Pop-ups proposed for Alameda Point

Pop-ups proposed for Alameda Point

Dave Boitano
Alameda Point

Pop-up buildings may soon be popping up at Alameda Point.

The Planning Board on Monday heard about the potential for the temporary structures as part of a report on ideas for promoting Alameda Point before commercial and residential development begins in earnest at the former Naval Air Station. A more detailed plan is pending.

The concept, referred to as Phase Zero, aims to create some buzz among Bay Area residents about the former military base and its future.

"The place to be before there is a place to be,” is how city staff phrased it in a report to the board.

Acting Assistant Community Development Director Nanette Mocanu gave an overview of projects being considered for the Seaplane Lagoon waterfront area, which will be the first to be built and would be ground zero for Phase Zero fun.

One of the proposals includes a "Small Batch Village," a "very quick interim town center" which would include temporary retail and entertainment venues in large shipping containers. Unlike traditional retail outlets, the here-and-gone pop-ups are used to sell clothing and other products while demand is hot and taken down when demand wanes.

City staff is trying to determine the feasibility of a pop-up plan at the Point with the vendors who built the temporary America’s Cup Village in San Francisco during the yacht races last year.

Water sports on the lagoon are another possibility for Phase Zero, staffers said; a summer canoe regatta has been planned for June. The city is also looking for a kayaking vendor and sailboats could be launched from the lagoon ramps.

Other possibilities include:

  • Camping. This would require additional security and a private operator to make sure camper adhere to the rules, staff said.
  • A summer concert series.
  • A Pop-up drive/bike-in theater where films would be shown on summer nights to motorists and cyclists.
  • A food and beverage fair to highlight the distilleries located at Alameda Point. Food trucks could be brought in to provide a variety of food to accompany the spirits.

The annual Fourth of July celebration would be a natural event to show off the Point, the report the board says. Staff is working with an entertainment company to come up with a festival that complements the Island's Fourth of July parade and holiday activities on the USS Hornet, it says.

One of the more unique proposals came from Amanda Shepard, a landscape architecture student who would like to construct an “Islandopoly” plaza on the waterfront.

The plaza would be made to look like a giant Monopoly board with benches representing the game’s properties and maybe entertainment on the “Chance” card space.

Board member John Knox White said he was skeptical that pop-up buildings in shipping containers would be sustainable on the waterfront. Concerts and other activities must be unique to attract the public, he said.

“In order to pull people to a desolate old Naval air station, you really need to have something that says, ‘Hop on a ferry, drive through the tube to North Alameda Point and come see this,’” he said.

Board vice president Mike Henneberry was grateful for the work being done to promote Alameda Point.

“Any progress at this time is good progress,” he said.


Submitted by Steve Gerstle on Tue, Apr 15, 2014

In the late 1990s I proposed to the director of the Chamber of Commerce that Alameda have a unique and signature festival. My proposal was for a Gilligan's Island Festival. I'm sure she thought that I was joking. We would need to obtain the rights to the name, but where better to have such a festival? We already have a lot of people here who look like Gilligan and there are several who look like Ginger.

We could have raft contests in the Seaplane Lagoon. A science fair judged by the professor. Come dressed like your favorite character with a contest for the best Howell, Ginger, Skipper, etc. We could even spice it up by having a contest for not only the best female Ginger, but also the best drag Ginger.

Just an idea. If we don't have this festival, who will?

Submitted by marilyn pomeroy (not verified) on Tue, Apr 15, 2014

Some great ideas! Increasing Ferry access would improve chances for success.

Submitted by Bette Page (not verified) on Tue, Apr 15, 2014

Please move off the Grid there and maybe we can save what businesses remain in south shore. The car wash is the latest victim of that Saturday morning mess. The new owners don't bother trying to attract viable tenants anymore.

Submitted by luczai (not verified) on Mon, Apr 21, 2014

Two new eateries to open at South Shore this year: a bagel/sandwich shop and a ribs joint.