Connect with us

City Government

City Council Set to Approve Sale of City Land for Luxury Apartment Tower

Published

on

The Oakland City Council is set to vote Tuesday evening on a controversial proposal to sell a city-owned parcel to build a luxury apartment tower at the corner of East 12th Street and Lake Merritt.

 

 

The council had been originally scheduled to approve the property sale on May 5 when its meeting was shut down and taken over by protesters demanding that public property should only be developed for public use.

 

Councilmembers informally agreed to postpone the final vote for several weeks to give Councilmember Abel Guillen time to negotiate increased community benefits with the developer. Guillen represents District 2, where the property is located.

 

The final list of the benefits features a modest reduction of the monthly rent for 30 units of the 298-unit project, though not to a rate that many in Oakland would consider to be affordable.

 

Besides reducing prices on 10 percent of the units, the developer has agreed to make donations for a number of different public services.

 

However, the current proposal does not satisfy the demands that have been raised by the neighborhood activists, who say it still lacks affordable housing.

 

“It’s not affordable – not to the people living in the (Eastlake) zip code,” and it’s not affordable for people living in Oakland, said Monica Garcia, a member of the neighborhood group, Eastlake United for Justice. “Public land should be for the public.”

 

“We don’t have any idea where this laundry list of community benefits came from,” she continued. “Community benefits are generally generated in meetings with members of the community. These came from the councilmember or the developer.”

 

Garcia said the benefits are crumbs and do not address the housing crisis that is driving people out of Oakland and robbing the city of its diversity.

 

“We have not seen real leadership from the council on housing issues yet,” she said.

 

“We will be at the meeting to speak out against this proposal – against this use of public land.”

 

The agreement between the city and the developer would reduce the cost of 30 units, to be rented at three different levels between 80 percent and 120 percent of the East Bay’s Area Median Income (AMI) – which is about $99,000 for a family of three. The median income for a family of four in the Eastlake area is about $38,000 year, says Garcia.

 

Ten units would be rented at 80 percent of the AMI – $1,461 for a two-bedroom apartment.

 

Ten units would be rented at 100 percent of the AMI – $2,044 for a two-bedroom apartment.

 

And, 10 units would be rented at 120 percent of AMI – $2,466 for a two-bedroom apartment.

 

In addition, the developer would pay for a number of community benefits, including:

 

$150,000 towards building or maintaining a skateboard park;

 

$25,000 to support Children’s Fairyland;

 

$100,000 to support graffiti abatement and neighborhood beautification in the area;

 

And, $50,000 to plant trees east of Lake Merritt and by San Antonio Park.

 

The developer will also work with Councilmember Guillen and city staff to find potential space in District 2 that can accommodate between 50 and 70 affordable housing units. The developer will pay some of the predevelopment cost of this project.

 

Garcia was also unimpressed with the proposed agreement’s commitment to hire local workers for the project, saying the agreement “doesn’t have any teeth.”

 

In fact, the agreement leaves the promise of local jobs up to the developer to figure out.

 

The proposal says that within 120 days of signing the contract, the developer “will complete a plan…to accomplish a 25 percent good-faith-effort goal for local hiring for new jobs created during construction.”

 

The proposal does not distinguish between journeyman and apprenticeship jobs. Nor does it focus on hiring people from the less affluent zip codes in the city.

 

In addition, the “developer will consider using a Union General Contractor at the Developer’s sole discretion.”

 

Unlike this project, hard-fought negotiations over the Army Base development lasted for several years and resulted in the developer of that project eventually agreeing to a 50 percent local hire program and a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that protects union jobs.

 

The buyers of the property are Urban Core Development, a local company, and UDR, a Denver-based national real estate corporation. Almost all the project will be owned by UDR.

 

“The proposed ownership of the project will include a 97.5 percent interest for UDR and a 2.5 percent interest for Urban Core,” according to the report submitted by city staff for Tuesday’s council meeting.

 

“UDR will serve as the Managing Member of the LLC and provide the required guarantees necessary to secure the project capital as needed,” the report continued. “Both companies will work together jointly throughout the predevelopment and construction phases, and UDR will manage the marketing, leasing and property management of the property.”

 

UDR, Inc., the city report said, is a leading multifamily real estate investment trust in the U.S. In 2014, the company owned 51,293 “apartment homes” across the country.

 

Eastlake United for Justice is planning to hold a rally Tuesday night in front of Oakland City Hall at 8 p.m.

