Alameda Point Explained: Town center suitors
Alameda Point Explained: Town center suitors
The city is contemplating proposals from nine developers who’ve signaled their interest in developing some or all of a planned 150-acre Alameda Point waterfront town center and commercial development area.
Back in May, the city sought out developers interested in building up to 800 homes, shops, office space and hotels on the 68-acre town center parcel along Seaplane Lagoon and a major corporate campus or an outlet mall on an adjacent 82 acres; nine responded with proposals. The City Council, which signed off on a detailed plan for the town center on July 15, is expected to consider finalists to develop the Point’s future core in September.
So who are these developers, and what do they bring to the table? The mix includes big, national firms and smaller local ones, urban and suburban homebuilders, property managers and money men. Here’s the quick-and-dirty on each developer and team.
HEADQUARTERS: Mill Valley/Oakland/Washington, D.C.
PRIMARY BUSINESS: Thompson Dorfman develops apartments and condominiums “on well-sited, urban infill and mixed-use properties located in high-growth, technology-driven markets in the western U.S.”; SRM Ernst is a Bay Area business park developer. Madison Marquette is a national property management and development firm with a focus on retail.
DEVELOPMENTS: SRM Ernst is well known to locals as the developer of the Harbor Bay Business Park; its development projects also include the Zhone Technologies building in Oakland and a mixed-use project that included office space and facilities for San Jose State University. Madison Marquette’s portfolio stretches across 14 states and Washington, D.C.; its California projects include the development and management of the Bay Street shopping center in Emeryville and the Bayfair shopping center in San Leandro. Thompson Dorfman, which has projects all over California, built the housing that sits on top of Bay Street’s shops.
2. Brookfield Residential (town center only)
HEADQUARTERS: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
PRIMARY BUSINESS: The company builds mostly single family homes across the U.S. and in Canada, with about half its business in Canada, a fifth in California and the rest spread across Denver; Phoenix; Austin; and Washington, D.C.
DEVELOPMENTS: Brookfield, which has developed neighborhoods along the fringes of the Bay Area is now selling homes in two South Bay communities, in Dublin and Lathrop, in San Joaquin County. The company is set to build the reportedly recession-stalled 1,645-home, 300-acre University Park housing development in Rohnert Park in 2015, with smaller homes than originally planned. Also on the company’s to-do list: Single-family and townhome developments in Dublin, Dixon and Oakley and a luxury home development on the edge of Hayward’s Stonebrae Country Club.
ADDITIONAL INFO: The shareholder-owned company, which controls more than 110,000 lots and $3.3 billion in assets, bills itself as the fifth largest residential developer in North America.
PRIMARY BUSINESS: Originally a subsidiary of two railroad companies that was bought and then sold by warehouse giant ProLogis in the heat of the recession, Catellus has built everything from apartments and single-family homes to shopping centers and business parks. Many of the sites the company has built on are urban infill and former industrial properties that required environmental cleanup.
DEVELOPMENTS: Here in Alameda, the developer built the Bayport housing development and is in the process of building homes and a Target- and Safeway-anchored shopping center in its new Alameda Landing development. Other developments the company has worked on include San Francisco’s Mission Bay, a 303-acre waterfront development containing homes, commercial space, and a University at California, San Francisco biotech campus; The Glen, a 92-acre business park that’s part of the redevelopment of the former Glenview Naval Air Station in Glenview, Ill.; and Pacific Commons in Fremont, an 840-acre commercial center that, when completed, is to include 1.1 million square feet of chain retail and a 3.4 million square foot office park.
ADDITIONAL INFO: While city leaders selected Catellus as Alameda’s master developer for the Bayport and Alameda Landing projects – both on former military sites – the council rebuffed Catellus’s earlier bid to be the master developer at the Point in favor of SunCal Companies.
4. CIM Group
HEADQUARTERS: Los Angeles
PRIMARY BUSINESS: CIM Group is an investment firm whose holdings range from lofts to hotels and retail hubs in large and mid-size American cities; many of its holdings are in Southern California. The company has also invested in renewable energy companies and cities seeking to redevelop flagging commercial areas.
