Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 6, 2010

The O.C.

For those that didn’t catch it in the comments section, or on Michele Ellson’s site, SunCal has uploaded their filed complaint to their website.

A few interesting things that were pointed out to me.  One I had already noticed and that was that SunCal had opted to file their case in a federal court in Santa Ana.   I thought of this as an additional “fuck you” to the City, since defending their case in Southern California would increase the cost to the City in legal and travel fees.   However, strategically, I was told, that a smart lawyer would attempt to find a venue  — in addition to being proper and appropriate — which would be most favorable to his/her clients.   SunCal is claiming that because the majority of the negotiations occurred (on SunCal’s end) in Orange County and “significant performance” occurred in Orange County that it will be best handled in their jurisdiction.  I imagine that the first thing the City will do will be to attempt to move the venue to Northern California.

There are four things that SunCal claims/wants out of this lawsuit.

  1. SunCal claims the City breached the contract (in this case the Exclusive Negotiation Agreement) by failing to act and negotiated in good faith.  Some examples used are the City stopped discussions to finalize a term sheet with the Navy, the City repudiated the initial pro forma which was previously agreed on and the failed to negotiate a new one in good faith, changing up staff and not providing a consistent staffing throughout the project, failing to complete the CEQA process.   More significantly, SunCal is claiming that the City has regular meetings with the Navy which is allowed under the ENA only when the other party is notified of the meeting, which SunCal is claiming that the City never did.  And that during the meetings with the Navy, the City made false statements about SunCal to the Navy.   SunCal wants injunctive relief, essentially they want the court to compel the City to perform under the ENA as though the ENA automatically extended.
  2. SunCal claims that the vote on the night of the 20th violated the Contract Clause in the US Constitution (this appears the be the main reason why the suit was filed in federal as opposed to state court) because the City ” interfered with and destroyed its own contract, subjecting its actions to heightened scrutiny and a more stringent examination under the Contract Clause than with laws affecting contractual relationships between private parties.”   SunCal is asking that this vote be declared null and void because it is unconstitutional.
  3. SunCal is asking for injunctive relief in the form of specific performance under the terms of the ENA.  According to the ENA if the City of Alameda breaches the contract one of the entitled forms of relief is specific performance.
  4. SunCal is asking that the judge make a declaration that Alameda breaches the ENA.   Essentially this is the “nanny nanny boo boo” clause where an adult steps in to tell everyone who is right and who is wrong.  And probably so if SunCal gets a declaration in their favor they can use in another lawsuit.

There’s also, tucked in some footnotes, a rather interesting abbreviated work history about Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant.   There are allegations that she is a job jumper and brings up some of her past troubles  in Los Angeles at the Redevelopment Agency. (Another article referencing AMG in LA Google turned up when I was looking for the other article.)  Some tidbits I hadn’t known about her time in Carson.   Then the job jumping from Gustine to King City to Desert Hot Springs within the span of three years.

But back to the lawsuit, will SunCal be successful?   Contracts law is a fairly tricky and difficult subject matter, but  I would imagine that the lawsuit itself puts the City into the position of weighing its options once again.   While the City Attorney apparently feels  confident that the City is legally in a good position with regard to SunCal, given the City Attorney’s um…spotty performance as of late, if I were the City Council I would be demanding a second or third opinion from lawyers who really understands contract law.


  1. I’m surprised they aren’t addressing the good faith issue. The city clearly was not bargaining in good faith when the mayor was flip flopping all over the place on the issue.

    Comment by E — August 6, 2010 @ 8:33 am


    Simple Socal Suncal Gets Greased by Gal Gallant: Laments Losing Louis


    “Everything changed…”, A clear case of governmental bureaucrats seeking to enrich and serve themselves, says Louis Miller in the Breach of Contract, et .al. Complaint filed in Socal Division of United States District Court.

    We had paid ourselves seventeen million dollars to get this far. The City Council spoke highly of us. But then, in one nefarious swoop, that job jumping, city suing, “You can read between the lines”, resignation prone, 25%-50% absent without excuse, Socal transplant Gallant instilled herself in the ICM position in the previously compliant City on the Bay.

