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Decision 2010: Making the Point

Submitted by on 1, October 14, 2010 – 4:50 am38 Comments

Now that SunCal’s gone (and candidates for mayor and City Council are universally scrambling to hoist the drawbridges so the developer never returns), the future of Alameda Point has emerged as a top issue in the upcoming mayoral and City Council races. And candidates are offering some distinctly different ideas for how they’d proceed.

Almost all of the candidates are saying they’d support a redevelopment plan that has a mix of industry and homes, and that they’re ready to have city leaders, rather than a developer, take the reins on the process of deciding what will be built on the Point – a process most insist is well underway (and not back at square one). But their ideas for how much industry and how many homes – and how much control the city should take – differ.

Some would seek a more intensely developed “transit-oriented” plan for the Point, while others favor something just shy of the preliminary development concept previous developer Alameda Point Community Partners created for the Point, which envisioned 1,700 homes. Another major difference centers around who would develop the base, with many candidates advocating a new, city-controlled local development corporation and others saying the city would be better served by a professional developer.

So who’s who? Here’s the rundown.

Keepin’ it local: Matarrese, deHaan, Sweeney, Gillitt

After a costly, three-year predevelopment process with SunCal whose main product appears to have been acrimony, candidates for mayor and City Council have said they think the city needs to be in the driver’s seat this time around. And some have said they think the city should form its own nonprofit corporation so we can develop the Point ourselves.

The day after SunCal left town, City Councilman and mayoral candidate Frank Matarrese said he wanted city staff to begin exploring such a plan, which proponents believe will allow Alameda to collect the profits gleaned from rebuilding the Point instead of a developer. And Matarrese and others who support the idea – including council candidates Jean Sweeney and Adam Gillitt – have said they want the city to start leasing out more space at the Point in order to start generating revenue there.

“(I)t makes more sense to reuse the existing structures and leverage the existing assets to generate income for the City, rather than bringing in mercenary developers who are more interested in lining their own pockets than doing what’s best for Alameda,” Gillitt wrote in response to a question from The Island about what he’d do with the Point.

Vice Mayor and mayoral candidate Doug deHaan – who still has two years left in his council term if he’s not our next mayor – said he’s “leaning toward” a nonprofit local development corporation for the Point.

One other candidate to take note of here is Mayor Beverly Johnson, who is running for one more term on the City Council (she served for four years prior to becoming mayor). Johnson – whose campaign manager is former Doric Construction and Catellus man Aidan Barry – hasn’t answered our questions, though she did tell the Alameda Democratic Club she doesn’t think Alameda needs a master developer at the Point (more from campaign manager Nancy Rogers on her position below).

Going hybrid: Gilmore, Bonta, Jensen, Ezzy Ashcraft

Other candidates who have questioned the viability of a local development corporation – the city did, after all, try to manage just the infrastructure part of the slow-rolling Alameda Landing project, without success – hope to get the best of both worlds by having the city figure out what should be built at the Point and then hire someone to make it so.

Gilmore and Ezzy Ashcraft said they’d hire someone – consultants and a land planner, respectively – to help city leaders and the community realize their vision for the Point, and then go to the market to get it built (Gilmore would look to attract investment in the project, while Ezzy Ashcraft would put the project out to bid to seek a developer or developers and split the cost of infrastructure). Jensen said she’d look into creating a public-private partnership like the one in place on Treasure Island to slowly grow the Point, and Bonta said he’d also look for a developer for the city to partner with.

“I understand the attraction to the City being its own Master Developer, especially after having such a poor experience with our last master developer SunCal,” Bonta wrote in response to a questionnaire from The Island. “But the pendulum does not have to swing all the way to the other extreme.”

Hire a professional: Daysog, Mitchell, Tam

These candidates’ positions on who should develop the Point probably don’t differ too terribly from the hybrid crowd; they’re just looking to hire a new developer to work directly with the community to implement its vision for Alameda Point (as opposed to creating a plan and putting it out to bid). Mitchell wants to “carefully pick out a quality master developer and private capital financier who will work with the community” while Tam wants a master-planned community. Daysog said that as mayor, he “will take the lead in hiring the right private developer, and I will keep them on track.”

