Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 23, 2017

Brand new plan

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

On Monday the Planning Board will get the first look at the waterfront portion of Catullus’ Alameda Landing project.   As a reminder this was the property that was first going to be the new home of ClifBar, but that fell through.  Then there were some other commercial centered plan, but those also fell through. This plan goes in a slightly different direction, but this one might actually work, depending on whether or not it can get through the City approval process.

While a lot of folks who are tired of commuting and congestion only want to bring in jobs, the reality is — based on the information presented on the economic plan the other night — it’s difficult to bring in a certain level of employer if their employees can’t find affordable places to live.

Anyway a quick footnote to all developers interested in doing business in Alameda.  The current buzzword of choice is “workforce housing.”  As it is a largely meaningless term and really depends on the “workforce” that the politician is trying to pander to, use it instead of “affordable by design” since that’s what “workforce housing” really is supposed to represent: non subsidized housing and so the affordability must come via the design of the unit.  Say “workforce housing” and you make it much harder for the “slow growthers” to say that we should be building “workforce housing” instead of all this other housing.  You’re welcome.

Anyway, the new Catellus plan is heavier on the residential and the office space is pretty much gone even though the commercial space has gone up by 30% thanks to the addition of maritime commercial uses which is pretty perfect for that piece of land.

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I am, as usual, uncomfortable by the nine units of affordable housing located off site, I will want to hear more about this.  If the money is used to help subsidize a larger project and have a greater impact than would be done at Alameda Landing, cool, but again, more information is needed.

Here’s the framework map, all the light yellow is residential. I have to say I’m excited about the prospect of a hotel, I hope it will be a nice one that can fill the gap outlined in the economic background document, but given that it’s going to be across the way from Target it’s probably going to be a Homewood Suites rather than some swanky boutique hotel.  The transient tax will be a nice revenue generator though.

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The Bart Shuttle numbers are pretty impressive given that there aren’t that many homes in the area its clearly pulling people from outside the neighborhood and probably getting non-Alamedan use as well.

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And my favorite part, the renderings.  I’m a sucker for these things.

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Turning Basin Park looks like its going to be amazing, except that the view of the container ships probably doesn’t look nearly as idyllic in person as it does in the rendering.

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Even though it’s geared as a neighborhood park, I think there is a missed opportunity to make a there, there on that side of the project since the Turning Basin Park will be near the Maritime use area.

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10 Comments »

  1. Is this where the large dirt mound visible from Jack London is located? Will that mound be removed?

    Comment by dave — February 23, 2017 @ 6:19 am

    • Near-ish to that. Those dirt mounds are used to help compact the land underneath, should be removed when the Tri Point units are complete.

      Comment by Lauren Do — February 23, 2017 @ 6:35 am

  2. My opinion is that the final phase of the Alameda Landing development should be split into two separate phases.

    Phase 1 – The Waterfront Site:
    The highest and best use for the land that sits directly across from Jack London Square (where the dirt mound is) is a mixed use development with restaurants, retail, a hotel, housing and the infrastructure for an estuary waterfront shuttle and water taxis.

    Phase 2 – The Commercial Site:
    Done properly, the development of the waterfront site will add tremendous value for the final phase of the Alameda Landing project, which should be preserved for 400,000 sq of office

    The one thing that I agree with on the Economic plan that was presented on Tuesday is that we need to add amenities in our mixed use developments – specifically restaurants and retail if we want to attract more jobs in Alameda.

    Providing the right amenities in our mixed use developments “creates the environment” for employers to bring jobs to Alameda. Employees want to walk to lunch, be close to shopping, and work out on their lunch hour. Employers want to take their clients to a nice sit down restaurant and/or a bar to discuss deals.

    Also, we need to be more flexible as it relates to height. The current trend is “vertical”- everything is going higher. The Bay Area is one of the most expensive areas in the country to develop, and with the price of land, and the cost of labor and infrastructure – both commercial and housing developers are going higher. I’m really surprised the economic plan didn’t address height. Alameda will not be able to compete for jobs if we are not willing to allow taller buildings in our newest job centers like Alameda Point.

    In the last three years Oakland has focused like a beam on creating this environment – and it has paid off well. Oakland has added over 300 new restaurants and have required all future housing developers to add restaurants and retail with their housing projects.

    Here is how it has paid off:

    1) CIM seeks approval for massive Oakland office tower and 447 apartments at Jack London Square – posted on 2/22/17:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/real-estate/2016/07/cim-group-soma-sf-housing-tower.html

    2) Ellis Partners to build an Office Tower in Oakland – on spec – posted on 2/2/17:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2017/02/02/1100-broadway-office-oakland-sold-ellis-sks.html

    The Oakland Mayor says they want to build it as quickly as they can – “ON SPEC”

    Comment by Karen Bey — February 23, 2017 @ 8:19 am

    • No wonder Harbor Bay has the highest vacancy rate of all the business parks. Nothing gets approved at Harbor Bay!

      We need to bring this asset up to modern standards, with amenities. This is not a park, this is a major job center and a huge sales tax generator.

      Comment by Karen Bey — February 23, 2017 @ 1:37 pm

      • “Quite simply, the project is too large for the parcel, would significantly obstruct views of the bay and substantially reduce access to the shoreline,” said Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, who also serves on the commission.

        Eleven commissioners voted to approve the developer’s application for a permit to construct the hotel. Six voted no and one abstained. Thirteen votes were required to pass.

        Chan was among the commissioners absent. Former Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore, Chan’s alternate on the commission, read a letter from the supervisor into the record, outlining her position.

        Comment by MP — February 23, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

  3. This project already has waterfront approvals. It’s almost shovel ready.

    Comment by Angela — February 23, 2017 @ 12:44 pm

  4. quote from EBT article….”The Feb. 16 decision by the San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission means city officials cannot issue building permits for the 98-room hotel proposed for a vacant 1.5-acre parcel in the Harbor Bay Business Park near Oakland International Airport.” So it does not have waterfront approval.

    Comment by frank — February 23, 2017 @ 2:32 pm

  5. The Catellus project that is featured in Lauren’s post, not the harbor bay hotel.

    Comment by Angela — February 23, 2017 @ 4:27 pm

  6. Almost 400 housing units, and a hotel, all near the water?
    Fix that screaming train whistle problem throughout the night right on the Oak side of the estuary first, which City of Alameda has no say on.
    The home buyers may not notice it until the first night after move-in, but I wonder how that hotel’s review score would be on tripadvisor.

    Comment by aen — February 27, 2017 @ 12:30 am


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