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Feds Give Gifts to City of Alameda

The City of Alameda announced late last week that the Office of Economic Adjustment under the Department of Defense has awarded the City of Alameda $225,000 to prepare a detailed economic development strategy for Alameda Point. Also, on October 5th, Alameda City Council, sitting as the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority (ARRA) will vote on a term sheet between the U.S. Navy and the City to transfer Alameda Point to ARRA at no cost.

Former Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant told Action Alameda News that the grant has its roots in a 2010 Association of Defense Communities conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that she, then-Mayor Beverly Johnson, then-Councilmember Frank Matarrese, then-City Attorney Theresa Highsmith, and city-staffers Donna Mooney and Jennifer Ott attended after she (Gallant) had the city re-join the group. “Think of it this way,” she said, “it is impossible to get money from government agencies if they do not KNOW you, your organization, your mission or your policy makers.”

The City’s announcement noted that, “while the ARRA has a robust interim leasing program for Alameda Point, comprised of 2.3 million square feet of occupied commercial space, there are numerous vacant and underutilized buildings that have potential for intensification and adaptive reuse.”

The City expects the strategic plan to be completed by October 2012, just before the bulk of planned no-cost transfers of Alameda Point parcels begin to take place.

Over the summer, the City of Alameda has been negotiating with the Navy for a no-cost transfer of portions of the former navy base to ARRA. Alameda City Manager has put the term sheet up for an October 5th vote. The term sheet will be reviewed and voted on by Alameda City Council, sitting as Commissioners for ARRA.

Alameda Point Conveyance Dates

The no-cost transfer is contingent on ARRA and the City of Alameda adhering to the 1996 Community Reuse Plan which called for just over 2,700 homes at Alameda Point, and job creation. The City of Alameda will have to prepare and submit to the Navy an annual “comprehensive and cumulative report” identifying the number of housing units built, and for every market-rate residential unit built over the limit, ARRA will have to pay the Navy $50,000, adjusted for inflation.

The first parcel to be transferred, which includes the property offered to Lawrence Berkeley Labs for its second campus, could be transferred as early as June of next year. The remaining parcels would be transferred beginning in December 2012.

11 comments to Feds Give Gifts to City of Alameda

  • not mayberry

    Please indicate the boundary between dry land & submerged ARRA parcels. A good deal of the ARRA parcels are underwater. Is this where Alameda plans to build the 2000 houses? In an octopus’s garden in the shade?

  • DHL

    So it would be OBVIOUS then, if we want to attract the LBNL to the point that we should move our city fire department under Alameda County Fire Department. Why? ACFD has been the fire department for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2002, and for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory since 2007.

    So a move to ACFD would 1. save the city $2.5M per year, 2. immediately bring our fire department under a contemporary, professional, and performance based management, and 3. bring our fire department immediately under the protocols and procedures and management specific to the local and national laboratories.

    Ant THAT would mean that responses to future extraordinary events such as the toxic 2009 FISC fire and the 1990-2010 Crude Oil Transfers and Spills, our fire response would more likely be capable and willing to do the right things (oh, like engage the CalEPA, BAAQMD, etc., evacuate the public, and protect our health and our environments [instead of telling us it’s not toxic and just live with the friable asbestos in our yards and lungs and the crude oil in our lungs!]).

    I’d be very surprised if the LBNL chose Alameda given the track record of the AFD in recent years. Those that want the LBNL at Alameda Point should look closer at the relationship between fire services and the local national labs, the response types they need a fire department to be prepared for and have the P&Ps in place for, the performance standards that the labs require, etc.. For our own health and safety, we do need the AFD to move to County. But it looks like a move to county would also be significant to attract the Lab and other businesses as well.

  • The no-cost conveyance is great news and long overdue. It is at least as significant as would be an announcement that the Lab was coming to the Point.

    The 2700 housing unit number in the staff report is confusing. Later in the staff report is spells out that there will be a surcharge of $50,000 per unit for anything over 2,011. The 2,011 number includes Bayport.