Reuse, mixed-use

As I said earlier in the story, Matarrese, deHaan, Gillitt and Sweeney want to lease out more of the base and use the lease money to pay for improvements there. They want a plan that focuses heavily on economic development (as does Bonta, though he is not advocating the reuse strategy). DeHaan said he’s hopeful Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory will choose Alameda Point as its new home and that their presence will jump-start job creation on the base; Matarrese wants to build on existing industries on the base and to establish a foreign trade zone there.

Daysog has said he doesn’t think the reuse strategy will work, because he’s not convinced the buildings there are in good enough shape to allow the city to charge the rent they’ll need to pay for public services for tenants, let alone new infrastructure and amenities people want at the Point. “Right now, tenants pay below-market rents because the site is mostly sub-standard,” he wrote in a letter detailing his housing and traffic plan for the Point.

His plan is more focused on creating a mix of housing types, which he thinks can be the thing that brings jobs and pays for open space and recreational amenities.

How much housing?

Only a few candidates have offered hard numbers here, though a few more have at least said what factors they’d consider in deciding how many homes should be built at the Point. Daysog said he’d look to build about 2,700 homes – the amount he said a developer would need to build to support the Navy’s $108.5 million price tag for the Point.

Gillitt has said he thinks there are already too many homes on the market, so we shouldn’t build any at the Point – or at least, not right now. He said he’d be willing to talk about housing at the Point when it’s needed, and when the Point has the infrastructure to support it.

DeHaan said he’d support between 1,500 and 1,800 homes at the Point, including homes in a remade bachelor enlisted and bachelor officers’ quarters. And Sweeney said she thinks 900 houses “would be just right.”

Others – Ezzy Ashcraft, Tam and Mitchell – have said they’d like to see another transit-oriented development like the one Peter Calthorpe designed for the Developer Whose Name Shall No Longer Be Spoken. But they haven’t said how many homes they want built.

Tam, Bonta and Ezzy Ashcraft said they’d look at factors including financial soundness, job creation and traffic in deciding how much housing to build on the Point, and Tam said the community needs to decide what amenities – parks, historic preservation – they want (and by extension perhaps, what they’d allow someone to build to pay for those).

“We, as a community, need to come to agreement over the amount of jobs, open space, sport facility, schools, transportation facilities to understand the total number of homes that are sustainable and the appropriate densities around transit hubs and amenities. It would be the responsible way to plan Alameda Point to look at the range,” Tam said.

38 Comments »

  • Ani Dimusheva says:

    But SunCal is not gone. They are suing the city. They are sending out ugly pre-election mailers that will put the Tea Party artists to shame, and somebody who very much smells like SunCal is doing phony surveys and push-polls with certain anti-SunCal candidates in mind. I would not vote for any candidate who says “SunCal is gone, thank goodness.”

  • Kate Quick says:

    All of the candidates are saying, clearly and publicly that they will not entertain the return of SunCal. Some candidates, however, are claiming that others are going to do just that, in an attempt to scare people by this “big lie.”

  • Richard Bangert says:

    “Daysog said he’d look to build about 2,700 homes – the amount he said a developer would need to build to support the Navy’s $108.5 million price tag for the Point.”

    If you accept this rationale, then what we build will have become the Navy’s vision, not ours. We would be tailoring the development to the Navy’s desire for $108 million.

    The Navy claims this is fair market value. If they truly believe this, why not go along for the ride with Alameda’s development process just like we were talking about with the Navy over a decade ago. How would that work? They transfer the land to Alameda for free, with the provision that they share in the proceeds of future land sales. The original plan, which they were about to agree to, was for the Navy to get 25% and Alameda get 75% of future land sales proceeds.

    By the way, in Alameda’s 1999 economic development conveyance application to the Navy, the city’s consultant, taking all factors into consideration, gave the land a value of zero, as in $0.

    The goals of the base closure and realignment process set up by Congress were to get military bases off their books, and in doing so help communities replace lost jobs and lost money in the local economy. The Navy’s continuing insistence on $108 million up front is counterproductive to reaching those goals.

