Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 19, 2018

It’s happening!

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

Immediately after four out of five City Councilmembers voted to move forward with Site A by approving the third amendment, the City of Alameda put out a press release and Alameda Point Partners went to work.  As they mentioned, once that Metering Provision was lifted they were able to close on all of those residential lots which meant that construction on the infrastructure could begin, oh, like almost immediately.

From the City’s Press Release:

As part of today’s transfer, the City and its affordable housing partner, Eden Housing, received $10 million for a new Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal, $3 million in funds for affordable housing, and a $1 million payment for a planned Sports Complex.

“The land transfer immediately provides $14 million in funding for the projects that matter most: affordable housing and new transportation improvements, like the new ferry terminal, and paves the way for construction to begin in the next month, resulting in 2,500 construction jobs,” stated Jennifer Ott, Director of Base Reuse and Transportation for the City of Alameda. “The City Council’s continued support of this project has allowed us to get to this point, where our next step is to schedule the official groundbreaking — something we all look forward to.”

The payment for the Ferry Terminal, the affordable housing development, and the Sports Complex comes from the sale of the residential blocks which closed as soon as the City transferred the land to APP.  From the Press Release:

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 4.09.50 AM

According to the Press Release, the first residential units should come on line in 2021.  So for those Alameda’s who have been waiting since the based closed in 1997.  It only took 21 years of waiting to finally break ground.

There were a lot of key people that made this happen.  The first is, naturally, former City Manager John Russo who realized no developer would take a future chance on Alameda Point without assurances that they could get through the entitlement process and had the foresight to go through the process to section off portions of Alameda Point and do they heavy lifting by pre-entitling Site A.

The second key person is Jennifer Ott (I think she’s still the Chief Operating Office for Alameda Point) who has doggedly worked on this project forever.  She patiently explains to Councilmembers, Planning Board members, and the community about the infrastructure needs and how the project would work over and over again.

The third key person is Joe Ernst of Alameda Point Partners because that dude is persistent.  Even when it looked like APP was on the ropes because of an increase in construction costs that would render the project infeasible, this guy kept going and kept trying to figure out a way to make the project work.  And now he’s done what other developers have not been able to do.  Start construction.

And finally, the honorable mention is Andrew Thomas.  Who has had to explain, in that patient Andrew Thomas way, all about heights and density and etc and etc.  Telling people on the dais that they have asked “good questions” even when they really had not asked a good question or the answer to their question could be found in the staff report or packet.

Oh and just in case opponents think they can still halt the project through design review or something.  Those plans have already been approved.


  1. Who wrote this?

    Comment by dave — March 19, 2018 @ 6:12 am

  2. Exciting news for Alameda! And Lauren you’re spot on, everyone you mentioned is deserving of acknowledgment for a job well done.

    Comment by Karen — March 19, 2018 @ 6:29 am

  3. How quickly she “forgets”. Please go back and read the prescient comments on your March 8 post.

    “I opposed the proposed amendment not because I’m against the development, but because APP had other options for dealing with this situation. Under the DDA, the APP could have simply paid to extend the closing date. In fact, they have moved the closing date twice before and paid for the privilege of doing that, as provided for under the DDA. The alleged “uncertainty” was some of the funding for the affordable housing component, the status of which will likely be known by May or June of this year (except for one application for financing which will become clear in December). So APP basically said we are going to bail on the whole project (after, according to APP, spending more than $10 million dollars on it) just because there is “uncertainty” over 106 units during Phase One…uncertainty that will, in large part, be clarified in two months time, perhaps less. By threatening to pull out of the project and crying the sky is falling, the developer got out of the metering provision, and they also got out of paying to move the closing date, and since people were scared about losing this project, the Council did what the developer wanted. I hope the affordable units get built, since APP’s proposal was approved based upon it, but there is now less “certainty” as to this part of the project. I was at the meeting and a long time resident voiced the same concerns, as did I, and I’ve been a homeowner and small business owner here for many years and am not “anti” development; but it’s reasonable for the City to, in exchange for giving away the people’s property, ask for something in return”.–Robert Matz [Attorney]

    Meanwhile, the Posey Tube will be closed today, from 10 AM possibly until midnight. Includes redirecting of AC Transit buses back thru Alameda to the bridges. Look for more of this while Oakland’s infrastucture continues to crumble.

    Comment by vigi — March 19, 2018 @ 9:45 am

  4. The major obstacle in the way of base development for the last 21 years was Measure A, the city charter that blocks multi-family development in Alameda; two prospective developers pulled out because they could not meet the 25 percent affordable mandate from Renewed Hope’s suit against the city and do the heavy infrastructure work.

    The high percentage of affordable housing being delivered by this project comes from the work of West End residents who rallied to fight the destruction of East Housing in 1999 and formed Renewed Hope, drawing inspiration from fair housing advocates and residents of wartime housing who resisted being pushed out of Alameda.

    The atmosphere in Alameda city government has changed a lot, partly due to Renewed Hope’s constant work and pressure. Today’s staff works hard and has earned the respect of all who have been fighting all these years. But, lest we think there are no other shoulders to stand on, there are countless people who have laid the groundwork for this turn of events. Every last one deserves credit for standing up to ahistorical mythology of Alameda as the pristine Mayberry and understanding the myriad ways to get affordable housing approved and built. It would be nice if affordable housing came without high-priced market development, but, in this world, asking developers to channel some of the profit market rate units bring is the fastest route to seeing affordable projects built.

    Comment by Laura Thomas — March 19, 2018 @ 10:29 am

  5. The “historical mythology of pristine Mayberry” has always been a lame excuse for multistate developers to avoid subsuming some of their profits into affordable housing.

    Comment by vigi — March 19, 2018 @ 10:50 am

    • You’re wrong. That’s exactly the opposite of what I stated: They due subsume their profits into affordable housing.

      Comment by Laura Thomas — March 19, 2018 @ 5:19 pm

      • Well, no. I am kind of agreeing with you. The developers about to break ground at AlPo will be building that affordable housing, because now they have to. But if getting developers to build affordable had not been an historical problem, Renewed Hope would never have had to sue anyone. As a third generation Alamedan, I can assure you that this “Mayberry” moniker is of fairly recent vintage and was brought in from outside Alameda.

        And as a member of the RAB for the last 8 years who was on the Planning Board in the 1990’s, I can tell you that YOU are wrong if you think Measure A was the “major obstacle” in the way of base development. It’s a Superfund site, ya know? The Navy has spent $550 million so far on waste cleanup. Remediation and deciding what part of the land would be reserved for non-residential [bird] purposes have been by far the major obstacles to base development.

        Measure A was proposed because in the late 1960’s developers were tearing down old Victorians at an alarming rate and replacing them with ugly apartments. Go to the City Clerk’s office sometime and look at the spike in demolition permits 1970-71.

        Comment by vigi — March 19, 2018 @ 7:37 pm

  6. And our neighbor to the north (Berkeley) is in discussions on how to increase housing.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 20, 2018 @ 8:10 am

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