Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 16, 2015

Set your Site A

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

I don’t think I’m overreaching if I say that tonight’s City Council vote on Site A at Alameda Point is probably the biggest issue to come before this Council since they have been seated.   The one vote which has the potential to be derailed is the vote on the Disposition and Development Agreement which requires a vote of four out of five of the City Council members.  I’m not feeling particularly optimistic for Site A, but I’m really hoping that my uncharacteristically pessimistic attitude will be proven wrong by an unanimous vote.  Hell, I’d settle for a four to one vote at this point, I don’t require unanimity.

If you click on the link above it leads you to a full page of all the documents that exist and that should be able to answer any question that you might have if you’re willing to do some reading.  Staff is recommending that the City Council take affirmative action on all the items that are coming before them tonight, just to keep tabs there are three major votes:

(1) Adoption of Resolution Upholding the Planning Board Resolution No. PB-15-09 Approving a Development Plan for the 68-Acre Mixed Use Development Plan in the Waterfront Town Center Plan Area Referred to as “Site A” at Alameda Point and Approving a Density Bonus Waiver;
(2) Introduction of Ordinance Approving a Disposition and Development Agreement (and Related Documents) between the City of Alameda and Alameda Point Partners, LLC (APP) for the Site A Development at Alameda Point [Requires four affirmative votes]; and
(3) Introduction of Ordinance Approving a Development Agreement between the City of Alameda and Alameda Point Partners, LLC for the Site A Development at Alameda Point.


June 12, 2015

Why don’t you get jobs

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

Whatever the Alameda Point Partners are paying their PR person, they should really double it.  While Joe Ernst is a master at massaging the message when it comes to the development plans themselves, the PR people for APP is doing a great job of keeping the messaging strong when it comes to the community supporting the Site A project.

The most recent “get” for APP is the Bay Area Council which has endorsed the project.  The Bay Area Council, for those that don’t know, from their website:

The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. The Council proactively advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone who lives here.

Founded in 1945, as a way for the region’s business community and like-minded individuals to concentrate and coordinate their efforts, the Bay Area Council is widely respected by elected officials, policy makers and other civic leaders as the regional voice of business in the Bay Area.

Today, more than 275 of the largest employers in the region support the Bay Area Council and offer their CEO or top executive as a member.


May 28, 2015

Big Three

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Neighbors, Business, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Across the Bay, here’s what Mayor Ed Lee is doing to help out the folks defined as making too much money to qualify for below market rate units and too poor to afford market rate units, from the San Francisco Business Journal:

If voters approve Mayor Ed Lee’s $250 million housing bond in November, they will unlock a stream of cash that the city will use to subsidize rental housing units for middle-class residents for the first time.

Under the plan a new housing program would use a small slice of the bond money to pay real estate developers that are building new market-rate buildings to restrict some rental units for households that make roughly $100,000 to $140,000 a year.

this would be the first program using public money for new rental units. It may also throw a new income bracket into the frantic world of housing lotteries, where thousands of applicants vie for dozens of spots in new market-rate buildings.


May 19, 2015

A woman’s place

Tonight’s City Council meeting appears to be on the boring side, but it’s in some of the consent items that there should be some drama.  In fact, it’s too bad that Jim Oddie didn’t wait until tonight to pull out the story about the ACTC representative and Trish Spencer for the agenda item approving Measure BB Master Program Funding.

As a reminder, Jim Oddie recounted that a high level staff member at the Alameda County Transportation Commission was told by Trish Spencer that she did not want the Broadway/Jackson project or BRT in Alameda.  Trish Spencer did not deny that she said that to a staff member at ACTC just that she didn’t recall the topic ever coming up during those meetings and that it was inappropriate for Jim Oddie to bring up the topic without talking to her “offline” first.  Well, here it is, a chance for Trish Spencer to definitively whether she supports Broadway/Jackson and BRT.   The resolution states the policy of this City Council moving forward about the projects that will be funded by Measure BB, including both the Alameda to Fruitvale BART BRT and the Broadway/Jackson improvements:


May 11, 2015


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

Tonight will be a big vote for the Alameda Point Partner’s Site A project at the Planning Board.  It’s a two pronged vote and APP will need an unanimous vote to provide an united front when going before the City Council for the big vote which will require four out of the five City Council votes for approval.

