The one big thing on the Planning Board’s agenda tonight (other than voting in new officers) is the Estuary Park conceptual design. Estuary Park for those that may not be familiar with it can be found here:
It’s parcel 1A in yellow. Yes I realize that Rosenblum is moving and Island High no longer exists at Miller School but this was a map I created in 2008.
As promised a post dedicated to the Alameda United Commercial Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with the City of Alameda.
Unlike the Closed Session agenda items with Charles Company which spanned for months and months and finally ended without anyone in the public ever finding out what the Charles Co was interested in or what they were proposing, AUC has made significant progress on negotiations that we are actually seeing something in the open session agenda about their possible plans.
The first buildings that they are interested in are the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters which I had guessed would be turned into a boarding school with dorms or something. Turns out they are proposing, according to the staff report:
a combination of assisted senior living, independent senior living, student housing, and office space consistent with the ZA and MIP
Yesterday the San Francisco Business Times had a piece on the developers vying for a piece of Alameda Point after the City released an RFQ for the Town Center/Neighborhood Center/Waterfront/whatever portion of Alameda Point as well as the commercial campus space sort of below the town center parcel. Some familiar names have popped up and some early disqualifications already as well. From the piece:
On the City Council’s for Tuesday there was this hint of something big on the Closed Session calendar:
CONFERENCE WITH REAL PROPERTY NEGOTIATORS (54956.8)
PROPERTY: Bachelor Enlisted Quarters and Portion of Seaplane Lagoon Taxiway, Alameda Point
CITY NEGOTIATOR: John Russo, City Manager
ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTED: Alameda Commercial United, LLC and Salvatore Caruso Design Corporation
ISSUE UNDER NEGOTIATION: Real Property Negotiations Price and Terms of Payment
See that, some one is actually interested in the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (located around here) but also there’s a portion of the seaplane lagoon taxiway — a bit far from where the BEQs are located — on the negotiation table.
Now “Alameda Commercial United, LLC” is kind of a generic name. You know one of those generic LLC names created specifically for development jobs. So a traditional Google search was going to turn up empty for anything about this particular company.
Looks like the entry signs for Alameda Point got a fresh new design but it’s not a whole lot better. It has a very Disneyland land feel with the super saturated colors and the mix of materials. But if it’s a question of selecting between this new sign and the old one, this one is a whole lot better
And the close up shot with shadow hipster for reference:
Because of the Bart strike a lot of people were forced to use the ferry as an alternative to Bart. According to the most recent WETA report after that surge in ridership due to the Bart strike, the ferries in Alameda have been able to maintain the ridership.
And just so you can see those ridership numbers here is the table comparing all the ferry lines. Obviously the South San Francisco one sees the lowest ridership numbers, probably because transportation on the South San Francisco end is pretty spotty compared to the San Francisco Ferry Terminal.
I wrote a follow up comment about the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society’s case against the City of Alameda, School District and Housing Authority yesterday, but wanted to make sure that everyone saw it. So I did ask both the City of Alameda and School District for a copy of the complaint, but no one had it. Weird right given that the agenda item was clearly there on the School District’s closed session agenda.
Turns out as of Tuesday night the case had been filed with the court, but not yet served to the parties.
But here it is on the (now crappy pay site) Domain Web:
You want to know what led to the the beachfront at South Shore looking the way that it does? Look no further than the City Council meeting from Tuesday night. Essentially we have created the draft for a “vision” for the Town Center portion of Alameda Point. I means it’s really not much of a vision other a few form based codes, very general zoning, some height limits, and open space requirements. That’s it. As long as the developer doesn’t violate anything in the “Precise Plan” then it’s open season.
The agreement from last night’s meeting was to open this Request for Qualifications (RFQ), not proposals, because we don’t want to see what people might do, we just want someone who has the financial ability and the past history to have been able to do something to build anything.
Given the scope of the RFQ and the limitations placed on the developers, it’s HIGHLY unlikely that we’re going to get anything visionary, innovative, or special. And given the constrained time line (six months) it’s even less likely we’re going to get anyone of quality and we’ll just get some cookie cutter developer that has some plan they’ve tried out elsewhere that they think they might be able to shoe horn at Alameda Point.
I guess given the conclusion of negotiations with Charles Co. the City is now looking for someone else to signal their interest in Alameda Point, specifically the Town Center portion of Alameda Point. Tonight’s City Council agenda refers to the start of the RFP process for two parcels at Alameda Point:
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m horrible with visualizing the size of things in my head. You tell me something is x number of feet long beyond the size of a normal human person and I won’t be able to picture it in my head. So when someone asked me, hey did you know that the entry sign for Alameda Point being proposed by the City is 48 feet long, I knew it was large but I couldn’t figure out in my head how large that really was.
And then I saw the renderings, the first graphic shows where it’s going to be. Looks big but not that big: