Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 10, 2011

Chipman on the old block

Filed under: Alameda, Development, Northern Waterfront — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Tonight the Planning Board will be hearing an update on the Del Monte/Encinal Terminal/Peter Wang property, mostly this is a compliance review for the interim use permit and a request for a 10 month extension in order to allow the current business to make their move to Oakland.

Buried in the text is an update on the state of the development of the site.  If you will remember, the City commissioned and Peter Wang paid for yet another development plan last year to redevelop the Encinal/Del Monte/Chipman Terminal site entitled Vision 2010.

There is a new development in the development of this site.   According to the staff report:

In March 2011, staff transmitted the draft text to the Mr. Wang and Mr. Wang’s selected development partner, the Stringer Development Company for review.

In July, the Stringer Company met with city staff and indicated that the Stringer Company and their design consultants would like to take the draft text prepared by staff and the design concepts prepared by UDA and prepare a draft Master Plan for staff, community and Planning Board review. The Stringer Company has not yet completed that work.

So around July of this year I was directed to a site that was a Syndicate Opportunity for individual investors to get in on financing the entitlement process.  What was interesting was that when I initially saw this the first property that the developer was going to entitle was the Encinal Terminal portion.

So for a visual representation, the Encinal Terminal portion is the part that juts out into the Estuary.  Del Monte is the longish beige buildings and the Chipman site is the stuff that looks like standard single family homes.

The strategy, according to the investment video is to sell the entitled and mapped lots to a public home builder.  So this is interesting for a couple of different reasons.   The first is that it diverges from the Vision 2010 plan for the Encinal Terminal site which was described as:

The strategy we’re proposing for this site is completely different than the other two sites and it is a flexible, incremental, organic approach to redeveloping this site.  You can see the open space network that we talked about before which would be a series of courtyards and paseos and multipurpose paths that link together this site and open space at the edge.

Which to me, read as little to no housing because of the Tideland restrictions on the site, but it looks like we may be back to the almost all residential plan that was shelved a while ago that had that site looking like a little Venice Beach complete with canals.    According to the Investor Tour video on the link above the intent is to keep the large swath of Tidelands property untouched and develop “high density single family detached homes” around the Tidelands portion, but the developer noted that they will be allowed to run roads through the property and might have some sort of park but said that they hadn’t really planned on anything except entitling the single family units.

Recently the Chipman portion has been offered up as the next investment opportunity, which appears will also be a straightforward residential entitlement process.   It appears that these sites will be developed sort of backward from the Vision 2010 plan which was to develop the Del Monte site first with the work/live lofts and modular work spaces, then the Chipman site, and finally the Encinal Terminal space.

While it appears that these developers seem very confident they can get at least the Chipman and the Encinal sites through the entitlement process, with this particular space Alameda has been waiting for a long time to see some progress so I’m not holding my breath.


  1. Lauren, we have been waiting a long time for this waterfront development. I hope we see some progress soon and I look forward to hearing from the developers on their timeline.

    I’m happy to see all the housing along the shoreline. This is consistent with our history as a resort community. It would be nice to see more waterfront projects like this in the pipeline as we move closer to America’s Cup:

    • Homes and condos on the waterfront
    • Upscale hotels on the waterfront
    • Restaurants and retail on the waterfront

    Projects like these could start a resurgence in Alameda taking us back to our roots as a resort community. And it will add to our list of attractions: boating communities, golf course, wineries, marinas, yacht clubs, etc. and help to make Alameda a destination for travelers.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 10, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  2. Kudos to the Planning Board for insisting that the shipping containers and the trailers be removed from the development site. And also kudos to staff for helping to jump start this project with the preliminary preparation of a master plan.