DEVELOPMENTS: After then-Mayor Jerry Brown announced his plan to bring 6,000 new market rate housing units to downtown Oakland and the city plunked down $54.2 million for new projects intended to spur redevelopment, the company bought Oakland’s two downtown hotels – giving it control of 93 percent of the city’s hotel rooms – and also, 1.7 million square feet of office space along Lake Merritt and Oakland’s City Center. The company’s other investments include a Phillipe Starck-designed hotel in Miami Beach and a Toronto-based solar energy company, and it also helped refinance debt on the Trump SoHo, a luxury hotel-condominium project in New York.
HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco
PRIMARY BUSINESS: Mission Bay bills itself as a development management consulting firm specializing in urban infill, mixed use and brownfield redevelopment.
DEVELOPMENTS: The company has handled a handful of projects; its flagship is San Francisco’s Mission Bay, a 303-acre mixed use project on the city’s waterfront that includes 6,000 new homes, 4.4 million square feet of office and biotech space, the aforementioned UCSF campus, a hotel and parks. The project brought jobs and housing together in one place, adjacent to transit on an underused urban space – the hallmarks of “smart growth.” Mission Bay also managed the development of San Diego’s Santa Fe Place, a mixed-use, transit oriented project that included restoration of the historic Santa Fe Depot.
ADDITIONAL INFO: Mission Bay and Catellus worked together on both the Mission Bay project in San Francisco and Alameda’s Bayport housing development.
HEADQUARTERS: Los Angeles/Newport Beach
PRIMARY BUSINESS: Rising Realty bills itself as “a full-service real estate platform” whose services include acquisition and property management and development. Summit’s work focuses on homes, mixed-use and land reuse projects.
DEVELOPMENTS: Rising Realty manages a dozen office buildings across Southern California; Summit’s single project, a planned mixed-use development on the site of the old Mayfield mall on the Palo Alto-Mountain View border to be built in partnership with William Lyon Homes, was reportedly sold in 2012 to a development team seeking to build offices there.
7. Tim Lewis Communities (town center only)
HEADQUARTERS: Roseville, Calif.
PRIMARY BUSINESS: Tim Lewis is a homebuilder, with projects in Northern California and Northern Nevada.
DEVELOPMENTS: Tim Lewis Communities is well known to Alamedans as the developer who purchased the historic Del Monte Warehouse and the 13-acre Encinal Terminals property behind it; the developer is proposing more than 900 housing units on the two Northern Waterfront properties. The developer is also in contract to purchase Neptune Pointe, a federal government property across the street from Crab Cove long coveted by the East Bay Regional Park District. But its proposal to build 48 single-family homes there was put on hold in 2012, and the City Council has since voted to rezone the property as park space.
ALSO: A company rep told the San Francisco Business Times that Tim Lewis has been cut from the list of contenders to develop the town center site.
PRIMARY BUSINESS: The collection of companies develops a range of housing types and commercial properties across the Bay Area.
DEVELOPMENTS: Trumark has built single-family and townhome projects in several Bay Area suburbs; its commercial wing has acquired, renovated or built office, research and development and retail space across the Bay Area. Another arm, Trumark Urban, is building on or repurposing more than a half dozen spaces across San Francisco as housing.
ADDITIONAL INFO: Among Trumark’s projects is a new community of homes, offices, hotels and retail development in the city of Fonatana that offers a “mixed-use, Tuscan villa environment.”
9. Williams & Dame/Zelman Development Co./Langley Investment Properties (town center only)
HEADQUARTERS: Portland/ Los Angeles/Portland
PRIMARY BUSINESS: Williams & Dame is a master developer that acquires property and prepares it for development; Zelman is a commercial real estate firm with a half century’s worth of experience that primarily builds shopping centers. Langley is a capital management and investment firm with properties in Portland and San Francisco.
DEVELOPMENTS: Williams & Dame worked with a Seattle builder to construct a hotel and conference center development in Los Angeles largely financed with money from foreign investors, and the company also built a trio of residential towers; the company also partnered with Portland’s redevelopment agency and Oregon Health and Sciences University to redevelop a 35-acre brownfield on the banks of the Willamette River. Zelman’s projects include “power centers” – shopping centers with 250,000 square feet of retail space or more, typically populated by big-box stores – in Anaheim, Petaluma and Monterey. Langley’s properties include the Orrick Building in San Francisco and a Portland apartment building.