Point Moving Forward with Development Plans

City of Alameda The city is planning a mixed-use, 800-home development on the 68-acre parcel, Site A, along West Atlantic Avenue from Main Street to the Seaplane Lagoon. Part of the adjoining 82 acres, Site B, lies within the commercial enterprise zone and part in the Town Center zone.

At last Tuesday’s meeting the city council considered a staff proposal to begin a major construction effort at the eastern entryway to Alameda Point, formerly known as the East Gate. The proposal seeks approval to solicit qualified developers for two parcels totaling 150 acres that would bring 800 new homes and a major sales-tax generator.

The quest for developers is being proposed “in order to facilitate new residential and commercial mixed-use projects that are of a sufficient scale to support major infrastructure investment,” said Jennifer Ott, chief operating officer for Alameda Point. “It will create a catalyst for additional new development and investment elsewhere” at Alameda Point.

The proposal seeks a single developer for an entire 68-acre parcel, dubbed Site A, which extends along West Atlantic Avenue from Main Street to the Seaplane Lagoon. It would feature a mixed-use, 800-home development that is consistent with the recently approved Town Center Waterfront Plan. The plan requires ground-floor retail along certain blocks and public plazas and amenities at the heart of the area.  Hotels and office development will also be highly encouraged.

Site B is composed of 82 acres on southeastern Alameda Point. Part of the site is within the commercial Enterprise Zone and part is within the Town Center Waterfront Plan area. Unlike Site A, the proposal for Site B will entertain multiple developers. “This approach allows the city to potentially attract interest from a large corporate user or retail outlet operator, who may not be interested in the entire area,” stated the staff report. Preference will be given to developers who furnish letters of interest from a corporate user or retail outlet operator.

The staff report notes that significant early phases of development can commence around a 33-acre area that is undergoing environmental cleanup by the Navy. The groundwater cleanup area is not scheduled for transfer to the city until 2020. One of the early defining phases of development will be the realignment of West Atlantic Avenue so that Ralph Appezzato Parkway continues in a straight line to Ferry Point Road.

The staff proposal outlines an aggressive schedule, which calls for bringing a short list of developer candidates to the city council by September. In November, the council will be asked to approve exclusive negotiating agreements with developers. By the spring of 2015, the staff hopes to produce development contracts and development plans, with developers beginning their detailed site-specific infrastructure designs. By the end of 2015, the schedule calls for beginning infrastructure construction and drafting the building designs, according to Ott. By the spring and summer of 2016, the city hopes to see vertical construction.

Developers will be required to submit a project description, but will be expressly prohibited from submitting site plans or any design renderings of any proposed development. “The selection of the developers/users will be solely based on the qualifications of the developers/users and the quality of their submittal, including past projects, not on the quality of any design drawings purporting to show the future of Alameda Point,” the staff report stated. “Submission of a site plan or renderings at this stage of the process will result in disqualification of the responding entity.”

“City staff also receives significant interest in, and is actively pursuing, other long-term investment opportunities, such as the recently approved Google lease, in the other areas of the base, especially in the Historic District,” said Ott.

Current plans call for 1,425 housing units at complete build-out of Alameda Point, 25 percent (356) are required to be affordable.

Read more Alameda Point news at Richard Bangert’s blog http://alamedapointenvironmentalreport.wordpress.com.