Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 7, 2011

Target, blight, and sublease

A few bits and pieces for the weekend.  Yesterday City Manager John Russo tweeted this news:

Yes, apparently even though there is a new Target in fairly close proximity to Alameda that has recently opened in Emeryville/Oakland, Target is still interested in opening up a store in Alameda.   Go figure.  Which can only mean one thing: Alamedans shop at Target a lot.

The last proposed site of the Alameda Target was for Alameda Landing, so I am assuming that remains the location of choice for Target.   Or, perhaps now that Alameda Point will be handed over to the City, they might be eyeing some Alameda Point parcels instead.   Although my only Target request, please have those lockable wheel thingies on the carts.  Thanks!

Also in more City development news even though the Boatworks property has moved forward on City approvals, it’s not fast enough.   A Press Release went out yesterday with the information that the Boatworks property has been declared a public nuisance due to its blighted condition.   The appeal of the decision was denied on September 23rd and the owner of Boatworks will have 90 days to demolish the buildings and clean up the site.

According to the press release, the independent hearing officer who denied the appeal ruled:

“All buildings have been neglected, are dilapidated and deteriorated, and one is fire-damaged. All buildings are damaged to a point that partial or complete collapse is possible. Structural building components are listing, charred, deteriorated and are not capable of safely supporting all nominal loads and load effects and in some cases are altogether missing. The property and buildings are obviously being entered by vandals and vagrants for the purpose of committing nuisances, unlawful acts or harborage. The site has also become an attractive nuisance to children who might play in the buildings to their danger. Any efforts to repair the buildings on the property would be unreasonable.”

In other interesting news, the Alameda Hospital Board will consider at its October 10th meeting to sublease the Waters Edge Skilled Nursing Facility.  Scroll to the end-ish of the packet for the information on this item.     According to the projected financial sheets, if everything goes to plan, subleasing this skilled nursing facility will bring the Hospital District $1.6 million in the first year and $2.5 million in the second year.   Not too shabby.   Of course someone out there will have some reason as to why Alameda Hospital shouldn’t be in the skilled nursing businesses, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

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37 Comments

  1. I went to a Target to use gift cards we’d received and was amazed at the variety of things they have there. It’s a 21st century general store and the prices are great. It’s funny how some people who would never go to Walmart think nothing of shopping at Target. Maybe it is the bad press Walmart has gotten for how they treat employees, or maybe it’s just too déclassé for some. After all, if you pronounce it “Tar-zshay” you can pretend you’re on Rodeo Drive.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 7, 2011 @ 6:41 am

  2. I just want to take this opportunity to remind everybody to PLEASE remember to support your local merchants and remember that they are helping to support our schools.

    Comment by Jack B. — October 7, 2011 @ 6:49 am

  3. It is great that the city is requiring Boatworks to be demolished post haste! What does this remind you of?

    We don’t want another FISC fire on our hands! Where the city knew full well about the dangers and potential pollutants and bonfire making partygoers, and where the firefighters allowed it to burn because it’s not safe for them to enter (it’ll be the same with these building if they catch fire), and the AFD allowed the highly toxic fumes to fill our lungs and the asbestos fallout to blanket our city; when they should have evacuated businesses and residences and called CalEPA and BAAQMD to the site during the fire event. I wonder how badly the Boatworks property is polluted and what the aged buildings are made of? What is the risk to public health this time? What if the buildings catch fire between now and when the owner properly demolishes them. And will he? When he does demolish them, will it be done safely if there is asbestos and what have you? Inquiring minds want to know. Moreover, once again our public and environmental health may be at risk.

    Comment by Denise Lai — October 7, 2011 @ 8:36 am

  4. Having a Target in Alameda, which is probably nice to have big business here in Alameda, would hurt the local groceries, no doubt about it.
    If they have it at the point, the problem is still traffic. If they have it at south shore, still traffic. I could see it going in Harbour bay… at least it’s accessible via DooLittle Dr and freeways and may have less of a traffic impact.

    Target is the same as Wal-mart and they are beginning to treat their employees less nicely. I think the city needs to seriously consider how they will solve traffic, that way they can consider attracting more businesses and possibly building more homes.