  • Karen Bey says:

    I like the hybrid approach as well. This approach allows the community to create a vision for the Point, and then hire a developer to implement the plan. Its the best of both worlds!
    Also, I think some of the non-profit corp ideas are possible in the hybrid approach as well. After the SunCal debacle, there is a strong desire in the community to maintain control over the vision and implementation of the development of Alameda Point. There is no reason we can’t use ideas from both camps.

    We’ve learned alot post SunCal, and by taking ideas from both camps, we can hopefully heal from the division and divide that SunCal created during their stay in Alameda and move forward with an exciting project at Alameda Point!

  • Tony Daysog says:

    This is an important matter: I need to rebut Mr. Bangert’s assertion that I seek to “build . . the Navy’s vision” for Alameda Point.

    From the beginning, I have always been clear about what I will do as Mayor of Alameda: I will get Alameda Point going by finding the right private sector developer who, together with Alameda, will transform Alameda Point into the vision we as a community have articulated for many years, including up to now.

    That vision: Alameda Point as a vibrant, lively mixed-use community, enriched with amenities like public access paths with stunning views of San Francisco, world-class multi-sport recreational facilities for all ages, and beautiful landscaping and new infrastructure that quality, non-polluting industries with high-paying career-track jobs.

    I have also been clear that, to accomplish this, we will need an amount of housing. When on Council, I voted for 1,900 units of housing. But, with the Navy’s $108 million price tag, along with the price tag associated with beautifying Alameda Point, the 1,900 units is not economically feasible.

    By my calculations — I am an urban planner with a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from Berkeley — it looks like 2,700 units can get us over the hump. To be sure, at 2,700, it is more than the original 1,900 I voted for — but far less than the 5,000 SunCal sought, mainly, I believe, to bump up their financial bottom line. As much as I will seek to work with a private sector developer to get properties at AP onto the tax rolls so we can begin to reinvest thos taxes and fees to get AP going, as much as I seek to do this, we always have to keep a wary eye on **any** developer, not just SunCal.

    For more information on the myriad of financing generated via the private sector approach, I suggest you click on this following link, which is a comment I made elsewhere on the Island.
    http://www.theislandofalameda.com/2010/10/city-officials-restart-planning-process-for-point/comment-page-1/#comment-11691

    For information on why getting alameda Point is vital to our school district, please check out the link below:
    http://www.theislandofalameda.com/2010/10/school-funding-suit-%E2%80%98death-by-a-thousand-cuts%E2%80%99/comment-page-1/#comment-11759

  • Richard Bangert says:

    The Navy’s “vision” is to get $108 million for the land. Candidate Daysog made it clear that he has no intention of challenging that price and finds it necessary to increase the number of units to meet that price.

    The price of the land and how we pay for it is not insignificant. Starting off by saying we need to come up with $108 million to get started is a good way to throw cold water on the local development corporation idea. Why not give it a chance by fighting for different sales terms?

    The only fine point I would add to Karen Bey’s remarks is that I would favor first exploring the local development corporation model that might allow us to job out mini-master plans – Seaplane Lagoon-to-hangars-area, for example, with the developers fitting into our model, rather than us fitting into their model. This approach might also allow us to avoid arriving at an impasse over historical buildings and what to do with them, if we run the show. It also gives more flexibility and control on the part of Alameda over the course of the redevelopment.

    The Seaplane Lagoon area is obviously going to need a partnership with a developer. The marine area and pavement extending over to the hangars is not going to be developed by collecting berthing fees from yacht owners.

  • Ani Dimusheva says:

    Fact: With the phony surveys and mailer, Suncal is targeting Matarrese and Johnson. Why? Because if these two get elected, together with DeHaan remaining on the council, SunCal will have a majority against them when it comes to settling the legal matters. That’s pretty much all the guidelines one needs to figure out which viable candidates SunCal does want to get elected. It matters not one bit who says what about SunCal; the proof is in the pudding.

