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Just the facts: SunCal’s draft master plan

Submitted by on 1, January 7, 2009 – 11:47 amNo Comment

As advertised earlier, the City Council, sitting as the Alameda Redevelopment and Reuse Authority, is presenting its revised plan for developing Alameda Point tonight. The new plan includes about 4,500 homes of all shapes and sizes, plus the rehab and reuse of several historic buildings, a library, a school and oh so much more.

If you’ve got the time and the inclination, you can view the plan right here (or click here for the post I wrote a few weeks ago). In the meantime, here’s a quick-and-dirty rundown:

THE PLAN: SunCal Companies is proposing a new community out at Alameda Point. The proposal includes some 4,500 homes (single family, live-work, apartments and more); the rehab and reuse of several historic buildings; offices they hope will be anchored by a major new employer; a sports complex, library and school; an entertainment district and lots o’ retail.

THE COST: Unknown at this point.

WHO PAYS?: SunCal has indicated it will seek redevelopment funds to cover 30 percent of the cost of replacing roads and other infrastructure, the school, the library and other public amenities; the city’s base redevelopment manager, Debbie Potter, said the city is estimating its contribution will be capped at $184 million, an amount that includes money for affordable housing (and not the $700 million figure you may have heard). In an earlier version of its plan, SunCal had estimated its infrastructure costs at $679 million.

HOW REDEVELOPMENT FINANCING WORKS: Basically, the city seeks bonds to cover its portion of the cost of making these improvements. The money does not come out of the general fund. The bonds are paid back with property tax dollars the development generates. Sales and business to business taxes would flow into the city’s general fund. Potter said the redevelopment funds are anticipated to be paid back over 30 years.

AND WHAT ABOUT MEASURE A?: The plan is not Measure A compliant, and SunCal has indicated it will seek a ballot measure to amend Measure A. The measure could come up for a vote in November.

CONCURRENTLY: The Department of Veterans Affairs has submitted a proposal to build an above-ground cemetery, clinics and, with Alameda Hospital, a new community hospital, all on land that had been slated for a wildlife refuge. It’s a separate process that would have minimal impact on SunCal’s development plans (things like coordination of transportation and infrastructure improvements).

THE MEETING: The ARRA will host its public meeting on this proposal at 7 p.m. today at City Hall. The public comment process is ongoing. Comments can be emailed to the entire council at this handy address: alamedacitycouncil@gmail.com. The council, sitting as the ARRA, is not slated to make any decisions on the project tonight.

WHAT’S NEXT: SunCal has until April 30 to determine whether it can put an A-altering measure on the ballot. It will need a “yes” vote from Alameda voters in order to proceed. And the city and SunCal are still working with the Navy to transfer the base, which the Navy still owns.

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