Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 2, 2022

You love to see it

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

I don’t know who went fishing for this information but the results were very interesting. Shortly after a City Council meeting, or maybe it was a Planning Board meeting I don’t remember, someone made this PRA to get information about correspondence between the owner of Neptune Plaza and city staff. Neptune Plaza is the parcel where Rang Dong and Paganos is.

This must have been part of the Shopping Center overlay discussion because I remember some pushback about Neptune Plaza being added to the list even though staff mentioned that the property owner would be interested in the overlay.

Anyway, the owner is very, very interested and is particularly interested in the kinds of intensity he’s seen in Oakland:

Yeah, let’s get it done. 203 units (or more) at Neptune Plaza, sounds like a plan.


  1. I hope the Neptune Plaza gets the multi-family shopping center over-lay.

    Sam Greason has been associated with some exciting developments in the Bay Area. A development of this type would be good for the Webster Street Business district. It would increase foot traffic and increase sales tax revenues for the district.

    Coupled with a new vision for Webster Street, this project could revitalize the District in an exciting way.

    Comment by Karen Bey — February 2, 2022 @ 8:02 am

    • First, someone needs to educate the WABA President on all this. Judging from a letter WABA submitted recently, she’s listening to a couple of ignorant business owners who are basically against revitalizing the Webster business district, and she does not appear to totally understand how increasing foot traffic would be good for the local businesses.

      Comment by Waba Daba Doo. — February 2, 2022 @ 9:30 am

  2. That’s all you have to do to get zoning changes and building approval is write a few sentences and do some very rough math from you iPad? It seems like there should be a more formal process and and what point does the developer have to commit to anything and what prevents them from just changing their mind at the last moment after the city has spend time and money on the project?

    Comment by bjsvec — February 2, 2022 @ 8:26 am

    • City is already committing to a Shopping Center overlay which would be yet another workaround of A/26. But in order to use the shopping center overlay and count those units toward the Housing Element the property owner has to be on board. I think as long as there is a formalish “yes, I totes want this overlay” it will probably be good enough to justify counting those units with HCD.

      Comment by Lauren Do — February 2, 2022 @ 9:30 am

  3. This is the guy that fought the wellness center and bankrolled the campaign against a part of it. He paid the paid the paid signature gathers. I did a little summery on a comment on Reddit when we had the planning boards item here:

    Snippet of that comment:
    • ⁠Last night the city had a planning board meeting.
    • ⁠One of the items at the meeting being discussed was the housing element, more specifically one aspect of it.
    ⁠• ⁠A housing element is a plan the city has to put together every 8 years under state law to say where we will allow for new housing in the city. Alameda has to complete a new one by the end of this year and get it certified by the state.
    ⁠• ⁠Given how much this city has fought new housing in the past these discussions are generally a dramatic battle. Especially given we have a charter amendment that bans new multifamily housing and we are required to allow it under state law. A charter amendment that violates state law no less but was reaffirmed by the voters in 2020 when we tried to finally get rid of it.
    ⁠• ⁠The housing element has to account for all the housing we are allocated by the state to build every 8 years. This number is called RHNA or regional housing needs assessment.
    ⁠• ⁠Our new RHNA this round says we have to allow for ~5300 new units of housing over 8 years (broken down by income categories too and we have to allow for it all over the island and that includes multifamily apartments too). That is what the city is busy with and will be busy with over the next year. (Strap in for a year of drama)
    • ⁠Part of finding space for new housing, one of the locations we can look at before we are forced to upzone existing neighborhoods to allow more housing, is looking at allowing new housing in all of our shopping areas across the city.
    ⁠• ⁠Staff is proposing to allow new mixed use housing in places like South Shore, Alameda Landing, Harbor Landing, etc.
    ⁠• ⁠They will do this with a new multifamily zoning overlay for certain commercial areas.
    ⁠• ⁠This would allow for housing as long as the ground floor is still retail.
    • ⁠One of these locations that was brought up for discussion was the Neptune Plaza shopping center. This was especially interesting. This is where Lauren Do picks up.
    ⁠• ⁠This is the shopping center at the end of Webster Street (with Paganos).
    ⁠• ⁠Neptune Plaza’s owner is a bit netorius.
    ⁠• ⁠He continues to fund and fight the Alameda Wellness Center across the road from his shopping center.
    ⁠• ⁠The Wellness Center will provide medical respite and hospice for elderly homeless who need care.
    ⁠• ⁠He paid for signature gatherers to gather signatures for a ballot initiative to stop the wellness center in 2018. This lead to the special election in 2019.
    ⁠• ⁠This whole mess cost the city almost a million dollars to have a stupid election when it cost him $14k to pay to get the item on the ballot that ultimately lost.
    ⁠• ⁠He doesn’t live here so it doesn’t matter to him.
    ⁠• ⁠After his countless attempts to stop the Wellness Center project with appeals and lawsuits, he has pretty much lost at every turn.
    • ⁠Now we find out the owner of Neptune Plaza is speaking to planning staff about building housing on the site. This is incredibly interesting as it likely shows his intentions all along.
    • ⁠The owner has avoided ever speaking with WABA, the West Alameda Business Association, which his Plaza is technically apart of.
    ⁠• ⁠WABA is trying to prevent him from building housing that is too tall or out of step with the character they want. They submitted public comment and spoke last night against the owner. They want the city not to upzone to allow him to go more than 3 stories to the 5ish that would be allowed under the new staff proposal.
    ⁠• ⁠This is out of character for WABA even because 10 years ago they were gung ho about allowing housing to save retail on Webster.

