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On Point: Turning a page

Submitted by on 1, October 9, 2009 – 5:50 am2 Comments

Now that developer SunCal has turned in the signatures for their Alameda Point redevelopment initiative, I thought it was high time I followed the suggestion of some of my readers to post an Alameda Point page.

The page has got links to all the Point-related pages I know about (feel free to submit more if you’ve got ’em), plus a list of the initiative’s supporters and opponents, recent Point news and all of the stories in my ongoing On Point series.

You can check it out anytime by clicking the “Alameda Point” link up top.

I’m also following up on another excellent reader suggestion: Starting today, The Island will be taking reader questions on the Point initiative, which I’ll work hard to answer. (You can submit those questions to michele@theislandofalameda.com, and write “Point Q” in the subject line.)

Thanks, as always, for your wonderful suggestions, and keep ’em coming.

***

As I was plugging in the link for the Navy’s Base Realignment and Closure page, which lists all the things the Navy is doing to clean up the base and hand it over to the city, I saw that there were a few updates made the previous week.

I can’t really say it better, so here are the entries. From September 30:

On September 30, 2009, the Department of the Navy signed the Environmental Summary Document for approximately 549 acres of land known as the Veterans Affairs (VA) Federal Transfer Parcel. The VA intends to use a portion of the property to construct and operate an Outpatient Clinic, a columbaria-only national cemetery, and regional offices and medical space to serve veterans in northern Alameda County and the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

And September 28:

On September 28, 2009, the Department of the Navy (DON) signed the Finding of Suitability to Transfer (FOST) for approximately 8 acres of land known as Estuary Park located within the North Housing Parcel. The U.S. EPA Region 9, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board concurred with this FOST. Once the Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved the reuse plan amendment which was submitted by the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority, the DON will be able to identify future transfer date for this parcel.

More to come when I can get my hands on these documents.

***

And last, but not least … If you’ve been watching the whole situation over at Oak Knoll in Oakland (former Naval hospital slated for development by SunCal, Lehman went under, asbestos, fire danger, etc.), the SunCal folks put out a press release around lunchtime yesterday to say they have reached an agreement with Lehman Brothers and their bankruptcy trustee to release some cash to start cleanup there.

The developer is seeking the bankruptcy court’s okay to allot more than $500,000 for some preliminary cleanup work. The money would pay to clean up weeds, clear up wood piles, fix perimeter fences and to hire a team of armed security guards to keep trespassers away.

“We are continuing our discussions with Lehman and the trustee about the outstanding issues at Oak Knoll and are working with them in an effort to resolve these matters. SunCal remains committed to the long-term potential and vision of the Oak Knoll master-planned community,” they wrote.

A nearby homeowner’s association recently filed $115 million in claims against Lehman for failing to clean up the site; the city of Oakland also filed claims against Lehman totaling $6.7 million, the amount they estimate it will cost to clean it up.

Oakland City Attorney John Russo said in a statement that he appreciates SunCal’s announcement, but that the money – if approved by the bankruptcy court – “doesn’t come close to addressing the amount of work that needs to be done.”

Donald Mitchell of the Sequoyah Hills/Oak Knoll Neighborhood Association called the offer “an insult to the community.”

“This pathetic behavior on SunCal’s part is a blatant attempt to deflect unfavorable media stories … and a transparent attempt to avoid negative fallout as they attempt the same shenanigans in Alameda,” he said.

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