    Things went downhill quickly. “Far from maintaining continuity, Gallant has done everything in her
    power to disrupt and destroy SCC Alameda’s project, in contravention of the
    Exclusivity Agreement. Upon becoming City Manager, she reshuffled the staff of the
    City, the Redevelopment Authority and the Improvement Commission—effectively
    stacking the deck to reconfigure a staff she could control.”

    “By wrapping SCC Alameda into the character assassination of
    Council member Lena Tam, the strategy of Gallant was to co-opt any vote by Ms. Tam
    regarding the project (Tam abstained from the most recent vote on July 20th). Gallant
    is using intimidation tactics to have her way.”

    “In bad faith, Alameda created a phony list of “justifications” for voting down the application.”

    So we’re suing the bastards!

    Comment by jayare — August 6, 2010 @ 8:57 am

  3. 2: The ICM abruptly changed the composition of most of the negotiating team in the spring of 2009. She replaced city staff who were familiar with the AP redevelopment process and the many complex details of Suncal’s various proposals (economic, geographic, Tidelands Trust, toxics, etc., etc.) with staff who had no prior involvement in the negotiations or experience with Suncal. This disrupted the negotiations in mid-course and they had to almost start all over, and the process never regained its productive momentum.

    The net result: a loss of at least several months of negotiating details while the new-to-negotiating City staffers got “up to speed,”In fact the new team did not even compile its first written list of questions and negotiating points until September of 2009.

    This left almost no time at all (perhaps 2 weeks) between the time the Council set the special election date of February 2–the earliest possible date they could choose and tactically the one least favorable to Suncal–and the deadline for ballot statements.(I still believe that the City Attorney misled the Council as to the applicable requirements of the various laws affecting the choice of dates, in order to push the early and more costly election.)

    Choosing the June primary election date instead of February 2 would have permitted more time to negotiate and modify the effects of the initiative language, had the City been negotiating in good faith. (It was apparently not by this time.)

    At every turn the Interim City Manager was recommending options and taking actions that were the most antagonistic ones possible re: Suncal.
    This was plain to me as an observer of the City’s actions, and it is not hard to “read between the lines.” She had the cooperation of several Council members, of course, but she may have been misleading them as well…

    The ICM’s intent to torpedo Suncal seemed quite clear as far back as the Chamber of Commerce breakfast at which she bragged of having a “backup plan” for AP after Suncal had been driven out. (This last phrase is only my interpretation of her statements. She did not need to use terms as literal as “driven out” to convey the meaning of her multiple actions.)

    In short, the ICM stacked the deck against Suncal at every possible step, which then led to a predictable outcome on July 20. Suncal’s people are not dumb, nor were they unaware of what was going on. They just were playing by the rules in the negotiations and negotiating as fairly as they could under the circumstances.

    (They may not have been perfectly wise in some of their decisions but they were never knowingly deceitful.)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 6, 2010 @ 10:25 am

  4. When the details of Measure B were available, it was clear that the streets that SunCal was planning were not even as wide as the city codes required.

    This planning was done long before AMG was involved.

    How, oh how, could SunCal have designed streets like that, and expect citizens to vote for their ideas?

    Comment by RM — August 6, 2010 @ 11:47 am

  5. RM:

    That’s exactly why you should have wanted the EIR to move forward-to have a third party review of their plan.

    The city now has nothing.

    17 years and counting…

    Comment by Dave L. — August 6, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  6. No,no, no. SunCal should have known what the city required as street width!

    Comment by RM — August 6, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

  7. RM, please show me where you see this street width on the plan that is not correct.

    I’m not criticizing, I just don’t recall seeing this anywhere in the plan the last time I looked.


    Comment by Dave L. — August 6, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

  8. At more than one of the city council meetings this point came up and a Public Works Department staff member said that the streets were too narrow.

    Call the Public Works Department and ask them for documentation.

    Comment by RM — August 6, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  9. 7,8

    In an MX zoning district, which is typically proposed for large developments,any variances to existing standards, such as street width and setbacks, can be granted when the development plan is approved. I personally favor narrower streets than proposed by HIGHWAY engineers (our current codes) as narrower streets slow traffic and provide less of a barrier to pedestrians.

