Contra Costa JCC agrees to sell site to homebuilder

Homebuilding giant Pulte Homes has entered into a 30-day option-to-buy agreement to purchase the Walnut Creek property owned by the Contra Costa JCC, which shut down in December.

Robert Rich, president of the still-existent CCJCC board, confirmed the agreement to j. and noted that some of the proceeds from the sale, “should it go through,” will be used “in connection with creating a new Jewish Community Center to serve Contra Costa County and nearby areas.”

Other proceeds, Rich added, will be used to pay off the JCC’s financial obligations.

Rich did not disclose terms of the agreement or the potential sale price, but the total assessed value for the property in 2011 was around $8 million, according to an Aug. 10 report in the Contra Costa Times. As of Aug. 15, Pulte had not yet purchased the property.

Rich said the deal could take a while and that movement forward on a new JCC is not imminent. He also said any planning of a new JCC and its location “will involve the wider Jewish community in discussions and dialogue.”

The 35-year-old Contra Costa JCC closed Dec. 16, 2011, with officials pointing to lagging fundraising, declining membership, inadequate facilities and cash flow problems.

Pulte Homes held an Aug. 9 public meeting to get community feedback on a potential 6.4-acre housing development on the JCC site, the Times reported. To make way for new housing, the JCC buildings and pool would probably be demolished, but the site’s city-run gym would remain open, the Times noted. The property is located in southern Walnut Creek near Rossmoor.

In the past, there has been public outcry over attempts by the JCC to build condominiums on part of the property, the Times reported. — j. staff