Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 16, 2015

Set your Site A

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business, City Council, Development, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

I don’t think I’m overreaching if I say that tonight’s City Council vote on Site A at Alameda Point is probably the biggest issue to come before this Council since they have been seated.   The one vote which has the potential to be derailed is the vote on the Disposition and Development Agreement which requires a vote of four out of five of the City Council members.  I’m not feeling particularly optimistic for Site A, but I’m really hoping that my uncharacteristically pessimistic attitude will be proven wrong by an unanimous vote.  Hell, I’d settle for a four to one vote at this point, I don’t require unanimity.

If you click on the link above it leads you to a full page of all the documents that exist and that should be able to answer any question that you might have if you’re willing to do some reading.  Staff is recommending that the City Council take affirmative action on all the items that are coming before them tonight, just to keep tabs there are three major votes:

(1) Adoption of Resolution Upholding the Planning Board Resolution No. PB-15-09 Approving a Development Plan for the 68-Acre Mixed Use Development Plan in the Waterfront Town Center Plan Area Referred to as “Site A” at Alameda Point and Approving a Density Bonus Waiver;
(2) Introduction of Ordinance Approving a Disposition and Development Agreement (and Related Documents) between the City of Alameda and Alameda Point Partners, LLC (APP) for the Site A Development at Alameda Point [Requires four affirmative votes]; and
(3) Introduction of Ordinance Approving a Development Agreement between the City of Alameda and Alameda Point Partners, LLC for the Site A Development at Alameda Point.

And as a reminder of the highlights for the project, also from the staff report:

 Fulfills the community’s vision of building a high-quality mixed-use transit- oriented waterfront development that includes approximately 1,472 on-site permanent jobs and 2,570 direct construction jobs over the life of the project, retail amenities, a diversity of housing types for a wide range of income levels, and waterfront parks for the entire Alameda community;
 Sets the stage for future job creation through the construction of amenities, gateway improvements into Alameda Point, and a new sewer line from Main Street though Site A and up to the existing pump station at the northern edge of the Alameda Point property to support long-term employment-generating uses in the Enterprise Sub-district and the NAS Alameda Historic District (i.e., Adaptive Reuse Sub-district) at Alameda Point;
 Mitigates traffic impacts by funding transit service to BART every 15 minutes during peak traffic hours, free bus passes for all residents and employees, car- and bike-share stations, subsidized Clipper cards (all-in-one transit card for the Bay Area), a dedicated staff person to coordinate transportation services, an alternative modes website, and a number of other alternative transportation programs;
 Contributes $18 million towards significant transportation infrastructure, such as bus rapid transit lanes, a ferry terminal, bicycle lanes, and portions of the Bay Trail;
 Commits $36 million to 15 acres of publicly accessible parks and open spaces, including an initial phase of the regional sports complex and eight acres of waterfront promenades and parks along the Seaplane Lagoon, which require expensive shoreline and flood protection improvements; and
 Complies with the City’s fiscal neutrality policy through dedicated special tax revenues; commits to building and funding $103 million in public infrastructure and amenities (including items described above) and provides profit sharing to the City in the event of exceptional financial performance. [emphasis added]

The housing details, a breakdown by family income and number of units that will be affordable for those family incomes:

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 4.50.42 PM

There’s lots more on the staff report, it’s really worth a read if you still have any outstanding questions about the project. It should be a long night for the City Council and this will also be heard on the same night that the rezoning for the North Housing parcel which will reduce the allowable units on that property as a blatant concession to Frank Matarrese who was instrumental in reducing housing units to make up for the units at Site A.


  1. My prediction and fear is that A couple of members of council will vote yes on two of the items, and no on the last, thus killing the development. That gives them the perfect out, they can say they support development, but this one wee little piece of this doesn’t feel right to me. So they can pander to the whole city.

    Comment by Not A Alamedan — June 16, 2015 @ 8:30 am

  2. First I am for this project. However included in this seems to be a PLA Agreement (Project Labor Agreement) which till I read Sullwold latest I have never heard about or has there been any Community Discussion about. I can’t say if this is good or bad I’m just amazed that this has come to light at least for me at the last minute and can/should/would give people an excuse to vote down the Project. It is like after all this time the City seems intent on shooting itself in the foot AGAIN.

