Marina Paves Way for Redo

Bill Poland is the majority owner of Pacific Shops Inc. (PSI) that leases the land from the city where the Alameda Marina stands. He is moving forward with his plans to redevelop the site. 

According to Poland, the city “specifically designated (the marina) for mixed-use redevelopment and as a multifamily housing site to fulfill Alameda’s Housing Element commitments.” Not everyone agrees with Poland’s interpretation of “redevelopment.” Some fear that redevelopment could spell the end for all the marina-oriented businesses at the site. 

In 2006, Poland and the late Svend Svendsen purchased the marina from John Bentzen. The following year, Poland and Svendsen began meeting with the city to execute a new tidelands lease for the portion of the marina owned by the state but managed by the city.

On the Alameda Marina website (www.alamedamarina.com) Poland explains that in May 2012 Svend and Sean Svendsen signed a new tidelands lease with the city. The lease requires a master plan for “demolition and/or replacement and/or comprehensive rehabilitation of existing improvements on the property and for construction of a new, higher-value project,” Poland states. 

On Tuesday Poland announced that the marina’s harbormaster Brock De Lappe had left the company and that the president of PSI’s board of directors Sean Svendsen had resigned. Svendsen was not available for comment. 

When contacted for comment, de Lappe told the Sun that he did not leave the company willingly, he was fired for what he called a “perceived lack of support for (Poland’s) development plans.” De Lappe said that he was concerned about the tenants who could no longer afford to stay (at the marina). He also said he was worried about the impact development at Alameda Marina would have on the city’s sailing community. 

De Lappe played a key role in getting the 2013 estuary cleanup underway. He got the ball rolling in 2008, when he gathered the harbormasters and representatives from a laundry list of government and law enforcement agencies to discuss the growing number of unregistered boats, or anchor-outs, in the estuary.

“Our vision is Alameda’s vision,” Poland states on the Alameda Marina website. The Alameda Sun has learned from its readers that not everyone agrees with Poland’s 
assessment.