Facing criticism and bad publicity over their failed Oak Knoll project that was beginning to negatively impact their chances with their Alameda Point Revitalization Initiative, SunCal rushed out a press release earlier this month, announcing $500,000 in maintenance funding for Oak Knoll. Trouble is, there was no substance behind the announcement.
Court documents show that SunCal is not putting up the $500,000 themselves – clearly, they don’t have that kind of money. So they tried to get it from the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy estate. Lehman’s attorney’s and the bankruptcy trustee are reluctant to let any money go to SunCal for Oak Knoll. But they apparently worked out a tentative deal for one of Lehman’s non-bankrupt subsidiaries, Lehman ALI, Inc., to loan $500,000 to SunCal Oak Knoll LLC.
Now let’s take a look at the budget for that $500,000. (See below.) Over $34,000 of that is going to insurance premiums to protect Lehman ALI and the bankruptcy trustee. $17,833 is going to a fire hydrant survey, which does nothing to abate the risks at Oak Knoll, and is unnecessary because the Oakland Fire Department already knows well enough to bring their own water and not rely on the hydrants at Oak Knoll to provide water.
The onsite security will last through to January only – what will happen come February? And the money funds no demolition of the tinderbox buildings – only weed abatement and removing wood stock piles that can serve as “fuel loads” in the event of a fire. What about the fuel loads represented by the half-demolished buildings?
In any event, none of the money has been released yet, and none is being spent on any of the activities in the budget, as the lawyers are still fighting over it. SunCal’s press release was a little premature.