PITTSBURG -- The city's drive to build an eBART station received a significant push this week, as commercial property owners around the area agreed to tax themselves to cover a sizable portion of the cost.

Results of the special election were tallied and read Monday night, with 55 of the 65 votes cast from property owners in the vicinity of the Railroad Avenue and Highway 4 site supporting the so-called Community Facilities District No. 2014-1.

Two-thirds approval was needed for the district to be established.

"This opens the door to be able to front the amount to start construction of the station," City Manager Joe Sbranti said.

Mayor Salvatore Evola added, "This will for sure, along with all the hard work of the representatives on our transportation committees, ensure that BART stops in Pittsburg on its way to Antioch."

Tax revenues will be collected only when property owners file a building permit for new construction.

Under the new district, property owners who file a building permit for new construction within a quarter-mile radius of the station will be assessed a one-time tax of $1.50 per square foot for commercial development and $2,000 per residential unit per parcel. That tax decreases to 99 cents per square foot for commercial development and $1,320 per residential unit for parcels between a quarter-mile and a half-mile from the station.


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All told, Pittsburg will put about $6.3 million toward the station. It has already paid $1.3 million to BART for the infill station, $500,000 for design plans and $800,000 for grading and foundation work.

It also plans to put $2 million in funds collected from local developers toward the station.

In addition, the city plans to put $1.5 million toward a "kiss-and-ride," or short-term drop-off area off California Avenue.

With Monday's vote, about $1.5 million in proceeds from the Community Facilities District will go to the station.

The station, which would be named Civic Center because of its proximity to city offices, is estimated to cost between $12.7 million and $14.5 million.

"(City officials) were commended by our BART board for even putting forth something like this," Evola said.

The station would be part of the 10-mile eBART extension from the Pittsburg-Bay Point station to Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch. Construction on the $462 million project, which will use small diesel-powered railcars running along the middle of the freeway, is expected to be done by the end of 2017.

BART studies estimate there would be about 8,400 daily trips with the Hillcrest station alone by 2030 but 10,100 with both Railroad and Hillcrest stations.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.