Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 18, 2020

West Midway Mania, redux

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

After Alameda Point Partners pulled out of the West Midway project the City Council had several options about what to do.  They decided to solicit the development teams who put in proposals the last time around to see if those teams were still interested in the project. As a reminder the West Midway project is important in order to help the RESHAP project (aka consolidation of Alameda Point Collaborative et al) build the needed backbone infrastructure.

From the staff report:

On March 3, 2020, the City Council directed staff to conduct a three-week Request for Qualifications (RFQ) solicitation for the development of the West Midway project by reaching out to the three development teams who responded to the previous RFQ and continued to express interest in developing the project.  An updated RFQ was prepared and two development teams submitted Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) – (i) a partnership of Brookfield Properties and Catellus, and (ii) Cypress Equity Investments (CEI). Upon review and evaluation of the submittals and interviews with both teams, staff recommends that the City Council approve the Brookfield/Catellus team for development of West Midway and authorize the City Manager to negotiate an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) consistent with the form of the ENA included in the RFQ.

Here’s what the selected team is proposing:

Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 5.38.15 AM

It seems a bit commercial real estate heavy considering the possible trend of working from home that appears to be emerging.  Twitter recently announced that it would allow employees to work from home indefinitely and others might follow suit.   But, as we know from experience, Catellus is not shy about returning to the City of Alameda and asking for a modification of the approved land uses.  So, hopefully, if this team decides that it still wants to move forward during these uncertain time Catellus/Brookfield will stick it out.

 

4 Comments »

  1. First, I’d like to say congratulations to Alameda Point Partners for completing the first phase of backbone infrastructure at Site A. As a result, the first phase of housing is under construction, including the Eden affordable housing project, the town homes being offered by Trumark Homes, the apartment homes being developed by Cypress Equity Investments, and the signature apartment homes being co-developed by Trammell Crow Residential and Cypress Equity Investments.

    By July-August the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal construction will be complete and ready for operations, and the completion of the waterfront plaza will follow soon thereafter.

    These are major accomplishments for Alameda Point and I’m happy to see these important milestones successfully completed!

    For West Midway – both Catellus and Brookfield are strong developers and Catellus has proven themselves to be steadfast and committed to Alameda Landing; however, I wouldn’t rule out Cypress Equities Investment. Cypress Equities has invested millions at Site A, and they have strong development knowledge they’ve learned at Site A which is key for developing future sites at Alameda Point.

    Big decision for the City Council tonight!

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 18, 2020 @ 8:48 am

  2. Does the report discuss advantages or risks arising from entering into an ENA right now and how to minimize those risks?

    Comment by MP — May 18, 2020 @ 9:21 am

    • Not really. I mean the main disadvantage is continuing to pause the RESHAP project because there’s no one to finance and build the necessary backbone infrastructure other than having the City fund it. I guess the other main risk is land banking by the developer but I think there should be milestones in the ENA.

      Comment by Lauren Do — May 18, 2020 @ 9:26 am

      • I agree with Lauren regarding the risks and disadvantages. In addition, there is a lot of uncertainty about future housing and infrastructure construction costs, and with the existing housing cap the West-Midway site is a challenging project to develop. This could be why two previous developers pulled out of the West Mid-Way project.

        But the good news is that the new Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) numbers for 2023-2031 will be out sometime next year, making the West Mid-Way site a prime candidate for more housing in the next Housing Element. More housing will make this site more likely to get developed.

        Comment by Karen Bey — May 18, 2020 @ 12:54 pm


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