    Comment by hobnob — October 7, 2011 @ 9:18 am

  5. It’d be cool to get links to a mapping site to show where the various locations discussed are. I don’t know where the Boatworks are, for instance. Thanks!

    Comment by Marvin — October 7, 2011 @ 10:33 am

  6. Good point Marvin, I have a blog map which is in the Links section on my side bar that I periodically update with Alameda sites I write about, but here is the shortlink to the Boatworks site.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 7, 2011 @ 10:56 am

  7. Target should bring some jobs here also.

    Cashier

    Target Salaries in San Francisco (217 in US)
    $8.59 average per hour

    Sales Floor Team Member

    5 Target Salaries in San Francisco (351 in US)
    $8.94 per hour
    Cashier/Sales Floor Team Member

    2 Target Salaries in San Francisco (36 in US)
    $8.93 per hour

    Sales Floor Team Leader

    2 Target Salaries in San Francisco (123 in US)
    $17.72 per hour

    I hope B25 doesn’t throw rocks thruTargets windows.

    http://www.glassdoor.com/Hourly-Pay/Target-San-Francisco-Hourly-Pay-EI_IE194.0,6_IL.7,20_IM759.htm

    Comment by John — October 7, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  8. If $8.94 is an average wage, there must be a lot of Target workers only making $8 per hour (currently the CA minimum wage). Given that the living wage for Alameda County is $11.93 per hour, I’m not going to start jumping up and down with joy over a Target coming here. Yes, the prices are great but those prices come at an awfully high cost; read “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture” by Ellen Ruppel Shell to cut through the cognitive dissonance.

    Comment by Kristen — October 7, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

  9. So what’s the plan for the “waterfront” development at Alameda Landing? It it really going to take advantage of its waterfront location or is it going to go to waste along the lines of Bridgeside Center?

    Comment by Regular John — October 7, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  10. #8. If you had been out of work for one or two years, any job would be wonderful. And remember, it is easier to get a job from a job, so getting any employment, even entry level, is important. I wouldn’t diss any legitimate business that wanted to locate here right now. We need the jobs AND the taxes such retailers generate. Badly. This is not to mention for the traffic concerns folks, that the majority of our traffic backup places (bridges and the tube) have to do with people getting off the island to go elsewhere to do whatever. If this kind of retail keeps people on the island, we benefit. Local merchants benefit, too, because people stay on the island and are not doing other type of shopping at “the mall.” And for those who worry about “attracting undesireable elements” (code) Target has already located on the other side of the estuary.

    Comment by Kate Quick. — October 7, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

  11. #9 What waterfront? At least this seems to be the attitude of the retail developers who have discovered Alameda. I’m not sure why we’re allowing Catellus to begin yet another discount shopping center on our wonderful waterfront — without a plan to develop the waterfront. America’s Cup is two years away and what’s the best development we can do to prepare for it? A Target superstore!

    I’d like to see a requirement that Catellus develop the waterfront FIRST before they are allowed to develop a Target supercenter in Alameda. This is the same piecemeal development strategy that Harsh development did and they never ever developed the waterfront. As a long time resident of this community, I want to know what other retailers is Catellus planning to bring out to the Landing? And what type of retail center are they proposing? Is it a power center like the one in Pacific Commons in Fremont? We deserve to know the whole plan — not piecemeal.

    Finally, Alameda is not Fremont. We don’t want a Fremont styled, big box, power center at Alameda Landing. We can do much better! America’s Cup is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help us return to our roots as a resort community. Let’s develop the waterfront first — before we allow any more big box development in this town!

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 7, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

  12. Kate, with all due respect and I do respect your opinion, but I do not agree with what you just said. This sounds like we’re settling. We’ve done this before and we continue to turn over our precious waterfront properties to out of town developers who bring us more discount stores and low rate jobs and stores that put smaller businesses out of business – that’s a heavy price to pay. Big box stores are category killers – they kill smaller retailers. Is that really what we want?

    I don’t have a problem with Target in Alameda – but I do have a problem with the fact that we have no retail strategy – no plan. I say develop the waterfront FIRST!

