Alameda’s Big Mistake

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By Robert Gammon – Alameda Magazine

It’s not often that a developer offers to spend $30 million to build a new waterfront park for everyone to use – and agrees in writing to maintain that park for free. But that’s exactly what developer Tim Lewis Communities offered the city of Alameda in December: a new 8.5-acre public park and large plaza on what is now mostly a vacant parcel on the estuary. And yet the Alameda City Council declined to accept the proposal, saying it wasn’t good enough.


In truth, the council declined to accept the park not because it wasn’t a good deal (because, of course, it was), but because the developer is also proposing to build 589 units of housing next to the new park. However, under new state laws that greatly restrict the ability of cities like Alameda to reject new housing, the council couldn’t legally turn down the 589 units. But it could decline to accept the park – so it did so.

Read the full article here.

Join us June 22: Encinal Terminals Planning Meeting

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All of your feedback throughout the planning stages of the Encinal Terminals redevelopment has been invaluable in the positive progression of the project. We invite you to continue to participate!

Join us for our upcoming Encinal Terminals Planning Meeting on Wednesday, June 22nd at 7pm at Alameda City Hall located at 2263 Santa Clara Ave #320.

We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Get additional details about the meeting here.

Join us January 25: Encinal Terminals Planning Board Workshop

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Over the past several months, we have hosted a series of community meetings to gather feedback to inform our plans for Encinal Terminals, along Alameda’s Northern Waterfront.

Now, with your input in mind, we are in the early stages of creating a master plan for Encinal Terminals to submit to the City of Alameda, beginning with a Planning Board Workshop.

We hope that you will join us to continue to provide your ideas about this unique waterfront opportunity for Alameda.

City of Alameda’s Encinal Terminals Planning Board Workshop
Monday, January 25, 7:00 p.m.
Alameda City Hall

Please review additional details for the meeting, along with the City staff report for the item here.

Join Us December 10: Encinal Terminals Planning Meeting #4

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Dear Neighbor:

You are invited to a neighborhood planning workshop regarding development of the Encinal Terminals site, located on the Northern Waterfront of Alameda.

This workshop is a follow up to the meetings held on October 10th, October 22nd and November 16th, and will allow attendees another opportunity to provide input on the development of the waterfront site.

Please join us on Thursday, December 10th from 6:45 PM until 9:00 PM at the Mastick Senior Center Social Hall located at 1155 Santa Clara Avenue in Alameda.

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you on the 10th.

Tim Lewis Communities

Join Us – Encinal Terminals Planning Meeting #2

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At our 10/10 site tour and 10/22 community meeting, we received some great feedback from members of the community about the possibilities for re-developing Encinal Terminals.

We want to ensure everyone has a chance to make their voice heard about the future of this unique property. If you missed the last meeting, you will have a second chance to provide your input at our next forum. The agenda and format for the next forum will be identical to that from our meeting on 10/22.

When: Monday, November 16th 7-8:30p
Where: Mastick Senior Center Social Hall, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda

Also, mark your calendars for December 10th 7-8:30 p.m. at Mastick Senior Center Social Hall for a presentation incorporating feedback we received from you at the meetings in October and November.

These events are open to the community. Please feel free to share this invitation with anyone you think might add value to the conversation and share our event link on Facebook to your social networks.

– Tim Lewis Communities

The Encinal Terminals

Neighborhood Planning Meeting on 10/22

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Join us for a neighborhood planning meeting regarding development of the Encinal Terminals site, located on the Northern Waterfront of Alameda.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, October 22nd from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM. You will have the opportunity to provide input on the development of the waterfront site.

The meeting will be held at the Mastick Senior Center Social Hall located at 1155 Santa Clara Avenue in Alameda.

Alameda’s Working Waterfront

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BC Staff Report

Published: April 2014

Arivia question: where was the first land-based container crane installed, heralding a revolution in world commerce? Oakland? Long Beach?

The answer would be Alameda. The crane was installed in 1959 at the Matson Lines Encinal Terminals to speed delivery of pineapples from Hawaii. What didn’t seem significant at the time turned out to be a very big deal. It may not be as big as containerization, but something remarkable is quietly emerging on Alameda’s waterfront again.

The San Francisco Bay waterfront is rapidly gentrifying—Bay Crossings, as an original tenant of the Ferry Building, is part of that trend—with expensive restaurants, ballparks and boutiques crowding out traditional maritime businesses. In stark contrast, Alameda positively welcomes working waterfront businesses with open arms. Some Alameda leaders envision a dedicated zone for such outfits stretching from the High Street Bridge clear around to Ferry Point on the old Naval Air Base, altogether comprising roughly one-third the main island’s waterfront.

Alameda’s contrarian stance is a boon for likely suspects like stolid marine operators Bay Ship & Yacht Company (barge and mid-sized ship repair), Dutra (dike restoration) and Power Engineering (seawall construction). They—along with their hundreds of well-paid blue-collar jobs for welders, painters and other workers—look to be securely in Alameda for decades to come.

Yet Alameda’s is not your father’s waterfront, something you’d conjure up from an old Marlon Brando movie. Alameda’s new working waterfront is a hotbed of distinctive, innovative and thoroughly hip young companies. They include craft breweries, a high-wheel “bonecrusher” bike restorer, a deep-sea submarine maker, an America’s Cup team and much and many more.

All in all, Alameda seems poised to contest with San Francisco’s white-hot Dogpatch neighborhood for the sobriquet of San Francisco Bay’s hippest up-and-coming waterfront spot. The Dogpatch is epicenter of the so-called “maker’s movement,” the source of indigenously crafted goods marketed under the “San Francisco Made” moniker. Like Alameda, it is a heritage maritime district.

Yet in the Dogpatch, gentrification looks to crowd out traditional maritime operations, which are under assault by a slew of regulatory, zoning and neighborhood pressures. The BAE Shipyard there even saw its “Fred Flintstone” yard whistle stolen and held for ransom, with yard management paying in order to obtain its return. Unlike San Francisco, riven with controversy over the skyrocketing cost of living and high unemployment, Alameda’s welcoming policies are yielding a bounty of well-paid blue-collar jobs toiling on green projects like barges to get trucks off highways and sail-powered oceangoing tankers.

Yet Alameda is enjoying the best of both worlds as all manner of new, decidedly terrestrial businesses are also cropping up, cheek by jowl with traditional maritime firms, thereby greatly increasing the quality of life and moving Alameda into a new league of sophistication. The trend mirrors what is happening in places like New York City, where Brooklyn neighborhoods are, in the eyes of many, stealing the march on Manhattan as the preferred places to live.

With this issue, Bay Crossings kicks off monthly highlights of the intriguing companies who have set up shop in Alameda’s working waterfront. We hope this will become a comprehensive guide to interesting and fun places to visit and enjoy along Alameda’s innovative, hip and burgeoning waterfront scene. It’ll be available in print and on our website.

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