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City of Alameda Closes Escrow on Alameda Belt Line Railroad Property

Earlier this week, the City of Alameda announced that they have closed escrow on the purchase of the 39.4 acre Alameda Belt Line railroad property, at a cost of $966,207, or $24,523/acre.

Last summer, Alameda residents celebrated Jean Sweeney with a block party, for her work in uncovering documents dating back to 1924 that proved that the City had the right to purchase the property for the original cost of $30,000, plus the cost of any additional investments and extensions. Ms. Sweeney also lead the effort to pass a local ballot initiative designating the area, once acquired by the City, as parkland.

The courts rule in the City’s favor last year, and the property is only now clearing escrow, so the City can take title. The City of Alameda says that are still regulatory proceedings to clear with the Federal Surface Transportation Board, before the City can act on proposed future uses of the property.

1 comment to City of Alameda Closes Escrow on Alameda Belt Line Railroad Property

  • Barb

    Jean paid for and circulated the initiative petition, not once but twice, after City officials told her the first submittal didn’t meet requirements. She led the campaign for the election, with the man behind the scenes, her husband Jim, backing the project for decades as well.

    No one since Chuck Corica has singlehandedly achieved such a great achievement for Alamedans. If anyone claims that the City fought a hard battle for this project, that is an ersatz and empty claim. When one is sued, one is forced to defend. That is not leading. If anyone in town were offered the right to buy an acre, even zoned open space so no developer could ever lay claim to it, for $25,000 per acre, that is not leading a fight. That is snapping up a bargain at 2.5 cents on the dollar.

    Now that the land is safely on the City’s books, it can be included in the longterm capital improvements budgets where planning and funding for improvments can begin. Whether Alameda gets Measure W funds or it takes years to get the funds, it is an asset than now belongs to the citizens forever.

    Everyone who lives or will live in Alameda owe Jean and Jim Sweeney, a thank you. Anyone who tries to take credit for helping when they in fact were part of the problem in the first place is being disengenuous at best. Or perhaps just running for another elected office.

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