Alameda Point Initiative: Your questions (so far)

Alameda Point Initiative: Your questions (so far)

Michele Ellson

Last week we announced a new initiative aimed at explaining Alameda Point, and we asked our readers what they would like to know about the Point and what's happening out there. You responded with an interesting list of questions and comments. Here's what you wanted to know so far. We're getting to work on this list and on some new features we hope will help you feel more engaged in what's happening at Alameda Point; in the meantime, feel free to add to this list in the comments section below or by e-mailing me your questions or comments at

A brief history of the background of closure and the City's efforts to redevelop the land would be in order.

What is Alameda Point?

What are the official boundaries of where it starts and ends?

What does the city own, and what do the feds own?

How is the Point used today, broken out by acreage?

What ideas have been developed for the Point in the past?

What jurisdiction does the city have over the Point? What can the city do to influence what the Feds do with the property?

What are the current plans for the Point, and how did they come to be determined?

The city is working on an EIR. What is an EIR, and what impact does it have on how the Point will be shaped?

To what extent will the city’s current EIR restrict what can be done at the Point?

What are the potential costs to the city of developing the Point? (remediation, infrastructure, etc.)?

What is the time-scale for development at the Point?

What are the environmental impacts of the Point?

Is there any plan to accommodate the extra traffic that development on Alameda Point would engender? With the limited connections available to get on and off the island, this is a concern.

Is there an accurate map of environmental problems left over from the Navy? What's the plan to ameliorate these?

Many of the proposals to date seem more Foster City than Alameda. Is there anything that can be done to make development of the point more "organic?"

How will the Bay Trail be incorporated into Alameda Point?

How much open space will be left in the current development plans?

Where can one submit ideas for the Point, if there is such a central place.

Anyone giving formal or informal tours of the area on a more or less regular basis.

Who has rental info?

What ever happened with the SunCal lawsuit? Is that resolved? Did Alameda win?

Why don’t any of the plans include expanding the tube or another bridge? I know the plan is for a transit-oriented development which has less traffic than a normal project, but let’s face it, we will have more traffic. Drivers of those additional cars, however small in number, need some way to get on and off the island.

Is it just impossible to clean up what we have and use the existing buildings?

What will happen to the non-profits that are currently there once revitalization gets underway - (ie Alameda Point Collaborative, Red Cross, Alameda Food Bank etc..)

I'd like to see a map of The Point with markers for occupied space that will remain, proposed demolition/new building, space still being cleaned-up by the Navy, occupied space that may be demolished or the occupants displaced, etc.

I think we should restore that kiosk in the photo and maybe some of the other historic buildings, if it's worthwhile. I don't think that they should put a VA hospital out there or a cemetery. Any cemetery is a waste of land in this day and age,possibly a masoleum. Maybe a memorial for the vets would work. I think that the VA hospital should be placed near downtown Oakland, because of public transportation. I also think that they should build some 55 and older low income housing for seniors and possibly some affordable housing for working class people. Also, I think they should keep that campground that is already out there and restore it, possibly making it larger, for rv's and tourists to stay for a low cost. Maybe Parks and Recs could take it over.


Submitted by Jon Spangler on Mon, Mar 25, 2013

I would like to know what happened to the US Fish and Wildlife Service's bid to create a wildlife refuge at AP on the runways. It appears--but I have yet to see any proof--that the US Navy just did not like the idea or found it not remunerative enough. The negotiations clearly failed but everyone seems tight-lipped about why they failed, but the USFWS people I have spoken to seem to still want it and apparently did not say no to the deal.

I would also like to know why the VA did not open up its facility planning, environmental assessment (EA), and EA review processes to community input and cooperation here in Alameda. The VA seems to be "tone-deaf" (and blind) to imnput from outside its military clients and constituents...

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Mon, Mar 25, 2013

Thanks, Jon. I'll follow up in greater detail on your questions but to the first one, my understanding is that negotiations broke down about a decade ago over future liability for toxics on the property.

Submitted by labryon on Mon, Apr 1, 2013

I think what should be followed up on is Jon's comment that "everybody is being tight-lipped about it." And Jon (who I've never formally met but know via experience) is present at just about every public meeting, so wow, things really are THAT bad, i.e. non transparent?

How do real questions, from real people, get real answers in this town?

Because from what I've experienced/witnessed (especially over the past few years) is that "tight-lippedness" is the primary quality one must have to be considered "a positive agent for change" (municipal evolution) and/or to be appointed to Alameda's governmental/AUSD committees or subcommittees. As if, for the betterment for All and in order for Alameda to come to any consensus, you only invite 1) those with similar ideas, or 2) those who will subordinately endorse the directives of others.

It is so frustrating Michele, but I am thankful for the continuity your work contributes to this town's democracy.

Submitted by Bibim Whiskers on Mon, Mar 25, 2013

How much money is the City of Alameda taking in on rents at Alameda Point, where does it appear in the bookkeeping as income, and does it go into the general fund and get spent? Just asking, because I've NEVER heard one word about how much comes in and who spends or saves (Haha!) it.

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Mon, Mar 25, 2013

Hi Bibop,

According to the city's budget, Alameda took in about $12.3 million in rents at Alameda Point during 2011-2012: (Fund Pages Chapter T, page 86). This offers a general breakdown of where the money goes.