First prong is an approval vote for the Planning Board to decide whether to adopt the Development plan and grant the Density Bonus application which — as I’ve mentioned before — is a just a straight request for a waiver from Measure A, no additional “bonus” units requested.  While an unanimous vote is not necessary, I think it’s critical to the developer to “win” over the swing vote: Frank Matarrese.

The second prong is recommending to the City Council to approve the Development Agreement which is a contract of sorts between the City and the developer.  Any vote less than an unanimous one will give the fence sitters (okay, fence sitter) a possible out to vote against the deal.


May 8, 2015

Black hole sun

Filed under: Alameda, Business, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

I haven’t finished watching the City Council meeting from Tuesday yet, so I have yet to get to the Wednesday budget meeting as well.  Too many City meetings, not enough time in the day to catch up with it all.  So instead I’m going light and fluffy (I think).  The Raiders are submitting a design review application to build a new training facility near their existing headquarters in Alameda.   When I told the husband he said “that’s good!”  I said, “but they already have a facility in Alameda.” To which he replied, “well, if they are putting money into an Alameda facility that means they won’t necessarily move to LA.”  Point: husband who follows football stuff.

All in all it’s pretty “meh” looking but apparently will be screened in with fences and landscaping and stuff because “privacy.”


May 7, 2015

What’s cooking

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Last week, I took the kidlings to Alameda Landing for their snack time treat. My timing was impeccable because there were some Alameda Landing folks sticking up new directory maps indicating what stores were where.

While I have been keeping track of most of the businesses there were a few that I was super curious about but were still in it’s general category phase on the leasing maps.

Fortunately, the map revealed the name of the one store that I was really interested in:


April 27, 2015

Swing vote

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

If it wasn’t obvious before the last City Council meeting it should be obvious post that City Council meeting. The one person that will be deciding the fate of Site A and whether it moves forward is Vice Mayor Frank Matarrese. As others have alluded to he is the Justice Kennedy if we were to compare this City Council to the Supreme Court. Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft gets to play the role of Ginsberg, Trish Spencer is definitely Scalia, the others I haven’t really decided on yet.

Frank Matarrese is holding his cards close regarding how he will vote on the important Site A vote, because it requires four votes of the City Council, if they lose Frank Matarrese it’s all over for the redevelopment of Site A.

Of course there could be small ways that the other three: Tony Daysog, Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft and Jim Oddie could be lost, but I get the sense that most of their “asks” will be within the ability of the developer to deliver. Frank Matarrese, on the other hand, is concerned about bringing “jobs” to Alameda and Alameda Point, but thus far has seemed unmoved by the parade of successful Alameda business owners that have urged the City Council to move forward with the plan. If Frank Matarrese decides to not vote for the Site A plan, it could hurt his credentials as being business friendly and pro jobs.


April 20, 2015

Weekday update

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

These periodic Alameda Point updates are generally super helpful to follow along if (1) you’re new to all this or (2) you conveniently forget what has already happened and what plans have been presented thus far.

There’s a whole section on the commercial portions and business stuff which (most) people seem to want and don’t have a lot of objections to.  Of course I caveat that with “most” since as we saw from the whole WETA facility discussion apparently there are people in Alameda who don’t want business and ended up voting against the approvals to pave the way for the WETA facility which would bring with it many jobs in the form of construction jobs first and foremost and then maintenance and administrative jobs once the complex is complete.

But, I digress, anyway good update on the whole project overall, but I wanted specifically to highlight the information about the housing because that’s the stuff that the community tends to have strong feelings about.


April 17, 2015

CREAM sh-boogie bop

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

This is probably the first time I’ve been really concerned about the viability of a specific small local business.  Yesterday while visiting Alameda Landing I noticed sign with a cookie ice cream sandwich on the window and language about Facebook liking.  Upon further inspection it appears that CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me) is coming to Alameda.  It’s (essentially) the model that Cookiebar borrowed, pick your own cookies and pick your own ice cream to make your own ice cream sandwiches.

Fortunately for CookieBar it has some really interesting flavors (Vietnamese Coffee is yum!) and is making its own ice cream.  Let’s hope the West End is big enough for two cookie ice cream sandwiches.


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