VIDEO: Alameda Point conveyed

VIDEO: Alameda Point conveyed

Michele Ellson

Mayor Marie Gilmore addresses the crowd at Alameda Point on Monday.

Some 150 dignitaries, city staffers and civic affairs-watchers gathered Monday under drizzly skies and the jet at Alameda Point’s North Gate to commemorate the Navy’s handoff of 1,379 acres of the former Naval Air Station to the city.

City leaders have waited for over a decade to get the deeds to the property, much of which they hope to make over as a new community with 1,400 homes, a vibrant waterfront and businesses that will replace 9,000 of the jobs that were lost when the federal government shuttered the base, in 1997. They wasted no time in making their sales pitches, using Monday’s ceremony as an opportunity to promote the Point as a prime development spot.

“Alameda Point is strategically located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay region, and presents a great opportunity for a more sustainable economic recovery for the Bay Area,” Mayor Marie Gilmore said. “It offers amazing potential for new transit-oriented, mixed-use development."

She and City Manager John Russo said the timing of the transfer – which comes as the economy is improving – couldn’t be better.

City staffers are engaged in a massive planning process they hope will ready the Point for new development proposals as soon as next year. Cleanup of much of the property is ongoing, though; the city is expecting conveyances of an additional 445 acres between 2014 and 2019.

In addition to the city’s development efforts, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is planning to build outpatient clinics and a columbarium for departed veterans. The department will also be in charge of more than 500 acres to remain undeveloped as habitat for the California least tern and other migratory birds.

We’ve got some video highlights of Monday’s ceremony here; additional clips are available on The Alamedan’s YouTube page. A full rundown on the deal is here, and our Alameda Point page is here.