Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 26, 2021

AAPS says yes in South Shore’s backyard

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:17 am

Pack it up, I think I’ve seen it all now. At last night’s Planning Board meeting, a prominent representative of the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society actually pushed for the City to direct its attention toward the shopping centers in Alameda in order to protect the “historic” sections of Alameda. And not only that the words “90 du/ac” were uttered in relationship to those shopping centers.

So, Bay Farm, if you thought you might have had an ally in your fight to prevent new housing from being allocated on the Harbor Bay Club site or the Shopping Center (if the owners are interested) think again. AAPS is going to “save the Victorians” before they “save Bay Farm.”

Last night Planning Director Andrew Thomas confirmed that South Shore’s owners are very interested in residential on their parcel and believe they can accommodate 800 units as long as the City can pave the way for them with the correct entitlements. This is a huge portion of the allocation estimated by City staff as needing to be scattered amongst Alameda’s shopping centers:

Also, it was repeated many times before public comment but it seems that people just don’t want to hear what City Staff has to say on this issue. It doesn’t matter if the Navy lifts the housing cap on Alameda Point tomorrow, the new requirement that all jurisidictions affirmatively further fair housing means that the City can’t just toss all the RHNA units on the Alameda Point and call it a day. Alameda Point has been, historically, the area of lowest opportunity in Alameda and making a move like that would immediately get Alameda’s Housing Element tossed by the state.

Again, Alameda can’t put all the housing units on Alameda Point or even in the West End because it’s always been poorer and more Black and brown than the rest of Alameda and the state is not going to continue to allow de facto segregation under their watch any longer via the land use process.

Encinal Terminals is headed to the City Council, that’s a big one to help stave off some of the wide upzoning that may happen in Alameda’s historic neighborhoods to accommodate this RHNA number. If AAPS or ACT or any other NIMBY leaning folks want to protect their hoods from *gasp* apartment buildings, you better start getting on the line with Trish Spencer and Tony Daysog to approve the Tidelands swap otherwise staff will be forced to allocate those 589 units elsewhere.


  1. South Shore Center really doesn’t have an abundance of parking unless they build some parking garages. It is sort of hard to figure out where they would build 800 units unless they raised the height limit which I would support. Or maybe they can build over the existing retail like they did Bay Street in Emeryville if the current building can support additional stories. I actually would like them to move the Post Office to the Base. They currently have prime real estate and no windows to enjoy it. It is one of the most depressing public buildings I have ever stepped foot in. It might as well be in an old refurbished warehouse on the Base and open up that spot for some nice waterfront retail or housing.

    The Del Monte building is coming along they are now building the Apartments/condos in the Center which I think are going to rise 4 or 5 stories of the old warehouse. Hopefully, they will approve the Encinal Terminals. I still think they should turn the hospital into low-income/affordable housing. I don’t actually see it being used as a hospital much longer. I don’t know about Bay farm or Harbor Bay as I never really go out there.

    Comment by Joe — October 26, 2021 @ 7:59 am

    • Underlying zoning allows for, I think, 100′ or eight stories for South Shore.

      Comment by Lauren Do — October 26, 2021 @ 8:42 am

      • I seem to remember that a few years ago I went to an open house at South Shore about a proposed 8 story housing development in the parking lot area between McDonalds and the Sushi House.

        Comment by Donna — October 26, 2021 @ 2:03 pm

  2. It feels like talks are stalled with the U.S. Navy as it relates to removing the cap on market rate housing at Alameda Point. It would be nice to get a progress report on where we are with the negotiations. I agree with most of the Planning Board — that removing the cap at Alameda Point will give us more flexibility.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 26, 2021 @ 9:26 am

  3. This is an objectively good idea. We need housing, South Shore has space and with retail in steady decline, it makes perfect sense to do this.

    But A26 is still law. How does this project happen, given that reality?

    Comment by dave — October 26, 2021 @ 11:51 am

    • Multi-family housing overlay.

      Comment by Lauren Do — October 26, 2021 @ 2:58 pm

      • I knew you’d come around eventually

        Comment by dave — October 26, 2021 @ 3:10 pm

        • Literally a wink wink mechanism developed by the City Planning Department to…wait for it…skirt around A/26.

          Comment by Lauren Do — October 26, 2021 @ 5:13 pm

  4. I think you’ve all lost your minds. Take out our retail space and add more tacky condos. And, you all bitch about Bezos making so much money…and, sure let’s get rid of the hospital for low income housing. Honest to god you people are going to make me vote for a Republican next time around. Something I cannot believe I’m saying…

    Comment by Ive had enough.. — October 26, 2021 @ 12:06 pm

    • It’s called “mixed use.” You see, back in the day, people used to combine uses like retail and housing. One use does not preclude having the other, in fact having housing above retail might save those struggling retail stores.

      Comment by Lauren Do — October 26, 2021 @ 2:58 pm

      • I agree, go down College Ave, or even some buildings on Park and Webster, they have retail on the bottom and housing on top.

        Comment by Joe — October 26, 2021 @ 5:26 pm

      • I could be wrong but I thought when I looked at the plan…almost all the retail went away because they could make more money on the 8 story housing…it didn’t look very mixed use to me…

        Comment by Not so — October 26, 2021 @ 7:36 pm

    • Vote Republican if you would like but that doesn’t change the mandatory Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) for Alameda or the rest of the Cities in California. Why don’t you suggest where to put the 5,353 units required instead of complaining? Be part of the solution.

      I don’t believe the hospital will be around due to all the money for a hospital being allocated towards Highland Hospital. We have Kaiser so we have to go to Oakland or San Leandro. Because of its size, in MY OPINION, it has a limited life remaining.

      I am all for keeping our retail space, it is just there is a ton of it sitting empty. I thought after COVIDs let up people would be wanting to get out more and go to brick and mortar stores, but this doesn’t seem the case. I hate buying clothes and other stuff online but I am a minority. Safeway and others want to shop for you now and deliver it to your car or home. It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or Republican things have changed. Gas was 35 cents when I was a kid, we went to JC Penny, Montgomery Wards, Sears, KMart was considered the same class as Walmart. Safeway was 1/3 the size they are now.

      Comment by Joe Stephens — October 26, 2021 @ 5:24 pm

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