Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 8, 2019

6 – 22 years

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

I feel like most folks don’t understand how development, in general, works.  I mean, I guess they understand the idea that property is either privately or publicly owned but when it comes to large scale development projects in which the private owner is attempting to get some initial feedback there’s a disconnect around who controls what.

This disconnect has made itself painfully evident because South Shore’s owner, Jamestown, has put out their initial ideas and general plans into the internet world before their community meetings have actually happened.  This, naturally, leads to “why is the City allowing this?” or “Why did the City Council approve this?” alongside with the “traffic” and “crowded” conversations.

Naturally it’s always those who are comfortably situated who are the loudest voices of negativity. And it’s those who are comfortably situated who seem to not understand that a private owner can propose anything they want for their property and, depending on the project and the current zoning, the City won’t have a lot of oversight to make outright refusals.   But in this case, the underlying zoning is C2 – Central Business.  Any residential use will need a use permit or a wholesale zoning change for flexibility.

Anyway, there is the first of a couple of meetings tomorrow at 4:00 PM, I believe you have to RSVP in advance but I can’t imagine they’ll turn away folks who haven’t RSVPed.

The complete development plan is here. . Suffice it to say this isn’t getting done any time soon, and it will need a lot of public vetting.  But it’s interesting that South Shore has been quietly setting up their property to make this development happen.  A few months ago there were some agenda items requesting approval on some lot line adjustments around the OfficeMax location.  (Is it an OfficeMax, I dunno, one of those big box office stores which no one actually goes to).

I mean, just look at the aerial maps, I think the acreage devoted to parking is probably equal to the building space:

Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 5.34.46 AM

And the proposed plan:

Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 5.46.57 AM

But the 1st floor plan is very interesting, you can see ground floor parking wrapped inside residential units or first floor retail which is very space efficient:

Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 5.51.44 AM

If approvals go to plan, the first phase isn’t slated until 2025 with a completion date of 2041.  We’re all gonna be old.


  1. I can think of a city issue much more immediately consequential than 6-22 years. I propose we discuss the first thing first:

    Comment by dave — July 8, 2019 @ 6:27 am

  2. Well … interesting that this has turned into a discussion of the City Council, when it is a long way to it getting to the Council.
    Regarding the subject, I am going to the meeting … I am intrigued by the plan. It seems forward thinking about the site. Not just a little adjustment here and there.
    The anguish immediately typed about how this is terrible for Alameda and the traffic mess and the housing and the it is going to fall down in the next big one and the … and the … amazes me. But then again, I guess not so much.
    Not all developments need 60 MPH access to them. A development like this should be able to have 25 MPH access to it, of course with plenty of ‘transit’ services. I am trying to understand the transit of the future. Having a development that includes residential, commercial and retail is very interesting to me. I
    I am eager to hear about the plan, see the documents and get more information. I want to learn more …

    Comment by Ron Mooney — July 8, 2019 @ 8:06 am

  3. Because it is not your neighborhood, you are pretty clueless about who goes to South Shore, “Office Max…which nobody ever goes to”. I go there. Everyone seems to shop at Safeway and Trader Joe’s. It’s the only 24 hour Walgreens on the island and the parking lot is often full after everything else is closed at 9 PM. There are multiple banks.and other services. The parking lots are used for seasonal events like the Ice Rink and food trucks. All that would be radically impacted by this overblown residential development.

    Besides, we all need to keep our cars to sleep in after the next earthquake comes and makes all those multistory buildings unsafe at any speed.

    Comment by vigi — July 8, 2019 @ 10:01 am

    • The last time I went to OfficeMax, which was about a month ago, it was me, my husband, and like one other dude. The workers outnumbered the customers. That’s not a viable business.

      Comment by Lauren Do — July 8, 2019 @ 11:41 am

  4. South Shore has things that are valuable. Even so, housing is better than an OfficeMax. Radical notion, but one that Alameda agrees with. If you doubt that, take a look at the last few elections.

    Comment by Gaylon — July 8, 2019 @ 10:57 am

  5. Looking forward to seeing what Jamestown is planning for South Shore. They have a good reputation for developing great projects!