    Unfortunately, in Measure B, SunCal actually went beyond proposing simple variances to zoning standards to propose alterations in the zoning process as well. Many, if not most, of these proposed changes to our City’s outdated zoning approval process in Measure B were desirable, a few were unacceptable.

    Some unacceptable changes proposed by SunCal, especially the shortening of public review periods would have been difficult, if not impossible, to change, without another city wide ballot measure. Thus I opposed Measure B.

    Because of the complexity of zoning and land use planning, I prefer granting city councils, city staffs and planning boards flexibility in making zoning decisions and defining approval processes to “ballot box zoning,” whether that zoning is put on the ballot by a developer like SunCal or individual citizens.

    I will concede that there are times when some more straightforward issues, like height limits and open space preservation may be appropriate for a citzen’s ballot. Measure B in its entirety was NOT appropriate for a citizen’s ballot and was rightly and overwhelmingly voted down by Alameda residents, even those like me, who believe SunCal’s development plan, implemented in cooperation with our City government, has great potential to improve our city, region and world.

    William Smith

    Former Chair and member County of Alameda Planning Commission

    Comment by William Smith — August 6, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  10. 3.

    Just why is it that the ICM has such sway over the Council members? Don’t they realize she serves at their pleasure? Suncal describes the ICM is the oger from the South yet it’s still the elected officials who will feel the results of any public backlash. But wait…the election was overwhelmingly in favor of the ICM’s position so why would there be any backlash.

    What if the Council terminates the ICM and her replacement is pro Suncal. You think the Council will regain the compliance Suncal marveled at before the ogre show up?

    The idea that the Council and ICM would try to develop the base on their own is really, really scary.

    Comment by Jayare — August 6, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

  11. I still marvel at the fact that an INTERIM city manager has such power. isn’t she supposed to be like a 6-9 month caretaker until a real one can be chosen?

    Comment by E — August 6, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  12. SunCal blames everyone but itself. The company seems to have an almost congenital inability to reflect on its actions and change course. Rather, it hires more and more consultants that seem only to dig it deeper in the hole. How can a company spend $1,300,000 on a political campaign in a small city and end up with only 15 percent of the vote? If they put a measure on the ballot to outlaw ice cream it would have done better.

    Don’t they realize that by suing Alameda they make themselves less appealing as a partner in other communities? It is like going to a job interview and saying that your current employer is an asshole or going on a first date and saying that you left your former girlfriend because she is too fat.

    Why is SunCal paying for such crappy advice?

    They’ve blamed Lehman for their problems and now they are blaming Ann Marie Gallant. In the most impolite terms, they are basically saying that their problems are all that bitch’s fault.

    Frankly, I am amazed at how much money SunCal spends and how much money they continue to spend with so little result. I guess that it is good for the local economy, but it leaves me dumbfounded.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — August 6, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

  13. Could be because the economy is so bad in CA, Suncal can make more money through law suits than developing.

    Comment by Jayare — August 6, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

  14. 12
    I don’t know, but the fact remains Lena Tam was neutralized by the ICM. She seems like decent person to me. Yet, if one believes the Complaint, she was targeted for supporting Measure B.

    If we learn nothing else from this episode, watch your back if you’re dealing with Socal entities!

    Comment by Jayare — August 6, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

  15. Jon, #3

    “she bragged of having a “backup plan””

    I don’t believe that to be the case. Although I was not at this now infamous breakfast (“the chamber doesn’t do pancakes”), the exchange between an attendee and the ICM came out differently when I heard it. The ICM was asked a valid question to discern the consequences of defeating Measure B and ending up with no developer. Personally, it would not inspire confidence in the city’s CEO if she had said, “I dunno.” I think what she was trying to convey is that rejecting SunCal’s ballot measure was not tantamount to jumping off a cliff. We, the city of Alameda, will be the ones to whom the base is conveyed, and I think she was intimating that if not SunCal to develop the base, there will be some other company or some other business plan that will lead to productive use of Alameda Point.

    As for megalomania charge against the ICM, I don’t buy it. People at the top of bureaucracies like to oversee success. If, as some people assert, the SunCal plan could have worked out for the good of everyone, why would a top level administrator knowingly monkeywrench a $1 billion development project? Developing Alameda Point via a local development agency would not add anything to her resume vs. letting SunCal carry out the development.