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 7, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  13. #10: Please be careful with your assumptions, Kate. I’ve been out of work for two years. (Luckily my spouse is still employed.) I also happen to have young children, though, so a job at Target would not be feasible; that hourly wage would not be enough to cover daycare for the younger one and after school care for the older one. Having known someone who worked for Target, I can tell you it is not a very friendly place for parents, as schedules can be changed on a moment’s whim by a manager and your hours can suddenly be cut making it hard to count on a steady wage from them. I guess it would be an ideal job for a recent high school graduate, or a college student or retiree looking to make some part-time cash. But my larger point is that Target and other big-box stores that depend on China for 90% of their stock are ultimately not good for our economy or our environment. At some point it is useless to keep filling up our houses and landfills with cheap plastic crap. The discussion of whether we drive off island to buy the crap or get the crap right here on the island isn’t paramount, is it, for there are bigger issues to consider. I don’t buy the idea that it is “elitist” to want a less-crap-filled future for my children. Oh, and I used to live on the other side of the bridge, thank you, and I love Oakland, go there all the time.

    Comment by Kristen — October 7, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  14. #13. I appreciate what you have to say, Kristen, and Target may not be the employment opportunity for you, but it may be an employment opportunity for, say, a young single or an older person needing a part time job to make a small pension or SS go further. I do not believe that all they sell is crap, nor do I believe that they will drive out smaller local stores. It was said that the Home Depot right across the estuary would “kill” Paganos and Encinal Hardware and lo, they are still in existence many years later. Sometimes I do go to Home Depot, but for most of our small home repair jobs, I go to Paganos because they actually have people who will help you and know the products. I don’t think I will not trade at Daisy’s on Park St. because there is a Target in town, either. My point is, keeping people on the island is better because of traffic and because it may help to focus people on staying in town to shop for all sorts of stuff.
    And Karen, as to the waterfront, I think the City is much more aware and insistent on water oriented development than it has been in the past. I am neither anti- or pro- developer, but I do know we have absolute control over design and waterfront placement during the design and permitting process. I believe we just need to be more vocal and insistent that there be both shoreline access and waterfront orientation when we build near any of our shores.

    BTW Karen, I do agree that we need a retail strategy that is comprehensive and both short and long-term. Even in this rotten economy, planning ahead is key to success. I also subscribe to the League’s position on waterfront development – that it must include public access among other things.

    Comment by Kate Quick. — October 7, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

  15. There’s waterfront, and there’s waterfront. Views of graffiti-filled concrete walls across the estuary, scummy docks, and ugly bridges don’t seem to me like they are worth preserving (e.g. Bridgeside). Views of SF or the Jack London marina are.

    Comment by Jill — October 7, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

  16. Kate,

    My concern is not so much whether we get shoreline access or not – that’s easy. But the way we’re headed – we may never see a waterfront retail development in our lifetime if we don’t insist on it. It really comes down to this: what is our vision, what is our brand? And is the proposed development consistent with that vision and brand?

    We are a community surrounded by water with an array of marinas and yacht clubs and an exciting history of once being a resort community, and yet not one retail developer in Alameda has developed a water oriented retail development.

    It’s really too bad that Warmington Homes only builds homes. That’s one developer that really gets Alameda! Their project “The Grand Marina Village” is a lovely water oriented development that surrounds the Grand Marina. These are the types of development we want to encourage and see in Alameda. The Grand Marina Village: is the proposed development consistent with our vision and our brand: I would say a resounding yes!

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 8, 2011 @ 9:13 am

  17. Karen, Really…..the Grand Marina Project has vision? I thought perhaps I missed something so I just drove down to take another look and all I could see was another development with no yards, tiny streets and absolutely no feeling of a community. Of course since the homes are so close together if you were sitting on your small balcony you could hand your neighbor a glass of wine.

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 8, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  18. #17 I would imagine the families that live there feel they are part of the Grand Marina boating community.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 8, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

  19. …cargo, maybe.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 8, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  20. All this time and I still don’t get the giant blocky house on a tiny lot thing.

