Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 2, 2015

In the study

Filed under: Alameda, Business, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

One of the most interesting pieces to come out of the materials posted in advance of the big meeting on rising rents is the rent study, it’s the first Exhibit.  While some folks are concerned with the limited focus at the conclusion of the study of ways to preserve or increase the affordable housing supply, for me, it’s not that big of a deal given the healthy skepticism that exists on the City Council with regard to anything that is consultant produced.  And, besides, we already know of what can be done, it’s simply a matter of whether this City Council is bold enough to move forward with policies that currently exist to protect and increase the supply of affordable housing in Alameda.   We don’t have a shortage of ideas and practices that work in other cities, what we have is an issue of leadership.  Whether this City Council has the will and the ability to move forward these issues.

So let me pull out some of the more relevant facts that should inform this discussion about rising rents and should affect political positions on these issues.

Approximately 16,793 units, or more than 53% of Alameda’s total housing stock, are rental units.


October 26, 2015

A warehouse is not a home

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business, City Council — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

There’s a great moment in last week’s City Council meeting that I want to talk about but will wait till I get a chance to splice through some video, because it really needs to be watch to fully appreciate.  But in the meantime I wanted to talk about the discussion that occurred around the new, really exciting food and beverage maker space.  Now given that it’s pretty much exactly what people say they want to see in new businesses, of course you would think this would have been a relatively short discussion (love it, yay! move on)  But naturally with this Council that was not meant to be.

Everyone was completely on board with it with the exception of Trish Spencer.  Why?  Because she had an issue with the option for purchase price.

Remember these are buildings that have been neglected for years, calling it Class C Commercial is probably a generous description.  Plus the option to purchase would generate $68 per square foot for one building and $74 per square foot for the other.  According to Trish Spencer this was too low because residential properties are going for way over that.


September 24, 2015

700 years

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Neighbors, Alameda-ish, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Despite City Councilmember Tony Daysog declaring that there is “too much housing” some elected officials around the Bay Area would disagree with that assessment.  In Medium, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener points to a map produced by the MTC that shows, visually, the shortfall of housing units by 2040.   From the piece:

To address the Bay Area’s housing needs, the region adopted housing goals for the 2015–2040 time period, with each city or town having a numerical target for housing production. The Bay Area as a whole needs to produce around 660,000 units between now and 2040 to keep up with population growth.

We need much stronger incentives for local communities to accept new housing, for example, establishing a stronger connection between transportation funding and housing production. The region can provide these incentives, and the State Legislature can provide even stronger incentives.

Yet, regardless of how we approach the problem, change is necessary. If we continue to make it incredibly hard, expensive, lengthy, and at times impossible to add housing, imagine what housing costs will look like with 2.1 million additional people, and imagine what our roads will look like as more and more people are forced into lengthy commutes since they simply can’t afford housing within the Bay Area.


September 21, 2015

Panda Express-monium

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business, School — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

It’s my periodic Alameda Landing leasing update. When last we discussed, I wrote about the soft opening of CREAM, a direct competitor to local business Cookiebar. There has been pretty long lines at CREAM since it opened, but that might be due to the slowness of the actual process of testing out ice cream flavors and finally getting your sandwich made.  It is kid approved, but Cookiebar was declared to be superior.  Of course Tuckers still reigns supreme around these parts, but in a pinch CREAM is a stand in.

Yogurtland has also open near Habit to very little fanfare.  Still under a handful of reviews on Yelp but given that it’s a well known and popular chain, it’s going to stick around.

Speaking of popular, have you all been to Alameda Landing on a Friday evening?  That place is pretty popular.  I’m not sure if it’s the Jack and Jill hill or the convergence of four fast casual restaurants in a fairly small area but it’s pretty packed.

Anyway, here’s who is coming next based on the leasing map:


September 1, 2015

Back to business

Filed under: Alameda, Business, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

The City Council meeting tonight is jam packed, which sort of begs the question of the point of having an August recess. I mean, I guess it’s so the City Council can go on vacation and City Staff can have a break during a “slow” time, but if the City Council comes back to hours long agenda again, it seems to be pointless. Particularly since someone gets super cranky after 11:00 p.m.