Activism

Zoom Town Hall Meeting to Stop State Takeover of Oakland Schools

The Zoom Town Hall, sponsored by the Oakland Post Salon & Oakland Education Association (OEA), will take place Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time (U.S. and Canada)

Published

on

Students, parents and teachers protested in January 2019 against the closure of Roots International Academy in East Oakland as the school board voted to permanently close the school - under the guidance of the Fiscal Crisis Management and Assistance Team(FCMAT) and Karen Monroe of Alameda County Office of Education. Photo courtesy of ABC7.
Students, parents and teachers protested in January 2019 against the closure of Roots International Academy in East Oakland as the school board voted to permanently close the school - under the guidance of the Fiscal Crisis Management and Assistance Team(FCMAT) and Karen Monroe of Alameda County Office of Education. Photo courtesy of ABC7.

By Post Staff

There will be a Zoom town hall meeting to learn about and take action to stop the takeover of the Oakland Unified School District by superintendent L. K. Monroe of the Alameda County Office of Education and the Fiscal Crisis Management and Assistance Team (FCMAT) on behalf of the State of California.

The Zoom Town Hall, sponsored by the Oakland Post Salon & Oakland Education Association (OEA), will take place Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time (U.S. and Canada)

Join the discussion as we seek answers to the following questions:

  • How did this happen?
  • Why is L. Karen Monroe, Alameda County office of Education, doing this?
  • What is the role of the Fiscal Crisis Management and Assistance Team (FCMAT)?
  • Why are they trying to force us to close more schools?
  • Why do they demand massive budget cuts when schools are awash in billions of dollars of state and federal funding?
  • What can we do to stop this?

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://bit.ly/saveOUSD

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

A short video that explains the issue can be viewed at https://bit.ly/noFCMAT

Continue Reading

City Government

Gov. Newsom Proposes New Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications as part of California Blueprint 

Established within the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), the new office will formalize and build on the work the state carried out as part of the 2020 Census and COVID-19 public awareness and community engagement campaigns. The new office’s first campaigns will include COVID-19 and climate justice. 

Published

on

The OCPSC will work directly with respective State departments to develop priority public awareness and community outreach initiatives, facilitate coordination and collaboration across State government to maximize impact in California’s communities, provide grant funding to CBOs and other partner organizations, and share community insights with relevant State and external stakeholders. 
The OCPSC will work directly with respective State departments to develop priority public awareness and community outreach initiatives, facilitate coordination and collaboration across State government to maximize impact in California’s communities, provide grant funding to CBOs and other partner organizations, and share community insights with relevant State and external stakeholders. 

By Emily Breslin

As part of the California Blueprint released Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed $65 million in ongoing General Fund monies to create the new Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications (OCPSC) to take on the critical role of managing priority public education and community engagement efforts and provide ongoing support to community-based organizations (CBOs).

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and during the 2020 Census, our community partners on the ground have played a major role in reaching Californians – especially our most marginalized communities,” said Newsom. “These organizations are committed to creating more resilient, healthy, and safe communities, and the new Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications will formalize support for these partners and catalyze the social infrastructure necessary to build a California for All.”

Established within the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), the new office will formalize and build on the work the state carried out as part of the 2020 Census and COVID-19 public awareness and community engagement campaigns. The new office’s first campaigns will include COVID-19 and climate justice.

“Addressing climate change and building thriving communities in California requires not only an all-of-government approach but depends on the critical contributions of California’s frontline communities and the organizations that activate and organize them, said Samuel Assefa, director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. “As the state’s land use and planning agency, the Office of Planning and Research understands the unique value of public awareness and education and the singular role that community-based organizations play as trusted sources of information and in organizing local people power.”

The OCPSC will work directly with respective State departments to develop priority public awareness and community outreach initiatives, facilitate coordination and collaboration across State government to maximize impact in California’s communities, provide grant funding to CBOs and other partner organizations, and share community insights with relevant State and external stakeholders.

“Our partnerships with diverse, trusted community-based organizations strengthened the State’s ability to engage Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 Census,” said Maricela Rodriguez, director of Civic Engagement and Strategic Partnerships in Governor Newsom’s Office. “We learned valuable lessons during these campaigns and the Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications will build upon them for future community outreach and engagement efforts.”

Emily Breslin is the deputy director of Communications and External Affairs, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.