    Comment by dlm — October 9, 2011 @ 12:27 am

  21. 15 through 20. After seeing Picasso exhibit I was leaving Golden Gate Park with friend from Philadelphia and at the light at Stanyan and Oak I pointed to a big old stone building commenting how similar it was to buildings in Fairmount Park in Philly except…. and he finished my sentence by saying “it’s not filthy”. I moved here in part to get away from the East Coast crud, but I also like funk. For me the railroad bridge next to Miller Sweeney is one of many historical clues to the evolution of our landscape. While graffiti is mostly unwelcome to my eye, I still embrace the urban landscape as it is. What might be the perfect Oakland landscape across from Bridgeside? I’ll take what is there, which includes some fairly handsome new loft style buildings, to the larger ones near the produce district or the towers proposed for Oak to Ninth.

    Did any of you see the McMillen exhibit at Oakland Museum?

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/05/art-review-michael-mcmillen-train-of-thought-at-the-oakland-museum-of-california.html

    http://www.artknowledgenews.com/the_oakland_museum_of_california_presents_michael_c_mcmillen_train_of_thought.html

    One persons’ ceiling is another’s floor. I get that the Grand Marina development lacks what most of us find to be the charm of most Alameda neighborhoods, but if you are in one of the buildings looking out maybe the view is nicer. Everything which gets built from here forward is sort of designed by the invisible hand in that the economics dictate limitations of what out expectations can be. Everybody wants more parks, but how do we pay for them? I’ll take Warmington development to anything from Kaufman and Broad even though Eli Broad is a huge art philanthropist. Too bad his taste in art isn’t better represented in the source of his wealth.

    I’ll be really interested if the final product at Boatworks is at all redeeming or in any way reflects a sense of place. Now that Collins won’t be the hands on builder I’ve got my fingers crossed. I was told by one planning board member that the actual mix of housing types at the site is far better than what I claimed in criticisms on this blog.

    Comment by M.I. — October 9, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  22. M.I. , I can see where the few homes in the front of the complex have a nice a view but the others have nothing. Since there is very little parking in front of the homes they have to drive down narrow lanes and straight into their garages. I can’t imagine any of them are able to have a party with more than 3 cars because there is no parking. It’s just all very depressing. We live in a lovely town that has no vision. We talk about Target stores instead of trying to make Alameda something that would stand out against other towns. I spent yesterday out on the base going to Rockwall and Rosenblum. Why can’t we have more of that? Make it a destination spot like Napa or Sonoma. Offer the wineries deals to open bottling and tasting rooms. Instead of having tacky developers build the homes why not sell lots with stipulations on size of the homes and how much area has to be yard. Why not develop the point with fields for soccer, baseball etc. Charge teams for the use of them so there can be tournaments. Leave a space to be developed later (when money is better) for a swim center and indoor sports. I’d even agree with Karen and could see a nice hotel on the water that has room enough for meetings. And, it should be a nice hotel not a Motel 6. Put the walkway/bikeway that Richard showed in drawings in so we could all enjoy the beauty. Instead we look at cookie cutter ideas that could be anywhere. And, before anyone makes some comment about traffic….yes there will be an increase but not the same as having 5,000 housing units and a bunch of big box stores like Target. Think how great Webster Street would be if on the weekends the base had people coming for sports and wine tastings….

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 9, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  23. 22. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Comment by M.I. — October 9, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  24. 23…..yes….but no more than the silly plans out there now…..and this one is cool…..and less infrastructure costs….Let’s try to think beyond big box stores…..

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 9, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

  25. J.E.A., that’s very much along the lines of what I’d like to see out there. And thanks for mentioning a swimming pool.

    Comment by Jack B. — October 10, 2011 @ 7:05 am

  26. Karen Bey, shut up about Target. If its good enuf for Michelle Obama, it’s good enuf for me. It was here (San Leandro) long B4 Wal-Mart;they’re not the same at all. I’m tired of having to leave the island to find/buy items @ a decent price & unmetered parking. America’s Cup is a one-time only event. Not what i’d pin the future of Alameda on. With our luck, that’s when the next big quake will strike.

    Comment by vigi — October 10, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  27. Vigi, America’s Cup is not a one-time event. There will be many days of racing in the summer of 2012 and many more in the summer of 2013. And if Larry wins… good chance we get to do this all over again. And Alameda had core maritime business long before there was Target or Walmart.

    Comment by Jack B. — October 10, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  28. Jack, thanks for your comment about America’s Cup. I agree, and the development of our waterfront is a great opportunity to promote Alameda as a maritime community.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 10, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  29. Hi Karen,

    I’d be interested in hearing what you think a “water oriented retail development” (from your #16) might look like.