While a large portion of the items are on consent, here are a few that night get pulled and might see some level of discussion.

Final passage of the ordinance regarding rent increases and codifying the Rent Review Advisory Committee. The first item has external correspondence from a landlord organization and a “housing provider” aka landlord. As it stands the ordinance is pretty “soft” so any further futzing with it will render it pretty much useless. The second consent item should be a no brainer, it doesn’t actually give the RRAC any new powers or authorities.


August 20, 2015

Soft sell

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Today there’s a soft opening for CREAM at Alameda Landing (ice cream sandwiches on cookies, like Cookiebar) from 3 – 5 p.m.   All proceeds go to benefit the Alameda Boys and Girls Club if you purchase on the soft opening day.   The Grand Opening is scheduled for Saturday and they’re giving out free ice cream sandwiches on the Saturday grand opening day.  Free!

Another Alameda Landing business is also opening on Saturday as well: Spin Pizza.  Spin Pizza will open across the street from Habit and — taking a cue from Habit’s successful openings — will donate 100% of the proceeds on this soft opening day to the Alameda Education Foundation if you come in between 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. for lunch and 5 – 7 p.m. for dinner.

It’s always a good thing when new businesses support local organizations.


August 13, 2015

Landing update

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

It’s been a long time since the Alameda Landing map has been updated and there aren’t a whole lot of changes. I think Sally’s Beauty Supply has finally opened, but I haven’t checked for sure. CREAM supposedly is opening soon-ish but has had to delay their opening several times.

The one addition from a purely practical standpoint is the Bank of America ATM going in near Panda Express.  For the Bank of America customers out there you’ll know that Lucky currently houses the West End ATM, so having one west of Webster is pretty exciting.



August 4, 2015

Whole baked

Filed under: Alameda, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Usually I keep my warm fuzzy posts for Fridays, but it’s the summer and things are a little slow and not so serious anyway, so I wanted to rave about Crispian Bakery which just opened up at PV Square.  PV Square is that development on Park Street across from the Alameda Marketplace which a lot of people turn their noses up at because it’s not aesthetically pleasing or whatever.  Plus the whole drama with the old house displaced for parking and you make for not a stellar back story.

Anyway, after the moving in of Alameda Island Brewing Company — which earns solid reviews on Yelp — and some other assorted business you would think the work of the leasing folks was done.  Not so, PV Square has brought to Alameda a brick and mortar that folks should be flocking to in droves because it is that damn good.

The back story of the two leads is totally compelling enough to get you through the doors, but the delicious goodies will keep you coming back.  I tried to get some stuff on Friday during the soft opening but by 5:00 p.m. they had long sold out all the baked goods.


June 25, 2015

Reversed from the first

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Earlier this week the City of Alameda sent out a Press Release and Community Advisory about the vote on Alameda Point. And almost as soon as it went out another email went out asking that the media type folks that received it try to incorporate the revisions that would be sent out later that day. Well, the revised press release didn’t get sent out until the next day and so I thought, for funsies, I would compare the two press releases to see what was so important that a revised version be sent out even though the first press release seemed to cover what should be covered.

A side by side:


June 24, 2015

In Da Harbor Bay Club

Filed under: Alameda, Business, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Did anyone catch the Alameda Magazine article about the new Harbor Bay Club?  I guess sometimes it takes people from not within Alameda to cast a different eye on a controversial topic.  I have to say, I totally enjoyed the article even though I’ve grown pretty apathetic to the whole Harbor Bay Club drama.   Some highlights:

Of course, Alamedans are notoriously fickle when it comes to development. Some opposed remodeling of the Alameda Theatre, but later fell in love with it. Others were initially leery about building a new city library. These days, many are hostile to development at Alameda Point.

In November’s election, Alamedans once again applied the brakes to development on the Island, this time rejecting the pro-development impulses of then-Mayor Marie Gilmore. As part of that shift, members of the Harbor Bay Neighbors worked hard to elect two City Council members who reportedly had pledged not to support the Cowans, Councilman Frank Matarrese and Gilmore’s replacement, new Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer.


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