Council signs off on Point developer finalists

Council signs off on Point developer finalists

Michele Ellson

The City Council has signed off on a pair of finalists vying for the right to develop a key piece of Alameda Point.

Alamedans will get the chance to meet representatives from Calgary-based Brookfield Residential and Alameda Point Partners, a group of developers from the Bay Area and beyond, on September 29. Brookfield and Alameda Point Partners are seeking the right to build a 68-acre, mixed-use development with hundreds of new homes, retail, open space and more.

Joining those developers will be a pair of to-be-announced finalists to develop an adjacent, 82-acre portion of the Point where city leaders would like to see either a commercial campus user or a premium outlet mall. The details of the presentations are being finalized.

City staffers hope to recommend a single finalist for the mixed-use development for the council’s approval in November, Alameda Point Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Ott told the council on Tuesday.

After a developer is selected, they’ll have six months to win city approval of a development plan for the site – and to ink a disposition and development agreement, which Mayor Marie Gilmore likened to “the roadmap as to how this is going to be phased and how the land is going to be developed over ‘x’ number of years.” Once those hurdles are cleared, the property could be transferred to the developer the city selects in a matter of months, Ott said.

The city released a request for qualifications in May to see if it could find developers willing and able to carry out a council-approved vision for developing 150 acres in the heart of the Point; 10 developers responded, and a panel of city staffers, Planning Board and community members interviewed four semifinalists. Ott said the panel selected the two finalists unanimously.

Ott characterized Brookfield as “a major residential developer and vertical developer” with “significant financial qualifications” and experience working on big projects and with complicated properties.

Alameda Point Partners, she said, is a custom partnership made up of a pair of Bay Area firms – Alameda-based SRM Ernst and North Bay developer Thompson Dorfman Partners – plus retail giant Madison Marquette and Eden Housing, a low-income housing developer. Members of the partnership’s team worked with Lennar on development efforts at Hunter’s Point and Mission Bay Development Group in Mission Bay; both developments are in San Francisco.

“We’re obviously highly recommending these folks,” she said, before introducing leaders from both teams Tuesday night.

The presentations will focus on the developers’ qualifications and work they’ve already done that demonstrates their ability to execute development plans at Alameda Point. A pair of earlier attempts to redevelopment the former Naval air station failed.

“Eventually, the team that’s selected will have a proposal. Whatever it looks like, it should be spectacular. I think the City of Alameda deserves nothing less,” Gilmore said. “San Francisco has beautiful views, and we get to see it from Alameda. I want to give San Francisco something to look at from the other side.”

Separately, the council signed off on a list of lease amendments for businesses that have set up shop at Alameda Point – and are seeking more space because business is growing.

The lease amendments will provide additional space for hydropower systems maker Natel Energy and Alameda-based trade show exhibit maker Group Delphi, said Nanette Mocanu, the city’s acting assistant community development director. They also lengthen a lease for kiteboat developer Kai Concepts, a former subtenant of Nelson’s Marine – which the city kicked off the Point last year.

Mocanu said the leases are the result of city leaders’ strategy to grow small businesses into bigger ones on the Point.

“It’s really the story you’ve been wanting to tell at Alameda Point,” she said.

The council also authorized the city to seek bids from builders for a new emergency operations center. Vice Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, who questioned what she called the building’s “fortress like” design, cast the sole vote against authorizing a bid request.

The council also got an update on plans to build new fields at Estuary Park.

Related: City selects finalists for Point home, retail development


Submitted by Marc (not verified) on Wed, Sep 3, 2014

Wouldn't it be great if hundreds of Alamedans showed up at this Sept. 29th meeting and told both the developers and the city. "No tranportation, no development."

We all need to insist that Alameda transportation officials hold a meeting with their colleagues from Oakland and from the state Department of Transportation and develop a plan to move Webster Tube traffic directly on to 880 and eliminate the 7th street backup.

Until such a plan is approved, Alameda Pointe should be put on hold. "No tranportation, no development."

Submitted by David (not verified) on Wed, Sep 3, 2014

The school district and the city council should also extract funding from the developer - who is going to profit at the expense of Alameda residents and bring a bunch of new people to town - funding to upgrade and expand one of the existing 17 school campuses in town. (Rather than building a new school.)

The $600 million master facilities plan demonstrates that Alameda cannot support existing school campuses, never mind additional sites at Alameda point.

In addition to solving the transportation problem, the developer should help solve the school facilities maintenance issue.

Submitted by John Piziali on Wed, Sep 3, 2014

sorry Marc, but if this was the case in the entire Bay area we would come to a complete standstill and that is not a good thing.

Marian, there is always a full staff in the city on duty to run our public safety. They would be here during an earthquake to keep things running.

Submitted by Karen Bey (not verified) on Thu, Sep 4, 2014

We need to make Alameda schools a top priority. Many people move to Alameda because of our schools. The SF Business Times rated Alameda as one of the top ten cities for schools. We were right up there with Palo Alto, Piedmont, Danville, Fremont and Albany.

Supporting the bond measure is one way to show that our schools are our top priority.