Alameda Landing housing plan up for public review Monday

Alameda Landing housing plan up for public review Monday

Michele Ellson
Alameda Landing

On Monday, Alameda’s Planning Board and the public will get their first opportunity to comment on plans for a 278-unit housing project to be built on former Navy property behind the Bayport housing development and the College of Alameda – plans that could illustrate a future of denser housing development on the Island with a reduced emphasis on single family homes.

The proposal from Tri Pointe Homes includes 118 single family homes; three-story complexes containing 136 second-and third-story town homes and ground-level flats; and a 24-unit apartment building with units for low-income residents, with most of the homes bounded by Wilver “Willie” Stargell and Mitchell avenues and Fifth Street. The development would sit on 22.3 acres of the Navy’s 77-acre former Fleet Industrial Supply Center site.

City planners are seeking input on the proposal at the board’s meeting Monday night, and they’re hoping to earn approval of the development project by mid-November.

Since plans for the Alameda Landing development were approved in 2007, it isn’t bound by development rules that city leaders have enacted in the five years since – but the developers’ proposal does seek to make use them. Tri Pointe has applied for exemptions from Measure A’s prohibition on multifamily housing and its 2,000 square foot minimum lot size, using a 2009 ordinance that allows developers to seek waivers from the city’s zoning rules in exchange for affordable housing.

Six percent of the base project’s 227 units – 14 units – will be affordable to families earning half the area median income, or $46,750 for a family of four. In exchange for those units, Tri Pointe wants to be able to build 19 three-, six- and nine-unit town home and flat complexes with mostly market-rate housing that sit on less than the Measure A-required 2,000 square feet each. Tri Pointe also wants to consolidate its affordable rental housing for very-low and low-income residents – those whose families earn 60 percent of the area median – into a 24-unit apartment building to be constructed by the Alameda Housing Authority and a nonprofit partner.

In addition to the 227 units proposed, the developer would be able to construct an additional 51 units as a “bonus” for the 40 units of affordable housing it’s offering, bringing the total to 278 (an additional 16 units of below-market housing would be offered for sale to families with moderate incomes in the town home and flat complexes).

Under the proposal, three- and four-bedroom, two- to three-story single-family homes of between 2,065 square feet and 3,292 square feet would sit on 2,664- to 3,700-square foot lots; the flats would measure 1,042 square feet each, while town homes would be between 1,672 and 2,282 square feet each. The entire project would pencil out to 12.5 homes per acre, though it wasn’t clear how many town homes and flats per acre would be built. Acting City Planner Andrew Thomas didn’t return a call seeking more information Thursday about the development plans.

The adjacent Bayport housing project – constructed between 2002 and 2009 – includes 485 single-family homes on 87 acres, with 10 percent of those sold at below-market prices to families with moderate incomes of 80 percent of the area median or less. It also holds a 62-unit affordable housing project called The Breakers, with apartments and town homes built by the Alameda Housing Authority and Resources for Community Development, a nonprofit housing developer. That project was built in spite of Measure A under the terms of a lawsuit settlement that requires the city to replace affordable housing that had been torn down.

In addition to the 2009 density bonus ordinance, city leaders recently okayed new zoning rules that allow multifamily housing in several areas of the city, including at Alameda Landing. But it’s not yet clear how this change plays into the development plans.

Catellus, which managed the Bayport development and is managing the development of Alameda Landing, recently started construction on a 23-acre, 291,000-square-foot shopping center to be anchored by a 139,000-square-foot Target store slated to open in October 2013.

The proposed Boatworks development on Clement Avenue was to have been the first housing project in Alameda to use the city’s density bonus ordinance, with a 29-unit apartment building included in the 182-unit plan for the nearly 10-acre site; it is also one of the 10 sites the City Council agreed to allow multifamily housing development on. But Thomas said the property’s owner, Francis Collins, is seeking to revise the development plan.

A 1.29-acre parcel on Fernside Boulevard and Tilden Way is proposed to be divided into 11 lots to be sold for development of single-family homes, though town homes could be proposed for the property in the future.

Separately, the Planning Board on Monday is slated to discuss next steps for the redevelopment of Alameda Point, which could hold another 1,400 homes. More detailed plans to develop the Point, which could also see denser, multifamily housing development, are being put together; city officials said in March creating the plans and gaining approvals could take up to two years.

The Planning Board’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue. The agenda and materials are here.