    If being the “big cheese” is what you think her motivation is, there would have been an unending cycle of hearings and document signings during SunCal’s or their successor’s tenure at which she would play a central role. If anything, letting SunCal be the developer would have provided cover if the whole enterprise failed.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — August 6, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

  16. #15:

    Richard, I WAS there, and it was not just that she said she had a “backup plan” (or words to that effect). S

    She was subsequently asked in a follow-up question to share what it was, and she rather coyly smiled and said (essentially) that it was “a secret.” The facial expression and body language were unmistakable, and the implications of her words and expressions did NOT sound like the words of a cautious or prudent executive that you might be imagining.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 7, 2010 @ 12:04 am

  17. 15
    “I don’t buy it. People at the top of bureaucracies like to oversee success.”

    Public bureaucracy vs private company. What does, “oversee success”, really mean for a public employee. Personal financial rewards? More personal power? Perhaps, the internal feeling of “doing good”?

    What about a people at the top of a private company, what’s success to them? Personal financial rewards and personal power, yes. But also, rewarding the stockholder, and by “rewarding”, I mean transferring real wealth into the pockets of the people who own the stock.

    So the assumption that a top public employee likes to oversee success to anybody but to one’s self, is an assumption I’d take with a grain of salt. However, a top private CEO’s measure of success is wealth to the stockholder. And that’s no assumption.

    Between the two, I’d trust the private company over the public bureaucracy anytime

    Comment by Jayare — August 7, 2010 @ 11:00 am

  18. Jon,

    Perhaps you had a predisposed point of view when you attended the breakfast. I heard those words, but did not see the face or hear the intonation you describe. I heard that the City was employing fundamental principles of negotiating strategy by making sure they understood their BANTA. You know that failing to perform due diligence regarding one’s options should the negotiations fail would be incompetent – the essential equivalent of medical malpractice. BANTAs are a cornerstone of any successful negotiation; you find them in virtually every book and program on negotiation, from fly-by-nights to Harvard. I’m sure SunCal/SSC had theirs as well, which likely included the very tactics they’re employing now.

    This “researching the BANTA” argument is a weak assertion, arguing that the City must be incompetent in the execution of its due diligence and positioning in negotiations in order to negotiate in good faith. It makes me wonder if filing the suit is really more about the impact it might have on the upcoming election.

    Comment by Lorre Zuppan — August 7, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

  19. 12. I’ve felt SunCal to have been pretty ham handed at several junctures along the way and I am sort of dumbfounded too, though no less so by the behavior of people like the Mayor who would consent to the famous robo call campaign with apparently no clue what she was backing and then flip flopping without missing a beat, or so she seems to think.

    ANT I appreciate your “fat girl” humor, but when you think about it, we are beyond an analogy to SunCal dating a new prospect. SunCal is not willing to walk away from it’s investment in the ongoing courtship (no pun intended) and they are now fighting over being jilted. I’m not going to spell out additional dating analogies which do come to mind.

    In as much as they may now try to lay blame on everybody else, that is in part simply a strategy but at the same time, it has some validity. Regardless of what 20/20 criticism we may be able to make about their relationship with Lehman and the whole system which collapsed, the fact is that the loss of Lehman is more than some lame excuse. Nobody in the industry in the fall of 2008 including Hank Paulson understood the depth of the effect the Lehman collapse would have.

    The issue of their solvency as a developer would now seem moot or at least to take a back seat to the legal intricaies of good faith in ENA, but I think SunCal detractors over played that point in the Measure B campaign and now that SunCal won’t be paying salary at City Hall, I’m wondering about financing ICM’s plan B.

    When it was first discussed, SunCal’s payments toward staff salaries were ignorantly decried as undue influence, even graft. Now it seems as long as staff tows ICM’s line that is somehow forgotten. But that too is moot as that cash spigot has been abruptly turned off.

    footnote: while I would hope for something approaching autonomy in an office such as the City Attorney, I don’t wish to be seen as overly critical of other staff who are fulfilling a job description as delegated by a superior. I don’t know everybody at the City but in the sector which pertains to SunCal I have particular respect for the professional talent of Jennifer Ott and Andrew Thomas. Sorry to say I don’t envy any of you guys at the moment.

