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Apartments in Alameda?

Submitted by on 1, April 26, 2010 – 4:50 amOne Comment

City staff is offering a fresh proposal for the long-contested Boatworks development: A 175-unit development that would include multifamily housing.

Under the staff plan, the denser housing would be allowed in exchange for affordable units, in accordance with city and state laws. The plan also calls for two acres of open space, more than what’s included in developer Francis Collins’ latest vision for the nine-and-a-half acre property, which is at 2229 Clement Avenue. The city would also require Collins to provide AC Transit passes and to implement alternative energy strategies.

Collins has proposed a 242-unit project on the property that would be made up of single-family homes and duets. The “base project” would be 179 single family homes and duplex units, 49 of which would be considered affordable for lower-income families. He is seeking another 63 units under the city’s density bonus law, which allows developers who incorporate affordable housing into their plans to seek additional market-rate units. His plan includes a five foot-wide public path along the Northern waterfront.

The city and Collins have been tussling for nearly two decades over plans to develop the site, with Collins offering a series of development proposals and the city insisting they wanted the land for a park (efforts to find money to buy the land have been unsuccessful). Collins submitted the current plan in March 2008, two months after a state appeals court ruled against him in a suit he filed against the city for stalling the plan.

The draft version of a study of the impacts the development could create showed that it could have significant impact on traffic along Park Street and on Clement at Oak Street, and that the traffic could create significant air quality impacts. To build the project, the developer would have to tear down two warehouses that are considered historic.

Alternative plans, which include the 175-unit proposal, creating a park on 4.5 acres of the property and preserving the two warehouses alongside a 171-unit development were all considered by the study’s authors to be environmentally superior to Collins’ proposal.

City staff said in a report that they’re concerned about Collins’ proposal. But they are also concerned about leaving the site in its current, blighted condition. So they said they are working with Collins to get the site cleaned up and developed as an energy-efficient, transit-oriented development, with more waterfront park land than Collins proposed and a diverse array of housing types.

The staff proposal would allow for townhomes, duets and single family homes up to three stories high and one apartment building up to four stories high. The report didn’t say whether Collins was on board with staff’s proposal. (The Planning Board is having a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. today to talk about an existing lawsuit between Collins and the city.)

A handful of people have submitted letters or e-mails on the development.

The Planning Board is holding a hearing on the draft environmental impact report at 7 p.m. today in council chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue. The city will accept comments in the report through Wednesday.

One Comment »

  • Mark Irons says:

    Wouldn’t units like those just across the estuary on Ford Street not be preferable to having a cluster of duplexes shoved down our throats with the density bonus? Using the bonus or not, might condos make it financially more equitable for Collins to provide the two acre open space?

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