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Alameda Point Infrastructure Price Tag: $679 million

In addition to their development concept document, SunCal has released a draft master infrastructure budget for their Alameda Point preliminary development plan. The draft budget includes a price tag of $679 million for “master infrastructure.” Guess who’s going to pay for the bulk of that – you, the taxpayer.

The list of master infrastructure items includes demolition, remediation, grading, dewatering, sanitary sewer, storm drain, water, street work, dry utilities and more. The total estimate, including “soft costs” – administration, professional services, fees, etc. – comes to $679,090,000. See the image below captured from the SunCal budget document.

Infrastructure improvements for Alameda Point are estimated to be $679 million

As a community, we need to press SunCal to be very clear about which of these items they will pay for, and which they will ask the City of Alameda or other regional agencies (e.g. AC Transit, MTC) to pay for. They clearly expect the City to finance some of it – in their March 2007 response to follow-up questions from the City, SunCal clearly stated they expect Alameda’s redevelopment agency, the Community Improvement Commission, to issue bonds to pay for “public infrastructure.” This use of redevelopment money is also known as “tax increment financing.” Here is an excerpt:

Question 9: How does your firm envision utilizing tax increment financing,
and what assurances will the CIC receive that tax increment will be used
only as necessary?

SunCal anticipates utilizing tax exempt financing in connection with the
project, including for construction of public infrastructure and affordable
housing. The extent to which tax increment will be utilized is not known at
this time…

Nobody should be fooled by SunCal’s claims that they need to build more and more housing to pay for improvements at Alameda Point – from the very beginning they expected a significant portion of the expenses for “public infrastructure and affordable housing” would be paid for by taxpayers, financed with redevelopment money, a.k.a. “tax increment financing.”

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