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On Point: Time keeps on ticking

Submitted by on 1, March 15, 2010 – 5:45 amOne Comment

By Michele Ellson

Representatives from SunCal have asked the city for another 60 days to work out a new development plan for Alameda Point. But city officials are urging council members to deny SunCal’s request.

“We are requesting this additional time in order to continue our dialogue regarding future planning efforts at Alameda Point. We remain confident that if we are provided the opportunity to do so, we can work with Alameda to implement a development plan that will achieve the goals of the City and community,” SunCal’s president, Stephan Z. Elieff, wrote.

City staff said the council should deny SunCal’s request for more time.

“Given the decisive defeat of the Initiative at the polls, SunCal’s pending default under the (exclusive negotiating agreement), and concerns regarding other SunCal development projects in bankruptcy or
subject to foreclosure proceedings, circumstances do not presently exist under which a tolling of the cure period can be recommended,” Deputy City Manager Jennifer Ott wrote in a staff report.

City officials have told SunCal they have until March 22 to submit a Measure A-compliant development plan for the Point. They sent SunCal a notice of default on February 4, saying the development plan they submitted to the city for its consideration – the same plan voters defeated decisively at the polls on February 2 – conflicts with the city charter because it does not comply with Measure A.

They said the only way SunCal can come into compliance is to submit an application for a density bonus, which could allow SunCal to build more at the Point than Measure A would allow if they build affordable housing and other amenities.

More to come after Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Shaw suit continues: Reuters reported on March 5 that Barclays Capital Real Estate wants D.E. Shaw to pay $15 million the company says the hedge fund owes due to an alleged loan default on Shaw and SunCal’s proposed megaproject in Albuquerque, N.M.

Barclays and other financial partners who lent SunCal and Shaw more than $212 million sued in December 2009, saying the loan had matured and the money was due. Barclays is now asking a New Mexico state court judge to rule that $15 million is immediately due. SunCal spokesman Dave Soyka said in December that the company was trying to work out a deal with its creditors. Reuters reported that a D.E. Shaw spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Meanwhile, a new list ranking the world’s top hedge fund managers had Shaw in the #8 spot, with the firm managing $23 billion as of January 1. The hedge fund, which had been in the #4 spot a year earlier, saw its assets decline by 30.3 percent, Pensions & Investments reported March 8.

Singer celebrates: Got a note in my email box last week from the folks at Singer Associates, the PR firm SunCal hired to handle media relations in the run-up to Measure B. Seems they were nominated as one of four finalists for Best Agency of the Year in PRWeek’s annual awards, the fourth time in five years they earned the nod. (Looks like the winner of the contest was New York PR shop Emanate.)

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