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Control of Alameda Point Development Slipping Away From Alameda

At tonight’s Alameda Re-use and Redevelopment Authority (ARRA) meeting, Alameda City Council seems set to transfer more control over the development of Alameda Point to New York based hedge fund D.E. Shaw.

According to the staff report, control of SCC Alameda Point LLC, the SunCal entity with which the City has the development agreement for Alameda Point, will shift to a new company called Cal Land Venture, LLC which will be part owned by D.E. Shaw and SunCal.

But how much will be owned by D.E. Shaw? Apparently, Alameda residents aren’t supposed to know that, because the ownership structure is part of an operating agreement between D.E. Shaw and SunCal, and is a document that, according to the staff report, “was provided to Alameda under separate cover and will be discussed in a special closed session on October 7 , 2008. SunCal has identified this document as confidential and not a public record.”

This transfer of control is part of a second amendment to the agreement between SunCal and the City. It also tightens up other parameters of the development project as well and puts pressure on SunCal to put a Measure A initiative on the ballot sooner rather than later. But the key issue is that control seems to be slipping away from both Alameda and SunCal and into the hands of D.E. Shaw, the financier. And if Alameda residents want to know just how much control, they will have to get an attorney and fight with both the City and SunCal to find out.

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