City to SunCal: New Point plan must be Measure A compliant
City officials have notified SunCal that the developer is in default of its exclusive agreement to negotiate a development deal at Alameda Point because the plan they submitted doesn’t comply with Measure A.
The developer has 30 days from Friday to fix the problem. If they don’t, the city can terminate its negotiating agreement with SunCal and seek a new developer for the Point.
In a letter sent Thursday to SunCal’s Pat Keliher, Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant said the developer ran afoul of the agreement because the development plan it turned in to the city isn’t Measure A compliant. Gallant said the developer has no other choice but to submit a Measure A-compliant plan – and that they can’t go back to the voters to seek another Measure A exemption.
“To the extent SunCal seeks yet another election on a non-Measure A compliant project, such further election is simply not permitted under the terms of the (agreement),” Gallant wrote.
A cover letter submitted with SunCal’s plan contemplated the use of the city’s recently passed “density bonus” ordinance – which allows developers to build more on their land than they would normally be allowed if they build affordable housing and child care centers – to construct its 4,841-unit plan. But Gallant wrote that the developer’s plan isn’t eligible for the density bonus because SunCal didn’t submit an application to request it, among other reasons.
A SunCal rep did not immediately respond to a reporter’s e-mailed request for comment. Update: SunCal released a statement Sunday morning; it’s in the comments section, below.
Under amended terms of the negotiating agreement, SunCal had the option to submit an alternate plan directly to the city for its consideration, which the developer did on January 14. The plan appears almost identical to the one SunCal placed on the ballot.
On Tuesday, voters rejected Measure B, which included a land plan, Measure A exemption for Alameda Point and a business agreement with the city, by a margin of 85 percent to 15 percent.
Gallant’s letter says SunCal initially committed to develop the Point with a Measure A-compliant plan. But the developer later said it wouldn’t be financially feasible to do so. A previous developer, Alameda Point Community Partners, pulled out of the project in 2006 due to a downturn in the market that they said would prevent the project from supporting the Navy’s $108.5 million asking price for the Point.
The city announced it had issued the notice in a press release that says Alameda is moving forward to develop the base. “The City remains confident that numerous options – public, private and non-profit – remain available to the City in developing a physically viable and economically sustainable plan for base development,” the press release said.
The press release says the city will continue to negotiate with SunCal. Its exclusive negotiating agreement with the developer ends on July 20, though the city has the option of extending it.
The default notice is below. And I’ll have more on the way forward for Alameda Point on Monday, so stay tuned.