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:
There are a few rules for the developers interested in being considered, first you can’t submit any plans. Period. The City doesn’t care about seeing your vision, they just want you to tell them about it in narrative form, from the Staff Report:
The RFQs will require developers to submit a project description (i.e., number of units and commercial square footage for Site A and commercial square footage for Site B), and will require them NOT to submit a site plan or any design renderings of any proposed development at Alameda Point. The selection of the developers/users will be solely based on the qualifications of the developers/users and the quality of their submittal, including past projects, not on the quality of any design drawings purporting to show the future of Alameda Point. Submission of a site plan or renderings at this stage of the process will result in disqualification of the responding entity. [emphasis added]
So here’s what they want for each site:
Site A is proposed for a residential/commercial mixed-use project on 68 acres. The RFQ will assign 800 units of the proposed 1,425 units planned for Alameda Point to Site A, and an undetermined amount of commercial development left to respondents to decide based on market potential.
Which means that the overall density for Site A, which is supposed to be the most active part of Alameda Point will end up being very low, which kind of defeats the purpose of the idea of moving the ferry terminal to the Seaplane Lagoon and having increased density around that ferry terminal. I guess the assumptions that the City is working with is that the businesses that Alameda Point will attract will bring workers living in San Francisco to Alameda in the most ass backward thinking ever. While I’m sure it happens, it is the exception and not the rule.
For Site B:
The RFQ for Site B should solicit interest in developing mixed commercial projects, with a focus on a major sales tax generator, such as a premium retail outlet (not a “big box” store). The RFQ responses for Site B can also include corporate “build-to-suit” user(s) that generates significant jobs, business-to-business sales tax or other catalytic economic benefits (consistent with the Town Center Waterfront Plan, the rezoning and MIP). [emphasis added]
Looks like the City’s effort to continue to turn Alameda Point into Vacaville did not die with the demise of Charles Company.
I mean this whole thing is feeling kind of amateur hour. It’s clear that despite all of the posturing from the City about community meetings and vision statements and targeted plans the City still doesn’t have a good handle on the true vision for what has always been presented as they “key” portion of Alameda Point, the one part that it needs to get really right to set the tone for the remainder of the development. Personally whoever worked on the Phase O blue sky ideas has done a better job at articulating a vision than whoever will be crafting this RFP simply based on the “outline” staff report. It almost feels as though the City is desperate for anything to go anywhere, but maybe we’ll luck out and get a visionary developer than will want to create something that will meet the vision that was stated somewhere many moons ago. Although if we do get some one like that it will be strictly based on sheer dumb luck as opposed to the City really doing anything to encourage innovative development.