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Update on Alameda Councilmember Frank Matarrese’s Opposition to SunCal’s Alameda Point Revitalization Plan

Eye-witnesses to Frank Matarrese’s Wednesday night “town hall” meeting reported to Action Alameda News on the Councilmember’s decision to oppose SunCal’s Alameda Point Revitalization Initiative. (At least one summary of the meeting received by Action Alameda News was reviewed by Councilmember Matarrese.)

Apparently Matarrese told the group that he doesn’t believe the redevelopment mechanism is secure enough to pay-back the $200 million in redevelopment bonds that SunCal is asking for to pay for the sports complex and other public amenities. Also, City of Alameda Public Works evidently told him that SunCal underestimated the cost of those planned amenities by 25 to 100%. In other words, the sports complex and other amenities could cost as much as $400 million. (For those who haven’t been paying attention – residents opposed to the measure have been saying basically the same thing for some months now.)

SunCal’s initiative doesn’t say where the extra money might come from, so that would mean that either the public amenities wouldn’t get built, or it would be up to taxpayers to pay for them. We reported previously on how SunCal stuck Albuquerque, New Mexico with the cost of building a sports complex that SunCal had promised to build.

On another Point, Mataresse referred a different matter to City Council for next week. Catellus is to give an update on their Alameda Landing project. At a special meeting of the Community Improvement Commission (CIC) – City Council sits as the board of commissioners – on November 4th, Catellus is to give a presentation.

Through the City Clerk’s office, City of Alameda Development Services Director Leslie Little responded yesterday to previous requests about the status of Alameda Landing this way:

In response to your information request, the status of Alameda Landing is that Stargell road improvements are now under construction with a Spring completion date. Catellus is working hard to secure an agreement with Target to anchor the planned retail portion of Alameda Landing. You asked whether Catellus is trying to bring a Target into the project as a “standalone” store. At this time discussions are advancing with Target on this, although the ultimate build out will have Target co-tenanted with surrounding compatible retail stores. The market will do more than anything else to dictate the balance of the retail timing.

As to the status of negotiations, Catellus reports that they have a signed Letter of Intent (LOI) from Target. This is however only the beginning of a long process to meet all the requirements of Target and to complete a final transaction and commence construction.

You also asked for a time line. When would Target come to Alameda? With current discussions Target would plan to open a store in the Fall of 2011 or Spring of 2012 subject to a variety of contingencies that will need to be satisfied and permits that will need to be secured.

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