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If you build it …

Submitted by on 1, March 18, 2009 – 6:45 amNo Comment

The city council okayed a plan to use $5.5 million from its sewer and other city funds to help fund the extension of Willie Stargell Avenue, a project it sees as a crucial step toward redeveloping Alameda’s former military lands.

The city has almost $4 million from the state that it would lose if the council didn’t approve a contract by March 25. It also got a bid that was $3 million lower than anticipated, a cost savings city staff and council members said they fear they could lose if they wait on the project.

“This is a very calculated and a very small risk for the city to pursue this,” Interim Finance Director Ann Marie Gallant said.

The city’s share of construction costs was supposed to be paid by Catellus, the company that is slated to build the Alameda Landing development. The company has already paid $8 million to secure the right-of-way to build the road, but is not obligated to pay any more until the project is underway.

The project had been put on hold, though a Catellus representative told the council a few weeks ago that the company is pursuing a plan to bring a standalone Target store to the site. An agreement on that could come in 120 days.

If a deal is reached with Target and construction starts, Catellus would owe the city $2.2 million toward the cost of the road.

The $5.5 million includes a $3 million loan from the city’s sewer fund, which has an $18 million reserve, plus $2.5 million from different funds including lease revenue from Alameda Point and development fees collected for transportation projects on the West End.

The council also awarded a $6.9 million contract to build the road.

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