    Comment by M.I. — August 7, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

  20. 17

    You might trust a private company more than a public bureaucracy, but turning the city over to a private company is not what we’re discussing, are we?

    My point is that the city manager makes the same salary regardless of how Alameda Point is developed. If she is totally self-centered and worried only about her career, then I would argue that she had a greater incentive to give SunCal a warm welcome and announce to the world that Alameda Point is finally going to be transformed – under her leadership and skillful negotiating prowess. Then, a few years from now, before much of anything is done in the way of demolition and construction, she shops for a job in a larger city for a higher salary. In other words, I don’t get the argument that there is something in it for her if we get rid of SunCal and implement her “secret plan” for a local development corporation.

    As for rewards, a private CEO increases a company’s cash reserves and they might expect a bonus of some sort. On the other hand, back at Alameda city hall, the city’s cash reserves have gone from $4 million to $12 million while she has been running the city. What benefit did she earn from that?

    I also don’t get the argument that when she changed the staff team working on Alameda Point she was implementing her secret plan to squelch the private master developer method of developing Alameda Point. Six years with the previous master developer ended in failure to achieve results. What would you have done? Continue with the same team hoping for different results? In the corporate world where people check stock prices by the minute, a management shuffle would not be unheard of after a big deal collapsed. I thought you liked the efficiency of modern business management practices.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — August 7, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  21. 20
    Don’t confuse me with Jon in #3. I made no comment about the ICM changing staff, or anything else about the ICM, for that matter.

    My intention in #17 was to draw a comparison between private and public motivation vs rewards, which you amplified with your comparison (just what is it you think the motivation of the Alameda ICM is? Suncal says it’s financial rewards)

    My own feeling about her is, with all the vitriol being hurled at her from this blog, she must be doing something right.

    Comment by Jayare — August 7, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  22. 19
    “the fact is that the loss of Lehman is more than some lame excuse.”

    The loss of their primary funding was undoubtedly real. It also undoubtedly exposed the weakness of their business model. The reason that city staff recommended Catellus as the new master developer, rather than SunCal, was because Catellus would have been able to self-finance. Catellus and their parent company are not today hanging on by a thread while entangled in bankruptcy court proceedings.

    For whatever it’s worth and just for the record – since the closing of the base, these are the entities that have produced results: 1) Catellus (Bayport); 2) Maritime Administration (lease revenue to city for ships); 3) PM Realty Group (attracting new lease tenants); 4) Alameda Point Collaborative (housing, jobs, training, Plowshares Nursery; 5) Antique Auctions and Fairs; and 6) BRAC ($400 million Navy cleanup effort. If I have omitted anyone, please add to the list.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — August 7, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

  23. #22, Add these to the list:

    Marina Cove, by KB Homes
    Grand Marina Village, by Warmington (in progress)

    Comment by Susan — August 8, 2010 @ 7:48 am

  24. 22
    Produced results? These are results we want? Try to make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear all you want but on the base proper, it’s still a broken down, beat up, dilapidated bunch of abandoned buildings begging to be razed.

    Comment by jayare — August 8, 2010 @ 11:48 am

  25. 23. I think Richard is counting the base and FISC only. And my footnote is that Marina Cove is nothing to write home about, barely better than Heritage Bay, or whatever the old drive-in site is called.

    Richard, for all the good things on your list I don’t think the amounts of money produced serve as much of an economic engine for a redevelopment undertaking like the Point. I don’t think opening up long term leasing will change that much. Buildings are falling apart, many have little interim lease value while others would require huge investment in upgrade.

    At FISC, the housing was the immediate success and cash cow but as for Catellus having the publicly traded shares to get it done at the rest of the Point, the Landing sure has languished and it’s all because of the market forces.

    Comment by M.I. — August 8, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  26. 25

    “…sure has languished and it’s all because of the market forces.”

    Or ICM/Council forces, take your pick.

    Comment by Jayare — August 8, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  27. 24,

    I wasn’t trying to suggest that these are the results we want, or should, be content with. Rather, it was to counter the argument that we have spent 14 years “doing nothing” which is “no longer an option.”

