Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 21, 2017

Money and Main Street

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Lots on the City Council agenda tonight, the chances that they actually get to the Council Referrals tonight?  Slim to none.  So let’s quickly run through those.  Two Council Referrals are on generally the same topic Bird-safe buildings.  Referral 1 (Vella and Oddie) and Referral 2 (Spencer).  First is seeking an ordinance, second is seeking standards.  Both appear to want to do the same thing, should be relatively easy unless people are specifically looking for credit then…

Last Council Referral is from Trish Spencer too who wants to purchase a strip of land in Harbor Bay to “complete” the Shoreline park.  So here’s the kinda awkward thing, this is the strip of land where the one hotel was trying to get built.  There is value in the land, enough value to actually build a commercial business it’s unclear if the current owners are at all interested in selling at whatever the City is willing to pay.  If  Trish Spencer is suggesting the land be eminent domain-ed.  Or if the City is willing to pay market rate for the land.  This looks like a big pile to step in, hopefully the other Council members will wisely circle around the pile even though “yay parks” is a popular thing these days.

But like I said, lots of other things on the agenda, so unless Council extends the meeting these Referral items might get pushed.  First item of interest, quarterly sales tax report, in order of generating areas it’s (1) Harbor Bay Business Park, (2) South Shore, and (3) Alameda Landing, this period did not include the holiday shopping period only 7/2016 – 9/2016.

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 4.19.22 PM

Next City Council will be approving $50K to the Housing Authority to find office space for the relocation assistance program, as there is no room to house the program at the HA offices.

Now here’s the big thing on the agenda which is the approval of the Main Street Neighborhood Specific Plan.  This was approved unanimously at the Planning Board.  It now needs the final approval from the City Council.  The Main Street neighborhood is essentially where the Big Whites and Alameda Point Collaborative are in at Alameda Point.  The City’s third party financial consultant provided a feasibility analysis about the housing mix type just in case someone is determined to insist on all workforce housing or something like that.  A larger analysis in the the attachment but here’s the quickie table:

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 4.29.04 PM

As you can see, the more workforce housing added in addition to the inclusionary housing requirements requires that more market rate units be built in order to compensate.  Also,  workforce housing is not possible without single family housing units built unless more housing units overall are built.

In other news that should be quick, the City is going to be voting on the Community Facilities District for Alameda Point aka new residents pay for City services and maintenance with other taxes other than property taxes so you don’t have to.  And by “you” I mean the you who live in neighborhoods in Alameda that don’t have Mello Roos or CFDs.  You’re welcome.

Also there is a budget update.  The City took in some more money in property taxes then it had projected.  This is a good thing, sort of.  It’s good because there’s more property tax money, but it’s bad because property is SO expensive that it’s just more indication that there is a real housing crisis, from the staff report:

Property tax is projected to be $1.4 million higher than anticipated primarily due to an increase in overall property values and supplemental assessments. A small increase of $0.1 million is also attributed to the residual property tax distribution (“waterfall funds”) as a result of redevelopment dissolution. The median home sales prices in the City went up to $914,000 in the third quarter of 2016 compared to $825,000 for the same quarter of 2015.

And finally, some OPEB stuff.




  1. The Alameda Economic Development Strategic report mentioned that the Harbor Bay Business Park would benefit from having more amenities such as more restaurants.

    If the City decided to purchase the land, instead of a just a shoreline park — why not develop a food hall with a variety of different coffee and dining experiences for the nearby businesses in a park like setting? Perhaps even consider a small brewery in the food hall.

    Here we would accomplish several things:

    1. Preserve the shoreline and the water views
    2. Add much needed amenities like more dining opportunities for the existing businesses
    3. More restaurants at the Harbor Bay Business Park will attract more businesses which would drive down the vacancy rate
    4. Provide more dining opportunities for ferry travelers and hotel guests

    I could see this being a great public private partnership, where we own, and design the park land and food hall, and we partner with an operator to build and operate it.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 21, 2017 @ 7:44 am

  2. I’m with Karen on this one. Some amenities would draw Bay Farm residents into Harbor Bay. I would love to stop for some coffee while on a bike ride and enjoy the view. I would also like to see a bunch of public art/sculptures along the Bay Farm lagoons to encourage more exploration in those areas. Another note: we’re losing our coffee shop at Harbor Bay Landing. The owner is retiring in a few months. I hope we find another coffee establishment (Julie’s? Blue Dot II?) to replace it.

    Comment by Angela — March 21, 2017 @ 8:01 am

  3. Angela, yes a great opportunity for public art/sculptures along the shoreline!

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 21, 2017 @ 8:16 am

  4. From the attached report:

    The City has an option to acquire this missing strip of land from Harbor Bay Isle Associates

    I don’t see what the terms of that option are, perhaps they are in the report & I’m just missing them? Without the precise terms it’s impossible to know, but typically an option contract contains a specified price and gives the option holder the right to purchase at that price. Eminent domain not needed, nor is price negotiation.

    Is there any way to know if terms of this option are different?

    Comment by dave — March 21, 2017 @ 8:48 am

  5. Has the city of Alameda ever used eminent domain before?

    Comment by TA — March 29, 2017 @ 11:43 am

    • Yes, the City purchased the Alameda Theatre via eminent domain.

      Comment by Lauren Do — March 30, 2017 @ 6:04 am

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