    Comment by Karen Bey — July 8, 2019 @ 11:08 am

  6. So, if it’s not rude to ask, what would those 10+ ingredients and technique for pho be?

    Comment by MP — July 8, 2019 @ 7:48 pm

    • Stock:

      • Parboiled chicken carcasses
      • Parboiled oxtail
      • Parboiled beef bones (shoulder, leg, your choice)
      • One largish daikon radish
      • One whole charred onion
      • A thumb sized nob of fresh ginger also charred
      • Water to cover all bones (can be mixed half and half with chicken stock for quicker flavor)
      • Salt, to taste

      Parboiling is really important to ensure a clear broth. Bring all of these up to a boil and then to a low simmer. After initial boil, add the stock flavoring.

      Stock flavor:

      • A thumb sized chunk of rock sugar (yellow is best, but whatever is fine. If you don’t have rock sugar, then sub about a tablespoon of regular white sugar)
      • One to two pieces of star anise
      • Three or four whole cloves
      • One stick of cinnamon
      • A few shakes of whole black peppercorn
      • One shake of whole coriander pods
      • Fish sauce, to taste

      All the spices should be toasted in a dry pan until aromatic oils are released. I have a mesh container to put all the spices in (also the rock sugar) but if you don’t have one just wrap it in cheesecloth.

      Drop the whole bundle into the stock and simmer on low. You’re going to want to skim the scum off the top periodically, but this is going to need to cook for around 24 hours. The broth should be clear like consomme, but if it’s not, no worries, it still tastes great.


      Really a world of choices here, my family likes standard meatballs and tai (rare beef) which cooks in the water. Also you can pull out the oxtail around hour 12 and use that as protein, it’s super tasty, but if you find the flavor has been sucked out you can mix it with some fish sauce and dip it into a hoisin and sriracha dipping sauce. I’ve once used leftover prime rib in pho as well which was very very delicious.


      • Lime or lemon
      • Fish sauce (a good one, I use a finishing Fish sauce like Red Boat, but use Squid brand for every day cooking)
      • Sliced green onions
      • Chopped cilantro
      • Thinly sliced white onions
      • Bean sprouts
      • Thai basil
      • Hoisin sauce
      • Sriracha Sauce
        Rice noodles
      • Confited garlic (optional)

      Most of the garnishes are truly optional. Like, I don’t like bean sprouts.

      Bowl prep:

      Add noodles, then beef slices if you’re doing the tai style. After the 24 hour cook time, the pho stock should be brought up to a rolling boil for service so that the heat from the stock cooks the beef slices. If you’re using already cooked protein you can just add this at the table. Garnishes should be added to taste.

      An aside, I sometimes make “quickie pho” which involves an electric pressure cooker. Does not have the depth of flavor of the long cooking pho but is good if you haven’t planned in advance.

      Comment by Lauren Do — July 9, 2019 @ 6:25 am

      • That is awesome! Thank you! I will attempt.

        Comment by MP — July 9, 2019 @ 7:42 am

  7. I wrote to ask how many public spaces exist and how many in the proposal. No answer. Those ‘wrap around’ spaces you alluded to are probably residential parking.

    I’m also concerned about getting off the Island in an emergency with the addition of thousands of new units around town.

    Comment by Djs — July 9, 2019 @ 6:43 am

    • The good thing about residential spaces is that, typically, they’re used during the time when office space (which is in the plan) doesn’t need it and vice versa. Shared parking is a thing and it works really well. (

      Plus if the plan is to unbundle parking with the residential units, even better. There’s a big residential tower across the street from the Orpheum Theater in SF which provides hourly parking we used once (normally we just Bart into the theater) the garage was for residential use and there were a lot of car share slots as well. But there was plenty of parking for the public. It’s just a resource that has to be paid for.

      Comment by Lauren Do — July 9, 2019 @ 7:58 am

      • You know that’s the plan?

        Comment by Djs — July 10, 2019 @ 6:57 am

    • They should put on a dog park there so people stop letting their dogs off leash across the street at the bird sanctuary/beach.

      Comment by michonnekatana — July 14, 2019 @ 11:50 pm

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