Letters to the Editor: Time to develop Alameda Point

Letters to the Editor: Time to develop Alameda Point

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

For the past 21 years I have co-owned Bay Ship & Yacht in Alameda Point. We employ nearly 400 people to repair, convert and build, commercial, military vessels and super yachts.

While we are one of the largest employers on the Island, only 10 percent of our workforce actually lives here, because they cannot find affordable housing. I have thoroughly reviewed Alameda Point Partners' plan to redevelop a portion of the former Naval base and am encouraged to see that it includes two-thirds rental housing and 25 percent affordable units. This is the workforce housing that we are missing at Alameda Point.

Bay Ship regularly hosts vessels with hundreds of sailors and maritime visitors. If we made it easier for them, these frequent guests would spend their money right here on the Island. Site A will bring retail shops, dining and a hotel to accommodate our customers. In addition, recreation, entertainment and a new ferry terminal will make the Point one of the most desirable destinations in the East Bay!

Many of our employees use bikes to ride around our campus, and the rest of the Point. Plans for a bike network, car sharing and carpooling, and public transit will allow them more options and extend these alternatives to future employers at the Point.

I recall a time when nearly 20,000 Naval employees traveled on and off the Island each day for employment at the base. Once they vacated, the property began to crumble. Site A will kick start infrastructure improvements with a $93 million investment to repair and replace water mains, utilities and roads. We cannot continue to run a successful business without this and we certainly cannot expect to attract new employers to the Point in its current state of disrepair.

Now is the time for this project. It is overdue. As the largest employer at Alameda Point today, we want to improve the safety of the site and explore its untapped potential. We urge our city leaders to do the right thing and move plans for Site A forward with undue haste.

Leslie Cameron
Co-owner and community liaison, Bay Ship & Yacht Co.