Planning Board Approves West Midway Project

City of Alameda -- The West Midway  project shown here will now move to the City Council for final approval. Some 26 acres of Alameda Point will be redeveloped.
City of Alameda -- The West Midway project shown here will now move to the City Council for final approval. Some 26 acres of Alameda Point will be redeveloped.

Planning Board Approves West Midway Project

At its May 22 meeting, the Alameda Planning Board approved the proposed West Midway Project development plan and will recommend the City Council approve the development agreement with Catellus and Brookfield Properties. The Planning Board voted, 5-0, in favor of the plan. Members Ronald Curtis and Hanson Horn did not attend the meeting.

The site is located on approximately 26 acres of land between West Tower and West Midway avenues, Main Street, and Ardent and Pan Am ways at Alameda Point. The proposal calls for the construction of approximately 478 housing units, 10,000 square feet of non-residential uses and associated infrastructure and open space.

In the development, there will be 200 townhome units located in two different parcels — a 90-unit parcel west of Orion Street and a 110-unit parcel east of Orion — 104 three-story condo units between Ardent Way and Orion, 114 four-story condo units located at three parcels in the bottom right have of the development, and 60 duet housing units on the top right of the development. A duet home is an attached single-family home that can be purchased separately.

David Burton from KTGY, an architecture, branding, interior and planning firm that prepared the development plan, gave a presentation to the board at the meeting. In his presentation, Burton described the differences in the current plan, compared to the development plan they submitted to the board in September 2022. In the new plan, Burton said developers made four major changes:
• Extension of Avenues A and B
• Completion of Ardent Way
• Extended width of Green Spine
• Increased central Open Space

Avenue A now extends from Main Street all the way through to Orion and avenue B goes from Pan Am way all the way through to Orion.

“What this does is this allows for vehicular traffic to move through the site in a little more continuous fashion,” said Burton.

In the previous plan, Ardent Way began at West Midway Avenue and stopped at Avenue B. Now it connects through the entire project to West Tower Avenue.

Burton also emphasized the project’s mobility functions for pedestrians and bicyclists. The east-west green spine that travels through the neighborhood from Pan Am Way to Main Street has been made significantly wider. The 10-foot bike and pedestrian path is now augmented with a separate five-foot sidewalk parallel on the other side of the green. The minimum width has been increased from 32 feet in the September plan to 45 feet in the current plan.

Lastly, the reconfiguration of the housing in response to the changed street layout has resulted in an increased amount of community open space. This open space has been consolidated and placed along Orion.

“This ensures that the space is visible and accessible to all the residents of the neighborhood and especially the residential to RESHAP parcel,” said Burton.

On March 21, 2017, the City Council approved the Main Street Neighborhood Specific Plan, which established the city’s specific development policies and standards for development of the area bounded by West Tower Avenue, Pan Am Way, and Main Street or the “Main Street Neighborhood”.

The West Midway Project is one of three housing projects critical to the city’s commitment to construct 1,482 housing units over the next eight years at Alameda Point as part of the certified Housing Element. The two other projects are the Site A development, just south of the West Midway Project, and the Rebuilding Existing Supportive Housing at Alameda Point (RESHAP) project, located west of Ardent Way.

The development plan for RESHAP project was approved by the Planning Board at its May 8 meeting. It will hold 309 housing units.

The Alameda Point Settlement Agreement with Renewed Hope requires that the city ensure that 25 percent of all new housing in the area be deed restricted for very low-, low- and moderate-income households.

The combined projects will provide 587 total new units (478 new units at West Midway and 109 new units of the total 309 units at RESHAP), requiring 147 affordable units (59 new units at or below low-income and 88 new units at or below moderate-income). The West Midway project will include 40 units that will be deed restricted for moderate-income households with household income.

The plan requires that six percent of the units in a development be deed restricted to very low-income households, 10 percent be deed restricted to low-income households, and nine percent be deed restricted to moderate-income households. For the West Midway project, this requirement would yield 29 very low-income units, 48 low-income units, and 43 moderate-income units.