We were so focused on school issues the last few weeks, we almost missed this: Looks like efforts to develop Alameda Point have hit another snag. The development costs are likely leading to changing development plans – if the site’s current developer can manage its financial and legal peril.
Acting as the redevelopment agency, the City Council this past week gave developer SunCal Companies an extra six months to complete several performance milestones for development at Alameda Point. It seems the company found that mitigation costs for flood and geotechnical issues at the site were higher than originally estimated, and some of their current development plans – which include housing, a golf course, businesses and a wildlife refuge – won’t support the costs. So they want more time to pursue “new and distinct concepts” for the site.
The company is also having financial troubles due to dramatic declines in the housing and credit markets, according to a staff report generated for last Tuesday’s meeting. Per the report:
A number of SunCal projects within California are seriously financially distressed, and, since mid-December, SunCal has significantly scaled back its planning and pre-development activities with regard to the Alameda Point project. SunCal has informed ARRA staff that it has significant outstanding invoices due and owing to its consultants.
The SunCal folks swore up and down to the council Tuesday that their troubles won’t impact development at Alameda Point and that they are committed to moving forward, Alan Lopez reported in the Alameda Journal; the overall two-year timeline for the city’s negotiation agreement with SunCal will remain intact, according to the staff report.
But Lopez also reported that the company is facing no less than eight lawsuits accusing it of failing to pay its debts or finish work on projects.
We’ll see …