    So, we are going to start out with around 1,400 units, but the no-cost conveyance does not preclude going over that number if developers and future owners are willing to pay the extra $50,000 per unit. It’s not clear if the 2,700 number is a cap that cannot be exceeded under any circumstances.

    I wrote about Point conveyance and going forward a year and a half ago where you can find other links

    Here is one additional link

  • Richard – do you think that $50,000/unit penalty is a strong enough deterrent to prevent building 5,000 to 6,000 homes at Alameda Point, something which so many people opposed when they voted against Measure B?

  • I think the deterrent will be the process of disposing of the property, namely three or four super parcels over the course of several years. The developer who buys the first parcel, whether the Lab goes there are not, will seek entitlement for X number of homes under the sanction of the original environmental impact report from 1999 (we should not have to do another EIR to go forward after signing the no-cost conveyance agreement).

    When it comes time to sell the final parcel, if the Point, plus Bayport, is already at 2,700, and the final developer wants to go over that number, I think they will have a lot more to worry about that $50,000 per unit. Besides having to pay for a new environmental impact report for the entire Point, they will be expected to pony up the money via sales price of units/square feet or homeowner assessments to pay for all the mitigations that are identified in the new EIR. It’s not likely that existing owners at that time will want to tax themselves to pay for various mitigations.

    If we were going to turn the whole works over to one master developer, then I think $50,000 would not likely be a deterrent.

    The other deterrent, although maybe not ironclad, is the spirit of the economic planning grant just announced, coupled with the no-cost conveyance language referencing the Reuse Plan objectives.

  • c. gottstein

    According to [official Alameda base closure website], 1679 acres was already slated for transfer to ARRA prior to Sept 2010. But the Term Sheet cover memo for the upcoming 10/5/2011 ARRA Meeting explicitly says: AlPo “consists of 918 acres of the former NAS”. Before we all pat the new CM on the back for negotiating the transfer, would someone please explain what became of the rest of it[1679-918=?]? And why was the RAB, including its Navy rep, excluded from the info loop? IMO, this underscores the continuing problem of there being no real communication between the ARRA & the RAB. When I asked Mr. Russo, w/my AlPo map in hand, how much land was under discussion, he said: “All of it”. 918 acres is not “all of it”.

  • Look at the map – I think the rest is the V.A. set aside for the clinic and columbarium…

  • Mixed-use area + Northwest Territories = 918 acres
    Wildlife Refuge VA parcel = 549 acres
    Sports Complex – Public Benefit 60 acres
    FISC – Bayport + Landing 143 acres

    Total……………………………………………….1,670 acres

    As for the other nine acres, I think there is or was a nine-acre parcel that was supposed to go to the school district, I don’t know, but 1670 is close enough.

    The FISC property is included in the Navy’s numbers because it was Navy property, although not part of the base, that was part of the NAS-Alameda “realignment and closure.” I know it can be confusing to try and make all the numbers add up. If you look at the Reuse Plan, it includes surrounding waters in the Bay and you find a different set of numbers.

    The 918 acres is the same footprint as was in Measure B – mixed use area (about 700 acres), plus Northwest Territories(about 220 acres).

    The 60 acre parcel formerly referred to as the Sports Complex has been transferred from the Navy to the Dept. of the Interior and is awaiting whatever needs to happen locally for it to be transferred to Alameda to be used exclusively as a public park.

  • Thanks for the clarification Richard. I think the FISC and Bayport homes count towards the 2,737 in the community reuse plan, as previously discussed?

  • Yes. Bayport counts toward the 2,737. Plus whatever housing is built at Alameda Landing will count toward that number. If you recall, the Landing parcel was originally entitled for an R&D business park.

  • c.gottstein

    Thanks for trying, but that map above, on the City website, is a rather fuzzy version of the map I received from Xuan-Mai Tran, US EPA, on which the ARRA parcels, the DoI PBC, etc. are clearly marked, but w/o indicating the acreage. It should! I really wish ARRA would use exactly the same map as the RAB uses. Now that Alameda is returning to the original documents it negotiated w/the Navy, I’m really glad I ignored the base during all that SunCal business[except of course to vote their unrealistic fantasy out of town!]. Too much baggage to dispose of.

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