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A special meeting of the Concord City Council on the status of labor negotiations between builders and local unions over development of the former Naval Weapons Station will be held Thursday evening.

But Concord officials are hoping you won’t show up.

In an effort to reduce possible exposure to the novel coronavirus, city officials appealed to the public to monitor the 6 p.m. public meeting either online (www.cityofconcord.org/TV) or on cable stations (Comcast Channel 28, Wave Channel 29 and AT&T U-verse 99) rather than attending in person.

Those who do come to the Concord Senior Center at 2727 Parkside Circle will find a limited number of seats, placed at least 3 feet apart.

City officials strongly urged persons at “high risk” to the virus, such as the elderly, those with compromised immune systems or anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms, to refrain from attending the meeting in person. Anyone who wants can send email comments to be entered into the public record can do so via cityclerk@cityofconcord.org.

The Project Labor Agreement under consideration will determine the number of union jobs on the project, which is estimated to be worth $6 billion covering 2,300 acres, 13,000 housing units and millions of square footage of commercial space.

Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia Commons An aerial view of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station in Concord, Calif.

Developer representatives from Lennar Concord and FivePoint have said that the local union demands would cost an extra $500 million, making the project financially untenable.

The labor agreement also covers how many jobs would go to local residents and veterans, the development of apprenticeship programs, prevailing labor rates and more. The negotiations have been going on for more than a year.

Frustrated by the lack of progress between developers and the Contra Costa Building Trades Council, the City Council put off any decision on the labor agreement at a meeting in January. That meeting drew hundreds of citizens and union members and lasted until the early morning before being suspended.

Lennar has threatened to walk away from the development contract, which would scuttle years of preparation work and force the project into another round of bidding to find a new developer. Lennar and FivePoint were chosen in 2016 and have already invested $15 million in the project.

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