water district and the county, but is a welcome development. Work should continue well into 2016, and sale of lots to homebuilders should coincide with the housing market’s demands.

“Their intention is to be a good neighbor and a positive addition to our community, so we are trying to proceed with that spirit,” said Jeff Butzkaff, manager of the Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District (BIMID).

He expects the BIMID will assume the responsibility of most of the infrastructures and operational facilities in the future.

The 310-acre project, adjacent to the Dutch and Sandmound sloughs, is expected to include 494 waterfront residential lots, and 66 condominiums built around a synthetic lagoon to give residents access to the water, and all points east and west to the San Francisco Bay. Crews dredged the marina basin 21 feet below sea level, and then obtained government permits to breach the Delta levee, creating a 160-foot-wide passage that provides water access between the new community and the Delta.

Other amenities include a 130-acre marina with 230 slips, and a 3,000 square-foot community clubhouse that will include a fitness center and swimming pool.

“Delta Coves will be a luxury marina community that will feature high-quality waterfront homes, and provide residents with boating access to the Delta and San Francisco Bay,” Aguirre said.

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Source: The Press.
Kyle Szymanski, Staff Writer