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SunCal withdraws extension request

Submitted by on 1, February 16, 2010 – 6:00 am6 Comments

apSunCal has withdrawn its request that the city extend the term of the exclusive negotiating agreement it holds to ink an Alameda Point development deal by two years. The City Council, sitting as the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority, had been set to make a decision on that request tonight. City staff recommended the council deny the request.

The council had also been set to decide whether to rescind a notice of default the city issued to SunCal on February 5. But the developer e-mailed city staff Friday to ask that the decision be postponed until the developer can talk further with the city, Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant told The Island on Monday. Gallant said city staff have asked the developer to provide a more detailed request in writing, and she’s hopeful the city will get that sometime today.

SunCal’s Pat Keliher could not be reached for comment late Monday afternoon.

SunCal has exclusive rights to work out an Alameda Point development deal with the city, but their negotiating agreement terminates on July 20. Before the Measure B vote on February 2, the developer asked the City Council to extend the agreement. But the council declined to make a decision before the election, which ended with an 85 percent to 15 percent vote against the measure.

On January 14, the developer submitted its plan directly to the city for its consideration. But the city issued a notice of default to SunCal on February 5 because the plan was not Measure A-compliant. SunCal has 30 days to submit a Measure A-compliant plan, or the city could terminate its negotiating agreement with the developer. Under the agreement, the developer can also dispute the notice, which it has done.

The developer’s request to withdraw the extension came in a letter sent Friday by SunCal’s Pat Keliher. In that letter, Keliher had said the developer would send a formal request to retract the notice of default in advance of tonight’s meeting.

City staff had recommended the council deny SunCal’s requests to extend the negotiating agreement and rescind the notice of default. From the staff report, signed by newly promoted Deputy City Manager Jennifer Ott:

Given the decisive defeat of the Initiative at the polls, SunCal’ s pending default under the ENA, and concerns regarding other SunCal development projects in bankruptcy or subject to foreclosure proceedings, circumstances do not presently exist under which an ENA extension should be granted. Should SunCal cure the default notice within 30 days of the Notice of Default, more than five months remain for SunCal to pursue an OEA consistent with the City’s Charter, negotiate a DDA, and negotiate a Navy Term Sheet. This is a reasonable timeframe in which to determine the economic feasibility
and viability of any proposed development project under negotiation.

More to come. In the meantime, the council will still hold a closed-door meeting on the Point.

Separately, the council, sitting as the Community Improvement Commission, will hear a request that the Chamber of Commerce be allowed to use city grant money to cover salaries. The city gave the chamber $40,000 in July to help expand it into a chamber and visitors bureau. But a decline in memberships has stalled that work, a staff report says. Last year, the council decided the grants they approve for all the Island’s business associations could not be used to pay salaries. Last year was the first year the chamber got a grant.


  • Barbara Thomas says:

    Having one's head and hands locked in the stockade and open for public view and target practice was a bit too much for SUNCAL. (Although I find myself wondering "What is SUNCAL going to try to pull next?") Everyone has been harvesting lemons as it is the wrong time of year for tomatoes. It could not have come at a more humiliating time for SUNCAL. The Council meeting would have gone on for days, starting with the 6000 signatores who did not like SUNCAL enough after learing more about it, to even vote for the Initiative after being tricked into signing it. Then we could have heard from the thousands of other opponents. Did I say days? It would have taken weeks or months! The Council would have had to set a limit on input from the public due to the anticipated public opposition that would have made a US Senate filibuster on medical coverage look like an NPR fundraising event.

    I hope that this means SUNCAL finally gets it – 85% said "NO!". Donate $375,000 back to the City coffers, and a like amount to the charity of its choice as a way of apology and leave Alameda alone. This would be a perfect time for our lackluster council to lead, but alas, there are no leaders on the Council. Only less objectionable choices. I hope they have the brains to follow the lead of our Interim City Manager, who has the courage and smarts to get us out of the mess they got us into in the first place.

  • Scott says:

    Get Suncal out and another developer in here quickly no one cares what company develops the point just as long as it gets started quickly. I am so tired of hearing what a horrible company Suncal is.

  • RM says:

    One may be "tired of hearing what a horrible company SunCal is", but there's not much evidence to the contrary.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    "Delay is preferable to error."

    Thomas Jefferson

  • Scott says:

    The base has been closed for 13 years we have delayed long enough. Suncal could not get the job done, but there has got to be some company that can. We have delayed long enough, it is time to start seeing some action. Doing nothing is no longer an option.

  • ct says:

    Ms Thomas,

    Mayor Johnson, Vice Mayor deHaan, and Councilman Matarrese voted in November to have the special election; why should someone else have to pay for it? And only a rigid ideologue could rationalize and support the dubious actions of Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant. A biased City report, squandered taxpayer dollars, flouting protocol — it’s all good if it helps your cause, right?

    Also, when you say “85% said ‘NO!'”, I’d like to know what percentage of those who voted against Measure B are also against SunCal’s development plan.

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