Continue Reading

Activism

City’s Environmental Report on Oakland A’s Project Fails to Protect Health and Safety of Local Residents, Says Community Coalition

“The City has rushed the Final EIR in order to meet the arbitrary end of the year deadline set by the Oakland A’s,” according to a factsheet released by the East Oakland Stadium Alliance (EOSA). “The City Council and Planning Commission should not be bullied by the Oakland A’s into certifying an EIR that fails to adequately consider the project’s full impact on the neighboring community and Port operations.” The public can attend and participate in the Final EIR vote at the City of Oakland Planning Commission Zoom meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 3 p.m. at: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82519936593

Published

on

The public can attend and participate in the Final EIR vote at the City of Oakland Planning Commission Zoom meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 3 p.m. at: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82519936593
The public can attend and participate in the Final EIR vote at the City of Oakland Planning Commission Zoom meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 3 p.m. at: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82519936593

Oakland Port Commission Zoom hearing on Final EIR set for Jan. 19 at 3 p.m.

By Ken Epstein

The real estate development at Howard Terminal proposed by billionaire developer John Fisher, the owner of the Oakland A’s, and backed by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf “will result in numerous significant and unavoidable impacts in critical areas of concern such as toxics, traffic, air quality, and public safety,” according to a factsheet released by the East Oakland Stadium Alliance (EOSA).

An examination of the 3,500-page Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) produced by city staff found that the Final EIR did not adopt any of the recommendations from the over 400 comments that were submitted by community members who pointed out numerous deficiencies with the Draft EIR, according to the factsheet released by EOSA.

“By refusing to substantively improve the Draft EIR in response to these hundreds of comments, and instead simply defending the previous analysis, the City and the A’s (in the Final EIR) are ignoring the majority of community stakeholders,” the factsheet said.

The EOSA is a coalition of local businesses, workers, labor organizations, and Oakland community members who are concerned about the Oakland A’s’ proposal to leave behind their current Coliseum location in East Oakland and build a new stadium in the middle of Oakland’s thriving working waterfront. Coalition partners include the ILWU, California Trucking Association, Acts Full Gospel Church, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, SSA Marine, Schnitzer Steel and the Oakland East Bay Democratic Club.

“The City has rushed the Final EIR in order to meet the arbitrary end of the year deadline set by the Oakland A’s,” the fact sheet said. “The City Council and Planning Commission should not be bullied by the Oakland A’s into certifying an EIR that fails to adequately consider the project’s full impact on the neighboring community and Port operations.”

Below are some of the “significant and unavoidable impacts of the Oakland A’s Howard Terminal project that the Final EIR fails to mitigate and address”:

Rail Safety – The EIR found that the project “would expose roadway users (e.g., motorists, pedestrians, bus riders, bicyclists) to a permanent or substantial transportation hazard.”

According to the factsheet, the EIR fails to provide any scenario where the project has adequate rail crossings for cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

“The A’s and City should not expose more people to potentially fatal safety hazards while traveling across these at-grade railroad crossings,” said the factsheet.

Air Quality – “Demolition and construction associated with the Howard Terminal development would result in daily emissions that exceed the City’s thresholds,” said the factsheet. “Significant and unavoidable air pollution impacts of the A’s Howard Terminal project also include contributing to cumulative regional air quality impacts and to cumulative health risk impacts on sensitive receptors.”

Truck Displacement -The EIR does not analyze the impacts resulting from the displaced trucks using the Howard Terminal site. This is a major impact of using Howard Terminal, but the EIR calls this analysis too “speculative” to analyze. “The project will likely result in more idling, more miles traveled, and more congestion on local roads for trucks trying to get to and from the Port,” said the factsheet

Toxic Remediation – “The EIR provides few details on the project’s required Remedial Action Plan because it still has not been drafted. This means that the City Council is being asked to approve the project before it knows the actual level of toxic remediation and the remaining toxic hazards,” according to the factsheet.

What information is in the EIR makes it clear that “the A’s don’t intend to clean up most of the site, but just to pave over and pile on the existing toxic pollution,” the factsheet said.

Maritime Compatibility – “The Draft EIR provided few comprehensive Seaport Compatibility Measures despite receiving dozens of suggestions from the maritime industry and waterfront labor that would minimize impacts on the Port,” the factsheet said.

To find out more about the East Oakland Stadium Alliance, go to www.eastoaklandstadiumalliance.com

The public can attend and participate in the Final EIR vote at the City of Oakland Planning Commission Zoom meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 3 p.m. at: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82519936593

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending