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Alameda Landing Project Causes Confusion

By Erica Madison

“What have you done so far?” said Mayor Beverly Johnson.

Johnson was questioning a report given by economic development director Leslie Little. The report was presented to the City Council on Dec 2, on the Alameda Landing project.

The Alameda Landing project is an approved redevelopment agreement between Community Improvement Commission (CIC) and Palmtree Acquisition Corporation (PAC). In December 2005, PAC was hired to transform part of the Fleet Industrial Supply Center, into 400,000 square feet of office space and 300,000 square feet of retail space. This redevelopment will also include a public waterfront park.

The report on Dec. 2, was given to update the City Council on progress made to the project.

“(PAC) acquired right-of-way for Stargell for 8 million dollars”, said Economic Development Director Leslie Little.

On August 2005, PAC worked a deal between the CIC, Alameda City, and the Peralta Community College District, to buy the rights of way for the Stargell Avenue Extension. PAC extended the $8 million on behalf of the CIC. On June 3, 2008, the CIC agreed to repay PAC for the $8 million, along with any other early expenditures of funds, if the PAC decides not to continue the construction of Stargell.

Little explained to the council that the money PAC put forth for Stargell keeps them from getting much work done on the project.

“This $8 million expenditure keeps them from justifying any of their work,” said Little.

Little also told the City Council, that the project is 45 percent complete, but technically they have until 2017 to construct Stargell.

Unfortunately, Mayor Johnson was not completely satisfied with this explanation.

“What are they supposed to be doing right now?” said Mayor Beverly Johnson.

According to Little, the new agreement between the CIC and PAC, changed the timeline for the construction of Stargelll. The new agreement allows the PAC to begin an alternative first phase of construction on the retail area.

However, PAC has not started this new phase of construction yet.

“Hopefully they will, sometime next year”, said Little.

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