Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

My husband and I rode our bikes around the Del Monte building last weekend and again admired the rustic industrial charm of the former warehouse. I have always wished this building could be brought back to life. Now it looks like this could finally happen thanks to the possibilities presented in Tim Lewis Communities’ plans.

For nearly 50 years, Alamedans have watched with puzzlement as this historic site, once a bustling center for canning and distribution of Del Monte goods, has sat mostly vacant, shut away behind a cyclone fence.

Tim Lewis Communities’ plans for the Del Monte space maintain its eclectic facade and include a mix of housing, retail, restaurants and open space. The design supports walkability and a variety of transportation options, lessening reliance on the automobile and supporting environmental sustainability. The plans include improved waterfront accessibility for all Alamedans and contributions to the development of the Jean Sweeney Park.

I look forward to learning more about the revitalization of this iconic building and the entire Alameda northern waterfront. It’s about time this "diamond in the rough" become a real gem for Alameda.

Vicki Sedlack

Editor:

When we first moved to Alameda in 1968 it was for several reasons: schools, housing, public transportation, and general ambience. We thought it would be great to raise our children here, and we were right.

Part of the attraction was, of course, from the older homes and from the industrial areas that would become, we felt, revitalized or replaced. When I first saw the Del Monte warehouse I thought: "Wow, this will be great when it’s fixed up!"

Now, 46 years later, I still think it would be great, but I just don’t know what has taken so long. This Tim Lewis Communities (TLC) outfit seems to have had some background with this exact sort of building and their proposal is for housing and commercial space, all of which would be a boon to the blighted area.

From what I can tell, traffic would be minimally impacted. They’re even going to follow through with honoring Jean Sweeney’s legacy.

So, I can only encourage the city to allow TLC to proceed apace, bringing jobs, new faces, and making the view from Littlejohn/Buena Vista Park a good deal more appealing and, frankly, making the general area safer, particularly for children. We shouldn’t have to wait another 46 years.

Arthur Ramirez Lenhardt

Editor:

The Alameda Chamber of Commerce supports the direction the city is taking toward revitalizing Alameda’s northern waterfront and is particularly excited about Tim Lewis Communities’ plans for the Del Monte Warehouse.

While all of the details for the project have yet to be worked out, the chamber is encouraged by the Master Plan for this now underutilized, publicly-inaccessible land. The proposal can only mean economic opportunity for the Island. Attractive, modern mixed-use development will bring necessary housing and walkable retail, translating to jobs and tax revenue for the city.

Importantly, the developer and the city have addressed concerns over traffic and parking through a comprehensive Northern Waterfront Transportation Plan.

The plan is sensitive to the needs of adjacent property owners and creates a viable and sustainable transportation program to offset parking demand, pollution and emissions, and single occupant vehicle traffic on Alameda corridors, tubes and bridges. This is one of the most thoughtful transportation programs that has been proposed in years!

The chamber looks forward to plans to bring new life to Alameda’s estuary.

Mark Sorenson, Executive Director, Alameda Chamber of Commerce

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