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On Point: Unions, Jack!

Submitted by on 1, December 30, 2009 – 5:50 am4 Comments

apThe already crowded field of Measure B opponents has got another player: The unions.

The Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO and Alameda Building and Construction Trades Council have banded together to form No on B – Bad for Alameda, newly released campaign disclosure reports show. And so far, four local unions – carpenters, painters, sheet metal workers and the building and construction trades council – have chipped in $16,560 toward their efforts.

Union officials refused to comment on why they are becoming directly involved in the campaign to defeat the measure, though City Councilman Frank Matarrese has said publicly that SunCal’s plans don’t guarantee that union labor will be used to build out at Alameda Point.

Protect the Point, a committee made up of locals who oppose Measure B, has received $21,665.41 in cash and non-monetary contributions to date, campaign filings show. About a quarter of that has been spent on newspaper ads, door hangers and those No on B lawn signs that have been popping up around town.

Meanwhile, Revitalize Alameda Point – SunCal’s campaign committee – has yet to make their latest filing, which was due Christmas Eve. City Clerk Lara Weisiger said the penalty for failing to make the filings on time is $10 a day.

According to the developer’s last filing, Revitalize Alameda Point spent $707,563.27 on its pro-Measure B campaign as of September 30.

Treasure Island: The San Francisco Chronicle has run a few stories in recent weeks about the city’s purchase of Treasure Island from the Navy for up to $105 million and about issues raised about development plans there. As far as I can tell, development plans don’t seem too dramatically different from what’s envisioned at Alameda Point (green, mixed use), and some of the issues raised (sea level rise, price) are also similar.

Personally, I think it’s a good backdrop to view our own hopes and concerns for the Point against, and worth keeping tabs on. Apparently, so does blogger Lauren Do, who has posted on it here and here (the latter post has a link to the presentation a San Francisco city official did for the ARRA board a number of months back regarding their Treasure Island plans that’s worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already).

The New Mexicans: SunCal’s troubles extended to their massive Albuquerque project this past week, when creditors filed foreclosure proceedings in which they seek to collect $182 million in outstanding loans on the project, The Albuquerque Journal reported on December 19 (thanks to Alameda Point Info for the link).

According to the story, SunCal – which co-owns the project with D.E. Shaw – borrowed $220 million from a group of creditors to purchase 55,000 acres to build a master-planned community on the west side of town. SunCal’s spokesman told a reporter the company has made all its payments on time but that the company is seeking extensions for the remainder of the loan debt.


  • David Howard says:

    But DE Shaw has $29 billion in assets-under-management! How come they couldn’t keep the lights on at Albuquerque? For the same reasons that all those Lehman projects failed – there’s billions more in Lehman money out there, but nobody at Lehman or the caretaker management firm cared to follow good money with bad to keep the project alive. What happened in Albuquerque could easily happen at Alameda Point – there’s nothing to force DE Shaw to use the billions of dollars they manage to keep Albuquerque or Alameda Point alive.

    Note that there’s a trucking/excavating company listed in the lawsuit, which suggests that contractor work has been going on for some time, and those bills haven’t been paid, which means it’s more than just extending the loan debt. (Why do they need it extended anyway, if DE Shaw has $29 billion??)

    Also – you forgot the local teamsters came out against B.

    • I didn’t forget; they are not one of the unions that contributed money to No on B this cycle, which is what this story was about.

      And as far as DE Shaw is concerned, I think it’s important for everyone to note that the company is at this point only on board for the term of the exclusive negotiating agreement, which I believe is up in July.

  • David Howard says:

    yes, but Measure B proponents keep touting DE Shaw’s $29 billion in assets-under-management to back-up SunCal’s financial capability to follow-through with the project.

    Are you saying those statements are meaningless because DE Shaw is “only on board for the term of the exclusive negotiating agreement.” ???

    In which case, it means that SunCal has no financing to complete this deal.

  • Richard Bangert says:

    And if the SunCal Albuquerque foreclosure news wasn't bad enough, in the final hours of 2009 the New Mexico legislature voted not to give SunCal the tax incentive they were asking for on the Albuquerque project.


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