    Comment by Zac Bowling — February 2, 2022 @ 8:53 am

    • I do recall that his supporters wanted to turn the wellness center location into a parking lot. Now that would be awfully convenient, his tenants having access to all that parking space instead of serving homeless seniors. You have to wonder if that was the intention all long.

      Comment by NIMBYs Gonna NIMBY — February 2, 2022 @ 9:32 am

      • Take it at face value. Talk of turning shopping into apartments was not much of a thing 3 years ago when the election occurred.

        In 2019 he was trying to protect his tenants, and thereby his rental income, from a Home Depot lot situation.
        In 2022 a lucrative 200 unit project is in the cards, so he explores that.

        It’s called “business.”

        Comment by Occam's Razor — February 2, 2022 @ 11:05 am

  4. Can we raze Neptune Plaza and put the old Lucky back in its place?

    Comment by franklin — February 2, 2022 @ 11:38 am

    • We have a Lucky Store at Marina Village

      Comment by Karen Bey — February 2, 2022 @ 11:58 am

    • A full service grocery store would be welcome. This part of the west end has a dearth of grocery options that you can walk to. Most corner stores are liquor, candy, cigarettes & overpriced milk & canned food. Jazeera is an exception to that, but it’s small and niche. (And yes, there is the farmers market. But that’s only twice a week for a few hours.) If there’s going to be housing on top of Neptune Plaza, a good grocery store would disincentivize the new apartment/condo dwellers there to hop in their cars every time they need to shop.

      Comment by Kristen — February 2, 2022 @ 12:26 pm

      • Kristen, I agree. Let’s just make sure we get the zoning for a grocery store included in the Webster Street Zoning Amendments; currently it’s not a permitted use. The proposed amendments would require a use permit for a grocery store.

        I’d also like to see a movie theater included as a permitted use; currently a movie theater in the Webster Street District would require a use permit. The Park Street CC district is a Theater District because of the theater on Central Ave. It would be nice to have more walkable amenities on Webster Street.

        A smaller boutique size movie theater like the movie theater on Piedmont Ave in Oakland would compliment the main Alameda Theater and Cineplex on Central Ave. and we’d have more choices.

        Comment by Karen Bey — February 6, 2022 @ 6:45 pm

  5. How do we protect those small businesses so that we don’t sacrifice them AND we get housing? The city needs to plan to support them so they get the benefit of the additional people.

    Comment by Gaylon — February 2, 2022 @ 12:00 pm

    • Agreed. In particular, it would be terrible to lose Pagano’s.

      Comment by Kristen — February 2, 2022 @ 12:29 pm

    • I drove around Webster Street this week-end, and noticed some vacant spaces on Webster and on Lincoln/Webster. If this project gets approved, it would be a good idea to ask the developer to help with relocation costs for some of the small businesses.

      Comment by Karen Bey — February 6, 2022 @ 6:58 pm

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