    I’m all for razing the junky buildings and getting new infrastructure in place. Not many people are confident SunCal was (or is) the company to do that. When we come up with a business plan that looks more favorable than what SunCal offered, something will happen. I’d prefer to avoid a telecom-style debacle on steroids.

    Re: Catellus – They did what they said they were going to do with Bayport. And they have until the end of this year to produce entitlement documents for Alameda Landing, or else the city is free to solicit other developers. Alameda Landing (hopefully) will not end up like so many of SunCal’s projects – in bankruptcy court.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — August 9, 2010 @ 7:46 am

  28. Here’s some background on Bayport. As I am at work, I’m writing pretty quickly so please let me apologize ahead of time for any typographical or grammatical errors. During my years on the ARRA serving as Councilmember Arnerich’s alternative member, I had always been behind building new housing at Alameda Point, largely because, as a West Ender, I believed that the West End really needed that shot-in-the-arm. (There’s also the untold story about how a person in 1995 was leaving notices on West End homeowners’ doorsteps encouraging the to sell before it was too late, a practice that every wanna-be city planner learns about as “block busting”. But I won’t go into that).

    As luck would have it, then-Congressman Dellums passed special legislation that allowed the City of Alameda to obtain the area of Alameda Point formerly known as the FISC (the Fleet Industrial Supply Center), which in essence was the area north of Stargell Avenue to the estuary, and east of Main Street toward Webster Street, excluding areas like North Housing and the boatwork and Rosenblum wineries areas. What got Bayport going, if you will, is a motion made by Councilmember Barbara Kerr, who, on the night in 1997 when Council was looking for a developer to redevelop the FISC, moved to include East Housing (aka Bayport) as part of the developer election process. East Housing is **south** of what is now Stargell Avenue.

    I can’t remember if either Councilmember Lucas or I seconded the motion but, to put it mildly, this caught many by surprise, including myself. But I thought Councilmember Kerr’s was a very good motion given my inclination for new housing. So, Bayport was a City Council initiative — it did not result because of developer interest or interest by City staff, and I believe Mayor Appezzato and Vice Mayor DeWitt ultimately supported this initiative because, well, there was three already in favor of it.

    Of course, turning East Housing into Bayport was not an easy process, not that I expected that to be the case anyway. Affordable housing advocates, environmental advocates, concerned citizens and local churches (i.e. a coalition known as “Renewed Hope”) were concerned about the way Bayport was included in the FISC process and, perhaps more importantly, sought to basically rehabilitate the East Housing military apartment units and lease them. Because of my desire for new housing and because early on I saw this as a way to jump-start redevelopment (i.e. create a tax base to begin to pay for infrastructure, etc., at Alameda Point [ ]), this is when I took the bull-by-the-horn, so to speak, in championing new residential development, arguing for this change at meetings and in the media [ ]. I’ll always remember how I was such a thorn in the side of keeping East Housing as is that folks marched down Park Street chanting “Taxes, taxes that’s all he knows, Tony Daysog has go to go!” But I made a promise that I would build new housing — it was in my candidate’s statement of 1998.

    The thing I recall telling Catellus back then was this: “Marti (Marti Buxton, Catellus’ initial representative) just stay out of my way — let me do this. I will take the lead.” I took the bull-by-the-horn because that’s what Alameda needed — Catellus or any of their contractees never cut me a check for anything at any time. Not a dime. I did this because this was the right thing to do.

    I knew full well the repercussions of this — and there were repercussions . . . housing activists were right in saying that Bayport would gentrify the West End. The closure of BVs / Bridgeport / Harbor Island and the mass evictions were intimately related to Bayport, no doubt. But what was the alternative? Keep things as they are and never generate the underlying revenues needed to get Alameda Point going, and in so doing, allow the Point to be a drain on the city as a whole? As an elected official, you’ve got to make tough, tough decisions. Some times very unpopular ones, too.

