Richard Bangert posts stories and photos about Alameda Point on his blog at https://alamedapointenviro.com.
Site A Construction Poised to Begin
Council set to consider amended development deal
On Tuesday, March 6, the City Council was scheduled to consider a change to the stalled development deal for Site A, the mixed-use project at Alameda Point. The proposed change would remove a restrictive condition governing the order in which construction happens.
Alameda Point Partners (APP), the developer for Site A, is requesting an amendment to its development and disposition agreement. The amendment would remove a provision that allows the city to withhold building permits for market rate units if the affordable housing subcontractor, Eden Housing, is unable to secure all of its financing. The purpose of the current provision, called a metering provision, was to ensure that the affordable housing units would be built in a timely manner. The city has approved the designs for Eden’s 70-unit family affordable complex and 60-unit senior affordable complex.
According to the city staff report, “APP asserts that the metering provision inhibits its ability to sell the market-rate development blocks at sufficient value to cover the costs of the Phase 1 project. The provision restricts one property owner based on the timing of another property owner out of their control. Further, APP believes that these reduced proceeds from the sale of these blocks would then be insufficient to cover the costs associated with the required backbone infrastructure and other amenities.”
“In other words,” the report continues, “the third-party vertical developers will not purchase the market-rate blocks at all or will pay significantly less for them, if the city has the ability to stop them from developing their project due to the metering provision. APP contends that if the metering provision is removed, it will be able to close by April 9, 2018, deliver the $10 million Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal contribution and start construction on backbone infrastructure within 30 days. Without this third amendment, the developer will not be able to continue with the Site A Project.”
Without the developer moving forward, the Eden Housing projects would remain in limbo because the projects would lack the surrounding infrastructure that is supposed to be provided by APP. If the affordable housing construction is delayed beyond December, the affordable projects could lose $9.4 million in housing vouchers for veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Site A is a 68-acre parcel adjacent to the Seaplane Lagoon. The development plan for the site was approved in 2015, allowing for 800 housing units with 25 percent affordable. Part of the affordable housing is to be constructed by Eden housing. Site A is part of the larger Town Center and Waterfront planning area that was approved in 2014.
Since being selected as developer in 2015, APP has spent $15 million designing and gaining approval for all six blocks of the site, as well as Phase 1 of the waterfront park, a neighborhood park, a reconfigured West Atlantic Avenue and the site plan for the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal.
Work on Site A would create a ripple effect of benefits. The Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal would be built, and a new sanitary sewer line would be constructed from Site A to the pumping station on the north side of Alameda Point. The line would serve properties in the adaptive reuse area. The new infrastructure would also provide hookups for development of the Main Street Neighborhood directly to the north.
Staff is recommending that Council remove the metering provision, provided that APP purchases that property by April 9, and APP begins infrastructure construction within 30 days. Failure to commence work in 30 days would be considered a default on the development deal.
Also on March 6, staff was scheduled to present to the City Council a $1.6 million contract for design and engineering services for the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal.
After the second failed attempt at turning over base redevelopment to a master developer in 2010, the City Council embarked on a new strategy that involves a phased transition to private ownership. Site A, sitting at the gateway to the waterfront and the signature aircraft hangars, was conceived and marketed as the marquee project for base revitalization.
The Alameda Sun went to press before the March 6 Council meeting.