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Land Transfers Mark Crucial First Step In Long-Stalled Project In Alameda

Oakland Land
Rendering of Trammell Crow Residential's proposed housing project at Alameda Point Site A

Several completed land transfers mark a new phase for the transit-oriented mixed-used Site A redevelopment project in Alameda. The city of Alameda transferred 30 acres Friday to Alameda Point Partners, a JV among Trammell Crow Residential, srmERNST Development Partners, Madison Marquette, Eden Housing and financial partner Cypress Equity Investments

Simultaneously the land was sold to individual developers and builders, generating funding that will help jump-start several infrastructure and development projects, according to Moran & Co. partner Brett Betzler.

“This is the first truly significant infusion of private capital into the 900-acre naval base,” Betzler said in a statement.  “It will bring it to life and catalyze future development, and also provide much-needed housing.”

Multifamily brokerage Moran & Co. was hired two years ago to help source capital for the project, according to Betzler. He said his firm mostly worked with Trammell Crow Residential and Cypress Equity during the land transactions.

The recent land transactions clear up any financial hurdles the development previously faced and the city and developers will move forward on the $500M Phase 1 of the project.

Construction of new water, sewer, electrical and gas lines, and newly paved streets with bike and transit lanes, is expected to begin within the next 30 days with infrastructure to be completed in the next two to three years. The first new residences are expected to open in 2021.

The first phase will result in 673 housing units, including 130 units of affordable housing for low- and very-low-income residents and 310 units of affordable and middle-income housing, 8 acres of parks and open space, a ferry terminal and 93K SF of retail.

Aerial view of Alameda Point

The developers of individual sites in the recent land transfer include a JV between Trammell Crow Residential and Cypress Equity Investments, which will develop 220 apartments and 15K SF of commercial; Trumark Homes, which will build 123 townhomes; and Cypress Equity Investments, which will develop a 200-unit apartment community with 10K SF of retail/commercial space.

The land transfer will immediately provide the city and Eden Housing $10M for a Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal, which will provide a 20-minute commute into San Francisco, $3M for affordable housing and $1M for a sports complex. Remaining financing for the affordable housing units is likely in the coming months, according to a statement from Alameda.

Eden Housing plans to build 130 units of affordable housing with 70 units for families and 60 units for seniors. The Site A development has a 25% inclusionary housing requirement and will eventually have 200 units of affordable housing, according to Bruce Dorfman, senior managing director of Trammell Crow Residential Northern California and a member of APP.

TCR and Educational Housing Partners are looking into building teacher and faculty housing similar to apartments that have been developed for the Santa Clara Unified School District and San Mateo Community College District, Dorfman said.

Rendering of the waterfront development at Alameda Point

The start of construction has been two decades in the making, according Dorfman. TCR has been involved with the project since 2014.

“The base closed over 20 years ago and several attempts to redevelop it failed,” Dorfman said in a statement. “Due to extensive infrastructure requirements, this is a very complicated development.”

Transit will be a big focus of this master-plan development, according to Dorfman. In addition to the new ferry terminal, the community will have access to bus rapid transit, a last-mile connection to Bay Area Rapid Transit and bike- and car-sharing.

“TCR’s focus has been to develop in transit-oriented communities — this is the first time we are going to create one,” Dorfman said. 

Site A’s major infrastructure improvements will support current and future commercial tenants at Alameda Point. Critical improvements will reduce upfront costs of important utility extensions, making it possible to rebuild supportive housing for homeless veterans, families and others groups.

Each of the buildings at Site A will incorporate design elements inspired by the historical use of the base, Dorfman said. Many existing structures will be renovated and incorporated into the community, he said.

All buildings will pursue LEED Gold certification. All Site A structures will be solar-ready. All parking facilities at Site A will include electric vehicle charging stations.

When complete, the full project will bring 800 residential units, including 200 affordable units, 600K SF of commercial, 15 acres of parks and public open space, major utility infrastructure, new transportation services and facilities and a new ferry terminal.