    But as elected officials, you can’t be tone-deaf either — you’ve got to work things out. And I think we did that with Renewed Hope and Bayport, as exemplified in Renewed Hope / Mayor Appezzato’s 25% affordable housing plan for all of Alameda Point. But Bayport is there today — I hear now and then people refer to it as “McMansions” — but, really, it’s not that bad. It’s quite well-designed, if you consider the multiple pocket-parks, the garages in the alley-ways (as opposed to the front of the house in typical suburban fashion) and the central location of the park and school. Could it be better? Of course. But it’s generating property taxes / tax increment, so much so that Bayport played a key role in financing the bonds for the movie theater/garage on Park Street in the East End of town [ ].

    I see in Bayport a parable for Alameda Point, now that we are at a “What now?” juncture for the rest of the former military base. I am convinced that the Mayor and City Council must take the strong lead (take the “bull-by-the-horns”) in directing the next steps for Alameda Point. And, as with Bayport, we must hire the right private developer to do our bidding in converting Alameda Point from what it is now into something valuable and beautiful. And, yes, I will always argue that new housing is absolutely key to tapping into the areas hidden, underlying value that, when tapped, will pay for all the things the community has envisioned and dreamed about for Alameda Point since 1994.

    Comment by Tony Daysog — August 9, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

  29. I “envision and dream” about a new tax base for police & fire & basic government services instead of movie theaters & gifts to PSBA, but I’m funny that way.

    Comment by dave — August 9, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  30. Yes, Dave, as I wrote elsewhere here: when on Council, I created the municipal services fee to help pay for police and fire and other governmental services at Alameda Point. I’ll try to find where that discussion is on this site.

    Comment by Tony Daysog — August 9, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  31. OK: found it: here it is:

    Comment by Tony Daysog — August 9, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  32. Thanks Tony,

    We love living at Bayport. I know most of my neighbors and the community is great. Some people who don’t live here are critical of Bayport…but move here for a month and you would change your mind…great place to live…great neighbors.

    Comment by Joel — August 9, 2010 @ 7:19 pm

  33. Tony Daysog’s rant appears to confuse a bull’s horns with a bull’s excrement.

    The only time I walked down Park Street with members of Renewed Hope was to meet with lawyers to negotiate a settlement with the City. That settlement ended the City’s practice of accepting “in lieu” fees from developers rather than developing required affordable housing. Marching, chanting – never happened Tony.

    Five hundred Alameda families are evicted en masse and without cause and Tony’s response: “But what was the alternative?” Spoken like a true bigot. Tony has no other idea than the mass exodus of Alameda’s poorest residents as the way forward for our city. I do remember the promise Tony made to the residents of Harbor Island in return for their support of the Bayport development. I guess that promise was to much bull for Tony to get a grasp of.

    The reality is that Bayport sits in the center of three closed neighborhood elementary schools that once served as neighborhood community centers. These school closures and the eviction of Harbor Island residents are unacceptable consequences of the Bayport development. This is what happens when public lands are developed for profit rather than for the public good.

    Only in Measure A land can borrowing millions of dollars to finance the demolition of 590 apartment units be called fiscally responsible. No environmentalist would have supported such a tremendous waste of resources – building materials and man-hours for 590 housing units put out with the trash. There was then and still remains no scarcity of vacant land at Alameda Point where a development like Bayport could have been built instead.

    In the rush to demolish East Housing a settlement was reached in Renewed Hope and Arc Ecology vs. the City of Alameda. This settlement which requires the City to subsidize future affordable housing is similar to promising to pay for a retirees health care insurance. The City wrote a blank check – look at housing costs ten years ago and today.

    As much as Peter Calthorpe’s proposed development was about being Peter Calthorpe, it was also about making it less expensive (i.e. multi-unit housing) for the city to comply with the lawsuit settlement agreement.

    The parable of this story will be when Tony realizes that people contribute to the wealth of a community not through their wallet but through their character.

    Comment by Patrick Lynch — August 10, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

  34. #33

    I too remember the efforts to save East Housing for those of modest means. I do not doubt that there are nice people living in Bayport, but that is at the expense of those who are equally nice who could have lived there if that housing had been refurbished rather that torn down.

    Would we have had people living there who would have felt so over-entitled as to complain about unpaid City Council members taking the month of August off?

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — August 10, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

  35. All,

    As one who joined Renewed Hope Housing Advocates during the East Housing fight, I appreciate all who took the time to document their recollections of the events here. That includes the reasons Council supported tearing down East Housing, the views of the people who now live in what replaced East Housing, and those who were onlookers. I’m certainly glad Lauren Do moved into Bayport and set up this blog!