  • Tony Daysog says:

    Hey, Richard, when I served on Council I did what I thought was in the best interest of the city. To do that, you have to work at several levels. Some times you got to get detained by the police to close an incinerator. Some times you got to be the voice for making change that maybe people didn’t want, such as the desire to keep the former East Housing as is instead of building what eventually became Bayport, which I championed. Some times you got to vote against the historic movie theater I so dearly love because the financial in my estimations were right. So, as Mayor, I will always work my ass off to do my level best for residents — yes, even so far as doing whatever I can to reduce that $108 million as much as possible.

    Let me out it this way: I once sat down with Rabbi Bennett during the height of the East Housing/Bayport issue to talk about because he was on the side of keeping East Housing as is, and what he said then always stuck in my mind. He relayed to me one of the punch-lines in Fiddler on the Roof, when the cossacks were coming to ravage a town, with the punchline, so and so can pray to god all he wants for salvation in the face of rampaging cossacks but, “in the mean time, pack your bags.”

    So, we need “pack our bags” in the sense of move on with planning Alameda Point, “get it going” so to speak, even as we negotiate with the Navy to get them to bring down if not eliminate the $108 million.

    I’m not any different from Frank, Doug or Marie: I will do all that I can to get the best deal for our city, but I’m also going to be working on all cylinders to plan Alameda and Alameda Point to move us forward. Some people call that “multi-tasking”: I think we should just call it leadership.

  • Tony Daysog says:

    Oops, I meant the movei theater financials were “off”, not “right.” :)

  • David Howard says:

    Michele – I hope you were writing tongue-in-cheek, or at least smiling to yourself as you wrote, knowing the reaction your opening to this story would prompt…

    All the attack mailers, robo-calls and push-poll surveys are proof that SunCal is NOT gone. And regardless of whether or not there is active collusion between SunCal and local candidates, just look at which candidates are clearly supposed to benefit from those expenditures – the SunCal Slate: Tam/Bonta/Gilmore.

    Giving money directly to the local candidate’s PACs is not the only way that SunCal can place their bets. The fact that SunCal’s name doesn’t yet appear in anyone’s campaign filings is meaningless. Don Perata, for example, has proven to be a master over the past 10 to 20 years at back door independent expenditures designed to boost the fortune of favored candidates.

    Even if we humor Ms. Quick, and take at face value the statements by Tam/Bonta/Gilmore not to bring SunCal back in – why would voters take the chance? And why else would SunCal be going to such lengths and expenditures?

    Meanwhile, SunCal suffered a setback in court this past week. A judge ruled against their request to rush to depositions of the Interim City Manager and City Clerk. Apparently Judge Hunter believed the City’s argument that the only intended purpose of rushing the depositions before October 15th was to give
    SunCal more fodder for attack mailers.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    Residential development NEVER pays for the costs of services it requires. That means the taxes generated will not pay for the schools, roads, police and fire needed by the new residents. The more that is built, the more “other” development will be needed to pay for those services. Or cuts from other existing budgets will be forced.

    The existing egress/ingress creates a limit on how much development can be built at the Point without exacerbating the traffic congestion, and resultant increase in pollution and costs paid by everyone else living on the island. Unless traffic flow is in reverse of normal hours, any substantive development will result in a decrease for the quality of life for all the residents of Alameda. Only those, such as firefighters who live outside Alameda and commute in every 3 to 4 days, will have no easily quantifiable adverse impact. Since Alameda is going to suffer the pains of the development, the profits deserve to go to the City to offset those pains. I nominate Richard Bangert as the most knowledgeable and able person to head the entity that does this.

    Who trusts a Councilmember, who in violation of her oath of office sends confidential emails to SUNCAL, when she says she would NOW keep SUNCAL out? She doesn’t care if her emails go to the New York Times, but how many citizens knew she was sending those free emails to SUNCAL, GILMORE, QUICK, KNOX WHITE? Not the City Attorney, Eastbay Express, SF CHRONICLE, Oakland Tribune? First on her agenda will be to ask the City to pay her attorneys’ fees, (How much?)She was not exonerated. There was no finding of factual innocence by a judge. Only a decision by DA Nancy O’Malley to let the voters decide, or to let the City sue her, as she had more serious quality of life criminals to prosecute. Those attorney fees will undoubtedly compensate those at the Keker firm who contributed to her new right hand, Bonta, for their contributions to his campaign. Then they will fire the ICM and CA. Who will run the City? Skippy & Son?