    Comment by frank m — June 16, 2015 @ 9:55 am

  3. post #1, I don’t necessarily disagree with you, and I’m really hoping you are wrong. This project comes at a crucial time in the development of Alameda Point, it has overwhelming support throughout the community. I would say that for a council member to do something along the lines of your above comment would be completely unacceptable to both sides. At this point you either are for development at the point or you are against it. Pandering isn’t going to cut it. I can understand The Mayor is pretty much against all development and any more traffic, that’s a position. We have other council members who are in favor of development at the point and that’s a position. Going into some sort of grey area is going to be committing suicide politically. Of course that is just my opinion.

    Comment by John P. — June 16, 2015 @ 10:00 am

  4. I hope it gets voted down because building a ferry terminal in the lagoon is unnecessary (already have ferry service half mile away) and damaging to the tranquility and environment of the area.

    I predict Trish will vote against it, as she should.

    Comment by jack — June 16, 2015 @ 10:22 am

  5. Jack, the current ferry terminal is at capacity, with the new housing they need more. It is a tranquil area, because no one uses that area, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used. Trish will most likely vote against it because that is what she does…she asks questions after the fact which are not even relevant. She throws darts from her hip and misses the board.

    Comment by Jake. — June 16, 2015 @ 11:23 am

  6. Who decided the current ferry is at capacity? One boat every three hours ain’t “at capacity”. I suppose you mean the parking is at capacity, which is baloney too. There’s tons of area in the vast expanses of base that could be used.

    No one uses the lagoon now but when the area around it is full of residents who bought in that particular area for the beauty of the view and the peacefulness of the lagoon for kayaking and other water oriented activities find that big noisy petroleum spilling exhaust spewing ferries are coming and going at all times of the day and night, they may not like it.

    Take the ferry port out of the equation and the vote will be unanimous in favor.

    Comment by jack — June 16, 2015 @ 12:12 pm

  7. I agree with Jack: no ferry at Seaplane Lagoon Park. LOTS of birds gather there at various times of the year-I once counted 16 young pelicans at once on one of the ramps! Birds big enough to see and appreciate…not those little tern things, who are hogging all the environmental protection.

    I can’t imagine that an exhaust-spewing ferry will do anything less than further disturb the ecosystem and chase more wildlife away. The wildlife are already going to have to dodge the new WETA building and fuel tanks.

    Comment by vigi — June 16, 2015 @ 12:45 pm

  8. #8 – Carol, maybe you should check with the hundreds of sea lions, along with all the birds, at Pier 39, right next to the ferries, tour boats, and hundreds of thousands of tourists, to see if they have been scared away.

    Comment by david burton — June 16, 2015 @ 1:01 pm

  9. Is that what we’re aiming for with this proposal, Pier 39?

    Comment by jack — June 16, 2015 @ 1:15 pm

  10. Jack – by no means. The point is that if the wildlife can live, and even apparently thrive, in an environment like that, then the environment that is proposed for Seaplane Lagoon should be supportive of wildlife, too.

    Comment by david burton — June 16, 2015 @ 1:24 pm

  11. The first time Jack and vigi ever agreed on anything…that should be enough to convince you Jack. I highly doubt vigi ever goes on the base. Jack just likes to be contrary.

    Comment by Jake. — June 16, 2015 @ 1:38 pm

  12. #6 – Who decided the current ferry is at capacity?

    I ride the ferry every day, and there are days that people are standing because there are not enough seats available. Also, the parking lot is full, and we’re paring on dirt parking lots. You can see cars parked all along Main Street by 8:00 am.

    Also WETA tracks ridership and has reported that ridership has increased significantly.

    And this is before any new homes are built!

    Comment by Karen Bey — June 16, 2015 @ 1:55 pm

  13. The ferry is perhaps one of the greatest assets of this project. It will mean a 15-20 minute ferry ride direct to San Francisco. Not many places in the bay area you can commute to SF in 20 minutes.

