Developers Make Cases to Council
City to choose one of four to build West Midway Project
At a special meeting last Tuesday, members of the City Council listened to presentations from four developers, each hoping to build market-rate housing on a site known as the West Midway Project. The city made the 22.8-acre site, north of West Midway Avenue, available for development by consolidating properties occupied by three supportive housing providers — together known as the Collaborating Partners: Alameda Point Collaborative, Building Futures with Women and Children and Operation Dignity — from 34 to 9.7 acres.
The City Council approved the consolidation of these properties when it agreed on the creation of the Rebuilding the Supportive Housing at Alameda Point (RESHAP) project. RESHAP, which adjoins the West Midway Project to the east, will allow the Collaborating Partners to own the 9.7-acre site, where its nonprofit developer — Mid-Pen Housing — will build 200 replacement units and 67 new very low- and low-income units.
The agreement created the West Midway Project adjacent to RESHAP. The developer that the City Council selects will build new housing, as well as the necessary backbone infrastructure for the RESHAP project.
The city received seven responses to its request for qualifications to develop the West Midway Project with a maximum of 291 units. These include 260 market-rate units and 31 deed-restricted moderate-income units and no pre-determined amount of commercial or light-industrial development.
The five-member inter-department team, consisting of city and Housing Authority staff evaluated the seven responses and invited four developer teams for interviews: Alameda Point Partners, Brookfield Residential, Catellus and Jamestown & Cypress Equity Investments.
When interviewing the prospective developers, the city used a set of evaluation criteria and questions that the City Council approved in 2013. Criteria used in the interviews included the prospective developers’ plans consistency with not only the city’s General Plan, but with the anticipated or approved zoning amendments as well as the anticipated or approved Town Center Plan. In addition the interviewers made clear that the developers must demonstrate an ability to deliver in a way that meets both budget and timing.
The city also considered the applicants’ track records involving sustainable development, sensitivity to environmental protection, aggressive transportation strategies and effective community outreach.
Evaluation questions posed to the developers included inquiries about the developers’ experience with managing and implementing similar projects on the same or larger scale; the amount of equity the developers are bringing to the project; and the developers’ objectives in pursuing the project.
Other companies involved in building the West Midway Project include: BAR Architects, Pyatok for urban design and planning; Groundworks Office as the project’s landscape architect and BKF as the civil engineer.
City staff invited representatives from the Collaborating Partners and Mid-Pen Housing to meet with each of the four finalist development teams. Those present at the meeting evaluated how each team would work with the Collaborating Partners when it comes to building RESHAP’s infrastructure, managing Collaborating Partners’ relocation to the RESHAP site and meeting financing milestones.
Neither the cost of building the West Midway Project nor the start date for the development is known at this time.