    These actions along with the actions of the city council requiring the Boatworks owners to demolish the buildings and clean up their site in 90 days says we’re taking more control over the development of our waterfront properties – one of the largest and most valuable asset we have.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 10, 2011 @ 10:43 am

  3. Karen, we are not a “resort community” and we are not a “destination for travelers”, we are a water oriented community and a very nice one at that. One hundred years ago people took a train to Alameda. Times have changed and now people travel further to enjoy a small vacation. We tried to have a golf course on the point, but it did not work out. Probably economics. We fought like hell with the developer of “Bridge side” to make that a more water oriented site, he said that the businesses would never let it happen, I told him he was dead wrong. Guess what he was right. I don’t disagree with your views, its just so much harder than people realize.

    Comment by JOHN P. — October 10, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  4. Agreed, John.
    That Alameda was some sort of ‘resort town’ in the mythical past based on the Neptune Beach era is ludicrous. The only ‘resort’ associated with this town lies deep within the hundred of thousands of veteran memories as Alameda being the last resort before the unknown.

    Having said that, I’m constantly amazed at the number of people around this country who crack a wide grin when they ask ‘from where?’ and you answer ‘Alameda’. Of course these, for the large part, were those who served and returned and their kin.

    Alameda affected the lives of so many people in a good way because it’s the last place they saw their loved ones leaving and the first place they saw them when they returned…if they returned.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 11, 2011 @ 7:12 am

  5. John, I believe we have the potential to return to our roots as a resort community if we focus on it. America’s Cup gives us that opportunity.

    It starts with believing we can, then next with a vision, then by taking small continuous steps in that direction until we become the thing we envisioned. It can happen!

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 11, 2011 @ 7:46 am

  6. Karen, I’m not trying to be a wise guy here, but how can putting 130 houses on what is now open space (the MIF) be taking us in that direction. ” Resort community” makes me think of golf, sailing, swimming, ect. not the compressing of houses onto very small lots.

    Comment by JOHN P. — October 11, 2011 @ 8:48 am

  7. John, part of my frustration with this project is that it’s being packaged as a land swap when it can be so much more. All people are seeing is that we’re giving up treasured land and Cowan gets to build 130 homes. The community wants to feel good about what we’re getting in return for giving up this land.

    Hopefully we can take a look at all the possibilities and come up with a plan the community can get excited about. A hotel, spa, and club house would make me happy.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 11, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

  8. I think we need to start with making sure each parcel is accessed properly. Lots of folks object to this deal based on addition of any homes at all, without regard for how compressed the layout. I like the idea of a list of pros and cons for any plan and would like to reject a completed plan as opposed to a flat out rejection of any swap. I’ve heard a lot of good reasons the current proposal is bad, but I’m willing to wait to see options before opposing any land swap at all. Any swap should have clear benefit to the City, hopefully including $$, with the down side (traffic and school impacts) carefully weighed.

    Comment by M.I. — October 11, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  9. Why do we need more houses? Why cant we draw more light industrial jobs to these acres? Once space is used up for residential it pretty much counts out any other use ever again. How can we keep letting these council members approve developments of homes 10 ft away from each other packed in like boxes? The development along Atlantic Ave on the former naval housing property is horrible. Lifelong resident. WHY DO WE KEEP BUILDING HOMES?

    Comment by bruce — October 12, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

  10. I do not think, #9, that we can just overlook Mr. Cowan’s earlier agreements with the City, which specified the number of homes he could build. I do not know the exact number, but the original agreement was evidently not totally built out and he believes he has the legal right to build the remaining homes. As to the swap of the land and the promises for improvements, I believe the City has to insure that the financial and social impacts of such a deal are beneficial. When this comes back to Council in December, I expect that the public will see the plans, the proposed contracts, and the financials well ahead of the meeting. Then, we can all chime in on our questions and concerns in an open and transparent manner and get answers. I am happy that the matter was postponed. Those who have concerns will have quite a bit of time to express them.

    Comment by Kate Quick. — October 12, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

  11. Hi Lauren, any way I can contact you for this Syndicate Investment opportunity?

    Comment by Amit Ganguli — October 26, 2011 @ 8:38 am

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