    And Tony, glad to see you actually got that Master’s degree. Is that the same one you falsely represented you had years ago when you first ran for council? You remember that don’t you? Check your facts and filings. You out and out lied to the public in your candidate’s statement. Why should we trust a candidate for Mayor who misrepresented that he had a Master’s degree as part of his qualifications? True he subsequently may have received it, just goes to show, honesty is not a requirement for such a degree. What kind of Mayor would you be? Your explanations are too pat, they come too easily. You lied to us before. What has changed?

    This is no time to give a second chance to those who might actually try and keep their promises this time. We need trustworthy dependable policy makers. Not those with a very public agenda for their own or others very private gains.

  • Betty says:

    There is one thing about the point that doesn’t seem to come to the forefront. The land is toxic. It is completely irresponsible to building housing on land THAT WILL MAKE PEOPLE SICK. This area will never be safe no matter what the Navy does to “clean the point”. I don’t understand how the SunCal slate can back these people that don’t care about their responsibility. Anyway we all know if SunCal buys this election nothing is never going to happen at the Point. They have no money, we’ll be left holding the bag. These people are evil.

  • Steve says:

    Is this intended to be a news story or an opinion piece? It begins as an opinion piece, “Now that SunCal’s gone (and candidates for mayor and City Council are universally scrambling to hoist the drawbridges so the developer never returns)…” and then segues into a more traditional news analysis.

    I could offer another analysis of what some of the candidates are doing, based on their recent statements: the only drawbridges they are trying to hoist are the ones that connect them to either their support of SunCal and Measure B, or their silence on one of the most important issues put before voters in recent decades.

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    Michele-
    Contrary to your lede, SunCal is not gone. Today, waiting in my campaign mailbox, was this check for $250: http://www.adamforalameda.com/wp-content/uploads/argentcheck.jpg

    I will not be cashing it, I will be returning it to its source because of several reasons: they are located in Irvine, not Alameda; if you read their website at http://argentcapital.com/, it’s about 50 lbs. of BS in a 5 lb bag, and worst of all, the first link I could find about them other than their own promotions was this: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/suncal-completes-land-acquisitions-in-chicago-and-stockton-totaling-more-than-700-lots-95978634.html

    As I have said on numerous occasions: My candidacy is about serving the Citizens of Alameda and their interests first and foremost. Unlike other candidates, I will not entertain donations from outside concerns, whether they be developers, lawyers for developers, companies associated with developers, or friends of developers. I do not need a campaign war chest of $50K to prove my ethics or sincerity to the people.

  • Hey folks,

    Just to clarify for you – when I say SunCal is gone, that’s gone as in no longer the master developer for Alameda Point. And nearly every person running for mayor or City Council right now has said they would not ask SunCal to come back (hence the drawbridge lede).

    Adam, I’m curious about that check. Can you tell me more about it? Also curious if you contacted the Argent folks to ask them why they were sending you money and if you got any response?

    And Steve: Let’s hear that analysis you’re talking about.

  • Kate Quick says:

    There is no SunCal Slate, Mr. Howard. All the candidates have quite clearly and unequivocally said they would not entertain the return of SunCal. They have all decried the interference of SunCal in our election. Your “big lie” about the SunCal slate is just that and is intended to mislead the electorate. Just say what your preferred candidates will do once in office and give up on the scare tactics and misrepresentations and slander. It is not to humor me that you should admit that no candidate is promoting SunCal or taking money from them, it is simply the truth. Remember that thing, the truth? It is a good thing, right along with clean campaigning.

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    Michele-

    It arrived unsolicited, in a handwritten envelope, with an Oakland postmark of October 8. No note inside, no explanation, just the check.

    As someone known to be reasonably tech-savvy, one would think I’d do my due diligence on any sizable contribution coming my campaign’s way, especially one sourced from Irvine, home to SunCal.

    As for contacting them, I enclosed this note with their check:

    To Whom it May Concern:

    I wanted to write you a personal note to thank you for your interest in supporting my campaign.