    Thanks.

    Comment by Susan Davis — October 10, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  30. Susan,

    I’m thinking something like Pacific Grove and/or Sausalito – restaurants, hotels, specialty shops, wineries, art galleries, etc. And perhaps a golf course resort at Alameda Point.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 10, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  31. 24. a sewer is a sewer is a sewer as in an electrical grid, and no matter what it serves and that basic infrastructure isn’t cheap. I’m not so certain interim leases are sufficient to defray that cost, especially as a piece meal income steam. I lived in a converted industrial building and initially the base closure seemed like a great opportunity with Cal Start and other leases, possible live work etc. With conveyance not only finally happening, but at no cost your elements of your vision are much more likely. There has always been a plan to bring regional park system into the picture, including a trail around the Point. Richard can correct me if I’m wrong, but my recollection is that he began to get seriously involved at the Point when master developers started to back pedal and renege on sections of the trail. We had Scottish links style golf course in the mix back then too. It’s easy to be dismissive by tossing around terms like cookie cutter, but economies of scale dictate much about what is likely to get built. I’d like to see development of residential lead by live/work in existing structures, but from pragmatically that is unlikely to be a huge economic engine for significant redevelopment.

    Back when Kaufman and Broad was asking for the Marina Cove piece to be rezoned from industrial to residential, a resident named Douglas Holmes who has a unique tract on Buena Vista bought a copy of a book on New Urbanism for every member of the Planning Board and City Council, which was probably mostly wasted money. That was in about 1996. New Urbanism and Smart Growth design are not necessarily magic bullet solutions and as we’ve seen with Calthorpe it’s even controversial, but Douglas was at least trying to get people to think out of the box and back then few were ready to even give lip service, which is how we ended up with the mediocrity Marina Cove. Even so, many people in the adjacent residential neighborhood across the street welcomed the new homes over industrial blight. Many felt North Side residents deserved to see their property values enhanced for a change, and saw that tract as achieving doing just that. I think Warmington could have done better.

    Maybe the planning staff, City Manager and leadership, along with citizenry have all evolved enough that collectively we can reach for something which would satisfy you, J.E.A., but it will take more than vague wish list of preferences.

    I’m indifferent to Target as a place to shop and think if enough Alamedans want to shop there and Target wants to build a store here it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if you replay the entire history of planning for that commercial portion of FISC, after Catellus decided the market for original R&D plan had tanked they were going straight for big box mall and there was major objection by we the people. Many public planning sessions later SF Ferry Building conversion was trotted out as a model, CliffBar became an anchor, etc. etc. but now we are back to a big box retailer. I agree with Karen Bey that allowing Target is squandering waterfront site. But there is the issue of $$$$$$$. Bridgeside fell short of what many us would have liked. Part of the problem is that many people had notions of what they either liked or didn’t like, but there rather than anybody with a really solid vision stepping forward there was a developer who at least was willing to put up the money to get something built but then the process became a tug of war with Planning Board to implement some basic principles like visual connection to the water. These were ultimately functionally overridden by the economic reality of the viable leases, even though there are windows all along the back of the buildings. The road to mediocrity is paved with good intentions.

    Comment by M.I. — October 10, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  32. M.I…..Since I am not in the construction field I’d have to say a sewer is a sewer along with an electrical grid but are they the same size and cost as having 5,000 housing units, big box stores vs. wineries and playing fields, etc.? All I know is this…..if one allows developers to make the decisions we will end up with cookie cutter Walnut Creek 2. So, not what I want.
    Perhaps the planning staff, City Manager, and leadership can evolve…..a girl can wish….and then yes, it would satisfy me. (Because, I am so hard to get along with).
    I have learned something thru my life……and it is if you ask for nothing you get nothing…..if you don’t have the money for what you want right now, stop, wait until you can get what you want, don’t let people push you around, stand up for what you believe, and lastly, if a developer is involved you better be able to play hardball. If they are not giving what you want find another one. I’m willing to comprise, in fact, if you all need a Target I say put it right where the old Commissary was. Perfect place…….
    I would also add the road to mediocrity is paved by people that allowed others to tell them what is best and not what they really want. Think big and you get big, think small and you get a developers dream.

