ABOUT THE RIVERTOWN SQUARE
The Revitalization of Antioch's Rivertown
The Old Beede Lumber Yard has been an important part of the history of this city. Located in the heart of Antioch's Rivertown Downtown, the Beede Lumber Yard is a critical piece of downtown.
The Rivertown Preservation Society is working to preserve our historic downtown waterfront by building a privately funded public park and event center. The City Council has started negotiations to build high-density housing in this same lot, against the wishes of this city's citizens. In an independently run assessment of downtown, consultants found that downtown housing would pose numerous problems.
Consultants and Economic experts have long advised that public open spaces are key to revitalizing Antioch's downtown. This park and event center will serve as the cultural and social hub of downtown, jumpstarting the economic development of the entire downtown area.
Not only do we believe that this park and event center are necessary for the revitalization of our downtown, but research has proven that open public spaces are key to a thriving downtown. WIth your help, we can make this dream a reality.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What and where is it?
THE YARD is the Beede Lumber Yard, the large lot just as you enter downtown Antioch at 2nd and C streets.
Why does it need to be saved?
In June 2014, the city of Antioch issued an RFQ/RFP for development of 5 downtown sites, including the Beede Lumber Yard. The sites would be sold to a development team for residential urban in-fill development. A citizens group quickly organized to save the Beede Lumber Yard from being developed into high-density housing.
Why is this site so important?
THE YARD has exceptional river views. It has been used for decades as the staging point for all of Antioch’s parades. THE YARD belongs to all the people of Antioch, and we should have some say as to what we want done with it. There are many locations to build housing downtown, but only one space to build a waterfront attraction.
What does the citizens group plan to do with it?
The group envisions developing an outdoor event center where we can hold at least several events on the site every month through the year. This would bring a steady stream of citizens from inside and outside our city to our downtown, which is critical for downtown revitalization.
Possible Events Include:
Fourth of July Celebration
Summer Concerts in the Park
Farm to Fork
Food Truck Showcase
Outdoor Live Theater
Many many more...
How does the organization plan to pay for this outdoor event center?
This citizens group, through the non-profit organization Celebrate Antioch Foundation, has formulated and submitted a proposal to the City of Antioch to develop and maintain the outdoor event center. The proposal included a time schedule for development as well as a funding schedule using all private funds and not requiring any public funding from the City of Antioch. The development is proposed to be phased in with phase one completed in the first year.
Why this drive to save it now?
In a closed-door session of the City Council held on August 25th, the council voted 4 to 1 to have the city negotiator enter into negotiations with City Ventures, a real estate developer, to purchase and develop all of the properties listed in the original RFQ/RFP which includes the Beede Lumber Yard site.
As late as June 23rd at the Antioch Specific Plan Forum, several citizens spoke to the desire to have THE YARD saved for development of an outdoor event center. At that meeting 3 of our council members voiced their desire to allow us the chance to develop this site. Yet, behind closed doors, and without ever discussing the merits of our proposal, 2 of those members for some unknown reason decided to go against the will of the people and sell the land to the highest bidder.
As one of the oldest towns in California, Antioch has a lot of culture to offer. Downtown features numerous homes and buildings known for their historic value. From El Campanil Theater to the Antioch Historical Society Museum, there is much to learn about our great city in Downtown.
We know that real change can happen when passionate citizens and strategic thinking meet. By putting the long-term economic health of our city at the forefront we hope to create a thriving community for us and the future citizens of Antioch.