    The foundation of my candidacy for Alameda City Council is to be the voice of local Citizens in Alameda City Government. That is in direct conflict with the interests of an investment firm in Irvine who conducts business with SunCal, so I am respectfully returning your check for $250.00.

    Sincerely yours,

    Adam Gillitt

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    My mistake- this is Argent’s site: http://www.argentmanagementllc.com/

    Different 50 lbs of BS, same 5 lb. bag.

  • David Howard says:

    Oh dear, the SunCal slate must be getting desperate. 2932 Morse avenue is the address for the SunCal HQ in Irvine:

    SunCal – Contact Us
    I would like SunCal to contact me via e-mail. Corporate Headquarters. Irvine Office 2392 Morse Avenue Irvine, CA 92614. T: (949) 777-4000. F: (949) 777-4050 …

    Tell me something Kate – will the SunCal Slate – Tam, Bonta and Gilmore – call up SunCal (see the phone number above) and ask them to stop sending all these supposedly un-solicited mailers that benefit their campaign?

    Why would SunCal invest so much in boosting their slate, and invest in trying to taint Adam Gillitt’s campaign, if they didn’t expect 3 votes from Tam, Bonta and Gilmore after the election?

  • Tony Daysog says:

    Regarding making housing pay for municipal services: this is a matter I raised as early as 1995 and ultimately dealt with in 2003. Here’s what I wrote at blogging bayport on December 14, 2009:

    By way of background, I brought to the attention of the public the fiscal implications of Alameda Point back in 1995. Yes, that was not a typo: 1995. After running for City Council in 1994, I became an alternate to the Alameda Re-Use and Redevelopment Authority board, serving for Councilmember Lil Arnerich. At the time, I also worked as an urban planner for a non-profit called the National Econmomic Development and Law Center, where a staff attorney — Ben Quinones — pointed out the fiscal implications of establishing the emerging APIP redevelopment area at a time when the baseline was zero. In 1995 or 1996, I raised this issue at ARRA meetings, as well as in a 1996 (or 1995) AJ letter to the editor, which was called “Be Wary of Redevelopment,” which discussed the fiscal implications of setting all of AP as a redevelopment area. I even attended a CC meeting that was initiating designation of the AP redevelopment area; that night as a member from the audience, I raised the matter and, to his credit, Bill Norton said that I was correct in asking that the only property taxes we’d get were the pass-throughs.

    As luck would have it, I got on City Council November 2006, and started my term in the following December to deal with that and other issues. At the time the AP redevelopment area was finally being adopted I think in 1997, I again raised the issue. I went ahead and voted for the redevelopment area even though at the time of the vote I hadn’t yet fixed the problem that I pointed out.

    But ultimately, I did work with staff and CC colleagues to fix the fiscal problem. But, it wasn’t exactly easy. As you will see in the minutes below, for some strange reason, staff wanted to make the add-on fee exclusively for infrastructure/maintenance, but not operations. 2003 was the pivotal year: as I was starting my final term on CC and because the detail of the Bayport / East Housing / Catellus project was being finalized, that was when I knew that I had to act.

    I will be the first to admit that its not a perfect fix — there are limits to the amount of add-on fees you can plop on top of homeowners. That’s why you have to look at the diversity of land-uses to see what fits our vision of AP and, at the same time, is fiscally beneficial, not simply neutral. In any event, I just want to say, you know guys, when I started this conversation, I was, uh, 29 years old. I’m now 43. It’s good that folks are debating the fiscal merits of this or that approach to AP — but I’m looking for a discussion about how to fine-tune the existing fiscal policies / land-use choices, not a discussion as to whether this had been dealt with on a substantive level at all before. It has; but there’s always room for improvement.

    Again: I wrote the above quickly so there might be a few typos and grammatical errors. Sorry ’bout that. In any event, all the best and Happy Holidays.