    These remembrances are in the past. As Vice President of Renewed Hope today, I ask that whatever side of the East Housing / Bayport battle you were on nearly 10 years ago, that today you help replace the hundreds of units of moderately priced housing that were lost when East Housing was demolished and when hundreds of families were evicted Harbor Isle apartments, now Summer House.

    In particular, we need to work together to bring housing to Alameda Point. With the Renewed Hope settlement, 25% of housing built there will be affordable to those with limited or moderate means. We need to explain how more housing will benefit current Alamedans and demonstrate how these benefits outweigh the small changes, such as more congestion in the tubes and near Webster Street, in the daily routines of current residents.

    Together, we really can build an environmentally and economically sustainable community at Alameda Point that also promotes social and environmental justice.

    Comment by William Smith — August 10, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

  36. I count myself among those who felt that it was a travesty that East Housing was torn down. That said, I don’t feel it is being hypocritical if I am opposed to creating another travesty of an overbuilt community of new residents whose transit needs were not included in the Renewed Hope lawsuit settlement, nor were any jobs included in the Renewed Hope legal settlement. Hats off for raising the bar to 25%. That doesn’t mean we throw away our thinking caps.

    Five hundred and ninety units of potentially affordable housing were removing from Alameda’s housing stock when East Housing was demolished. A fair payback for agreeing to the lawsuit settlement, in my opinion, would be a new development at Alameda Point that contained 590 affordable housing units. At 25% (the percentage guaranteed by the lawsuit settlement) of the total number of units, that would have us building a new community of 2,360 units (Measure A-exempt 1,800 units + density bonus – one option to consider).

    The number arrived at for the Calthorpe plan was driven by land speculation and the ridiculous price for the land, not altruism or environmentalism.

    The Transit-Enhanced PDC is the middle ground between Suburbia Point and Peter World.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — August 11, 2010 @ 6:52 am

  37. Thank god those WWII shacks that were called “East Housing” were demolished. If Tony Daysog was instrumental in making it happen (I don’t remember the details) kudos to him. If he can be instrumental in razing the rest of the base and fill it with market rate housing and businesses, he’s got my vote.

    The definition of “affordable” housing is 30% or less monthly income spent on housing, The idea that every tom dick and harry is supposed to have government build and subsidize something that suits his income level is what’s driven this country into bankruptcy.

    Cities used to survive and flourish by encouraging their citizens to better themselves and their income level. Now, they subsidize victimology.

    Comment by Jayare — August 11, 2010 @ 8:42 am

  38. “The idea that every Tom Dick & Harry {over age 62} is supposed to have {younger, productive workers} subsidize…his income level is what’s driven this country into bankruptcy.”


    Comment by dave — August 11, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  39. Amen, on that. It’s already driven SS and cities/states/fed into bankruptcy.


    Comment by jayare — August 11, 2010 @ 9:50 am

  40. Thank you FDR! You proved that a system that lets people vote themselves wealth will eventually collapse.

    Comment by jayare — August 11, 2010 @ 9:56 am

  41. Everyone keeps saying “when the right developer comes along”, but how will another one come along with Ann Marie Gallant calling the shots? Can they trust the City in good faith to not stray from contractual obligations?

    Comment by Alameda Watchdog — August 11, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  42. 37
    “government build and subsidize something”
    I missed that part of the Renewed Hope settlement.

    I also missed the news during the recent collapse of Lehman Brothers and the other brothers and sisters on Wall Street that it was government subsidized housing that brought us the recent financial calamity.

    Subsidizing victimology among lower working class people went away with the end of welfare as we know it. Now we just subsidize financial institutions, oil companies, car companies and electric utitilies.

    Comment by Richard Bangert — August 11, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  43. “I missed that part…”

    “I also missed the news…”

    Maybe you went missing in Fort Devens. Great article, by the way. Agreed with every part of it.

    Comment by Jayare — August 11, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  44. Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Alameda. Alameda Who? Alameda, the City that is wasting the best opportunity to get Alameda Point redeveloped by getting rid of SunCal!

    Comment by Alameda2000 — August 19, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

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