    Comment by Karen Bey — June 16, 2015 @ 2:02 pm

  14. Jobs, housing, a new ferry terminal, parks, bike paths, new infrastructure for the existing businesses, restaurants and retail, and great urban design. You can’t get better than this!

    Comment by Karen Bey — June 16, 2015 @ 2:08 pm

  15. David Burton That is NOT wildlife. It is formerly wild animals that have become addicted to human handouts, Pathetic.

    Comment by frank m — June 16, 2015 @ 2:15 pm

  16. Man does not live by Transit alone. Wildlife indicate a peaceful balanced environment for the humans living nearby. I think people would rather live in such an environment than in a sterile, noisy, over-industrialized one.

    Comment by vigi — June 16, 2015 @ 2:27 pm

  17. Wouldn’t a shuttle from the new housing at Site A to the existing ferry terminal on the Estuary be less disruptive to the environment, and help deal with the limited parking?

    Comment by vigi — June 16, 2015 @ 2:47 pm

  18. Vigi – you obviously don’t commute every day! There is a balance, and getting to work every day on time is very important for those of us who work and have to commute.

    Bart is also reaching capacity with numerous delays and melt downs. Water transit will become more and more important as an effective way to reduce traffic and get workers across the bay.

    Comment by Karen Bey — June 16, 2015 @ 2:53 pm

  19. 12
    The answer to too many passengers is to float more boats not build more unneeded terminals.

    Comment by jack — June 16, 2015 @ 3:15 pm

  20. kind of late for a debate of this kind about this ferry terminal location. Using Google maps it seems like the Ferry Building is about equidistant from the current estuary Ferry and the proposed terminal in the lagoon. Bay Farm is almost twice as far. The speed of the current ferry is somewhat curtailed until it gets to the end of the estuary. Speed of the proposed ferry would be curtailed for the short distance within the lagoon and then it could take off. If the new terminal is accounted for in the development agreement then, we’ll have more boats at dispersed locations. Having a terminal right on a population node ameliorates the issues of parking and shuttles. This is all armchair quarter back stuff using Google Maps, but it seems about as valid as claims by Jack and vigi, until somebody sites some hard figures. At lowered Speed I’m not sure ferrys will be that disruptive to peace and tranquility.

    Comment by MI — June 16, 2015 @ 4:27 pm

  21. 11
    Jake, just to correct your ignorance, vigi and I agree on most everything.

    Comment by jack — June 16, 2015 @ 10:01 pm

  22. “Population node” Jesus Mark where’d you get your learning, fancy limp node’s all I know.

    Comment by jack — June 16, 2015 @ 10:06 pm

  23. Am I seeing that David Burton, who apparently heads Community Action for Sustainable Alameda (CASA), thinks that Pier 39 is acceptable environmentally because sea lions are able to survive. Almost everything else that once lived there is gone and it is the antithesis of the California coastal preservation movement . Pier 39 is a cornucopia of unnecessary, low end human activities – formula retail, unhealthy food, unnecessary consumption of low quality goods – that are very damaging to the environment and community. That cannot be what is happening to this island.

    Comment by Charles — June 16, 2015 @ 11:17 pm

  24. Charles, you’re reading WAY too much into my comment. Not endorsing Pier 39 or anything like it; I agree with your critique of it. Just pointing out that what is proposed at Seaplane Lagoon is low impact compared to Pier 39, where the wildlife seems to have adapted, so if we continue to plan carefully we can maintain a habitat that supports wildlife and makes room for effective mass transit that serves our community. If you study the plans for Alameda Point you will see that the entire west side of Seaplane Lagoon is left to revert to wetlands, as is the entire perimeter of the wildlife refuge. We can accommodate water transportation and provide environments for wildlife.

    Comment by david burton — June 17, 2015 @ 1:50 am

  25. #18: not to disagree but to point out that BART reached rush hour capacity shortly after it opened in 1972. It has been at 160 to 180% of capacity during commuter hours regularly since. Even with closer headways.

    Comment by MarcL — June 18, 2015 @ 7:32 am

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