    /s/ Tony Daysog
    tony_daysog@alum.berkeley.edu

    Documentation
    March 18, 2003
    http://www.ci.alameda.ca.us//archive/2003/pdf/council_minutes030318.pdf
    Commissioner Daysog stated that since 1996, he has had concerns about creating such a large redevelopment area; property taxes will not pay for municipal services; that he would like the CIC to consider modifying the $480,000 annual assessment for the maintenance district; that he would like to pursue allocating the money for activities other than maintenance; inquired whether Catellus has thoughts about use of funds for other services.// Mr. Marcus responded the maintenance district was designed as a maximum to be used for maintenance of streets, parks, etc.; the expenditure on other public services is acceptable to Catellus as long as there is enough money, which is anticipated.//Commissioner Daysog stated the CIC has to consider options; and should discuss whether recovering the true costs might go above $480,000.//Commissioner Daysog stated that he calculated $103,059 per housing unit as the cost for City services using the City’s budget; the aggregate cost for the Catellus project is $665,000; removing some capital costs reduces the operating cost $625,000; there should be a mechanism to pay for police and fire costs; suggested options be reviewed for recovering police and fire costs; stated public works and recreation costs are grossly over-calculated.//Commissioner Daysog stated direction has been that Alameda Point, and East Housing in particular, must pay for municipal services.//Commissioner Daysog stated the matter should not go forward without the amounts decided upon; that he wants to ensure public safety will receive the bulk of the money.//Commissioner Daysog stated that he concurs with said suggestion.//Commissioner Daysog stated the CIC should proceed within the framework suggested by Chair Johnson; the CIC will deal with the municipal services question; the issue is important; since 1996, he has stated the project has to pay for itself.//Commissioner Daysog moved [adoption of resolution] with the direction provided tonight regarding municipal services.

    April 4, 2003
    http://www.ci.alameda.ca.us//archive/2003/pdf/council_minutes030415.pdf
    Vice Mayor Daysog requested staff to provide a list of the key items that need to be completed and timelines for the Catellus project; noted that he wanted to track the municipal services matter.

    May 20, 2003
    http://www.ci.alameda.ca.us//archive/2003/pdf/council_minutes030520.pdf
    Vice Mayor Daysog stated that when Council [acting as the Community Improvement Commission] addressed the Catellus project on March 18, 2003, he and other Councilmembers raised concerns about finding ways to compensate for the cost of municipal services; compared municipal service costs to property tax revenues; stated the discussion of covering the costs municipal services should have been addressed tonight before the project moved forward; although the matter will return to Council for deliberation, he will not support the recommendation tonight; noted that he has championed the Catellus project and is not voting against Catellus; stated Council should address the costs of municipal services before construction begins.//Vice Mayor Daysog stated the motion [at the March 18, 2003 Community Improvement Commission meeting] directed that a strategy be developed for dealing with the cost of municipal services; inquired when said matter would be addressed.////Vice Mayor Daysog stated that his mantra has been that the base must pay for itself; although he supports the project and wants the City to start collecting property taxes, the strategy for dealing with municipal service costs should be resolved first.

    September 9, 2003
    http://www.ci.alameda.ca.us//archive/2003/pdf/council_minutes030916.pdf
    Vice Mayor Daysog stated that his previous concerns about including covering the public safety and other City services costs, in addition to Public Works and Recreation and Parks, were addressed; thanked staff for responding to his concerns; that he estimates there is a $60,000 to $100,000 shortfall; however, he does not include sales taxes generated off of the site, which makes the project fiscally whole.

  • Tony Daysog says:

    As for the Master’s degree: yes, I did finally earn my Master’s degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley in 1998. I was so close to having it, so, yes, I did say I had my Master’s when, technically, I did not yet, though I completed enough of my requirements that I was allowed to go through graduation ceremony in 1993. But, I did (finally) get that Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley. And I’m glad I did — it was a rigorous program but it certainly opened doors for me professionally. I owe much to Cal for my undergraduate and graduate school experience.

  • Ani Dimusheva says:

    That’s a riot! Now there’s an actual record of SunCal actually supporting Adam Gillit for council! These guys are geniuses. Except nobody can say now they aren’t involved in our elections.

  • Tony Daysog says:

    Ooops . . . 1996 . . . not 2006. I got on City Council in 1996, not 2006.