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 10, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

  33. J.E.A. I think the road to mediocracy is more built on people wanting what they think others want. The too big house on the teeny tiny lot at a super inflated price for example. “Why, I have 5 bedrooms, and 4 baths!” There are only three of us, but look at the space we have! And we don’t have to maintain a garden! And we can shake hands with our neighbor out the side window! Isn’t that just somthin!” They come right into their garage via the automatic door opener, shut that garage door and are not seen again until the car pulls out to take them out for their fast food dinner or to go to work the next morning. No kids playing out in front yard and certainly not in the street; no cars in driveways – CCand R’s don’t allow such trashy behavior. Everything is lovely and the same and the same and the same as what everybody else has.
    I agree that cities that play hardball with developers get better deals, but you can’t totally blame developers when the sheepies want to be just like all the other sheepies – they build what sells, and if that is what is selling, that is what is being built. Developers are in business. They want to make a profit, and should be able to do so, within reason, just as any other businesses. Communities which are healthy and connected have a variety of housing types, lots of local shopping opportunities, and lots of streetscape where people (gasp!) can walk, and get to know their neighbors. And they have some larger shopping places where they can go for basic goods at reasonable prices, too. The existence of these larger stores gives the community a tax base, which means it can afford amenities such as parks, libraries, good police and fire coverage, etc. In a well planned community the large and small stores can coexist with little problem – even compliment each other.

    Comment by Kate Quick. — October 10, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  34. Mark, your post #31 last paragraph, kind of says it all. That damn Bridgeside broke my heart. When the money meets the road all our good intentions get run over. I remember the first drawings from Catellus for the FISC property. We had nice buildings set back from the water with a lot of space between them and a 150 foot promenade facing into S.F. restaurants on the first floor and business above. If we could somehow make those drawings into reality, it would be great. I think developers hire one company to do conceptual drawings, fire them and then hire guy’s to draw what they really want .

    Comment by JOHN P. — October 11, 2011 @ 9:05 am

  35. >>> The road to mediocrity is paved with good intentions.

    >>> I think developers hire one company to do conceptual drawings, fire them and then hire guy’s to draw what they really want .

    This isn’t necessarily true everywhere else. Why does it always have to happen here? Seems like Alameda is determined to run its charm out of town.

    Comment by Regular John — October 11, 2011 @ 9:43 am

  36. John, Bridgeside broke my heart as well, but South Shore broke it even more. There were many lessons we can learn from the two retail developments we did: Bridgeside and South Shore. If I recall we agreed to change the land use for the FISC property from office to retail without getting something in writing from Catellus defining what kind of retail center they were going to build. The pictures said “lifestyle center”, but the final plans presented to the PB said “power center”. This is one reason I think Ann Cook voted no on changing the land use — because there was nothing in writing that committed Catellus to actually build what was in those pictures.

    One other mistake we made was allowing Harsh to develop the center piecemeal. This was definitely the case with South Shore. We kept approving phases of the center without having a master plan for the waterfront.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 11, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

  37. Karen,

    South Shore may have fallen short of what you imagined possible, but compared to what, the make over is at least a huge improvement. There used a Sizzler where Wallgreen’s sits. The restaurants are definitely an improvement and I hope the retail continues to flesh out. The current trajectory would satisfy me. I think the estuary location at FISC is a better candidate for something “‘which might be what John says Catellus drew before. Again, what is classy to me? It’s all relative. But a Target or big box retail pretty much puts an end to that option or anything like Ferry Building or the market that Oakland was going to build across from JLS Amtrak station. Anybody know the status of that?

    J.E.A. I am using common sense about infrastructure as much as relying any expertise I may have as a builder. It’s about economies of scale and if you rip up a street and retrofit it with new infrastructure that has a fixed cost no matter what new stuff you add. It seems like the variable in cost factor would be based on cost the maximum volume you try to accommodate. If I hire an electrician to wire a new service panel on the side of my house 100 amps may be all I’ll ever need, but the cost of 200 amps is mostly wire size so it doesn’t cost twice as much. You don’t want to have to go back and upgrade based on a change of plan.

    Comment by M.I. — October 11, 2011 @ 7:05 pm


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