  • Nancy Rogers says:

    To set the record straight regarding Beverly Johnson’s campaign. I am her campaign manager and Hadi Monsef is the chairman of the campaign. Mr. Barry has nothing to do with the campaign. Beverly’s position is that the city should be the master developer. Please note this correction in your next newsletter. Thanks.

  • Richard says:

    Hi Michele, I’ve been following the election closely, and I’ve heard word that Frank Matarrese is backing out of the mayoral race. Have you heard this as well?

  • ct says:

    All right, for argument’s sake, let’s say the most vociferous anti-SunCal candidates are elected as mayor and to the City Council, and somehow they successfully prevent anyone associated with SunCal from setting foot in or communicating with anyone in Alameda ever again. Now SunCal is really gone. Meantime, our City budget’s unsustainable course moves Alameda closer to bankruptcy, emergency medical services are reduced, Alameda Point decays while its maintenance costs exceed its revenue, schools are shuttered, public transportation is scaled back, etc. Would these newly elected anti-SunCal candidates be capable of resolving these and other issues that are just as (or perhaps even more) important as keeping out SunCal?

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    ct:

    For argument’s sake, if you had wheels, would you be a trolley car?

  • DA says:

    We have enough empty houses in Alameda and the traffic is getting worse every year. People are exceeding the 25 limit speed limit and the police are not enforcing it like in previous years. Why would anyone want to build that many houses? I am wondering how much housing does Marie Gilmore and Lena Tam want? I would like to hear numbers, folks!

  • Tony Daysog says:

    DA says “we have enough empty houses.” True . . . but bear in mind Alameda Point has a 20-year to 30-year planning horizon. Just look at Bayport at Alameda Point. We broke ground in 2003, built 490 units, for an annual average of roughly 70-units per year between 2003 and 2010.

  • Chuck says:

    Every projection in Alameda on housing numbers have missed the mark because economic cycles happen over a long period. Looking at Bay Farm or Harbor Bay Isle. It was once known as “Asparagus Island” because it was farmland. But SF Bay was filled in and it created the peninsula of Harbor Bay. Around 1977, Harbor Bay Isle Associates (Ron Cowan) signed an agreement with the city of Alameda that allowed them to build 3,200 homes on Bay Farm Island. They built a total of 2,973 homes in five stages over 30 years. Cowan wants to build the remaining housing on the Mif Albright golf course.

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    I’m glad you agree it is true that there are enough empty houses in Alameda, Tony. Market data more than bears that out, and the numbers are not getting better.

    Let’s keep it from getting worse. Let’s not launch a plan to build more housing that we can’t support or fill, and instead focus our limited resources on supporting our schools, getting our existing commercial space filled, our current housing filled, taking care of the current needs of our City and Citizens, and getting more of the existing structures at the former NAS leased out to fill the City’s coffers.

    This “stylish, upscale housing” you keep talking about is just not possible in this economic climate with our current infrastructure. Neither are your continued lobbying for modifications to zoning for Webster and Park Streets and Measure A supported in the community.

    I hope there will be a conversation about building new housing in the future when it is feasible. That will be when the economy, jobs, infrastructure and community support are behind it. But that is not today.

  • Tony Daysog says:

    Once again, Alameda Point is a project with a 20-year, 30-year horizon. The housing situation is a **now** situation that’ll probably get rectified in the next year and a half. Maybe sooner.

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    Tony:

    One basic lesson about economics that is essential to keep in mind is the law of supply and demand: supply does not drive demand. Demand drives supply.

    Building unnecessary housing will not suddenly create the need for people to fill said housing. That is not how the market works. If we improve economic conditions in Alameda in ways that attract more people to live here, then the supply of existing housing will dwindle, and we will need to look at increasing our stock of available properties. Current market data does not see that happening “in the next year and a half. Maybe sooner.

    Please do some research on current real estate data for Alameda and how more houses are coming on the market, not fewer. The foreclosure crisis is only increasing the supply of houses available for purchase, and the rental market is equally saturated.

    We are living in 2010. Making decisions for the citizens of the years 2030 and 2040 is best left to the people of that future era.

  • ct says:

    Mr Gillitt’s response to my open query is indicative of how serious a City Council candidate he is.

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