Boatworks

To a casual observer, the scene that played out during at the Alameda City Council’s January 2 discussion about the Marina Cove housing development may have held some surprises. The city’s top planner, Andrew Thomas, was detailing his efforts to prod developer Trident Partners to build more homes on the 7.14 acre Marina Cove II site, which now holds a warehouse. The developer’s representative had insisted that the company only wanted to build the 69 homes originally approved for the site.

“This is very unusual when the planner for the city is telling a developer, ‘We want more units,’” Thomas told the council. “But it’s something that’s going to be happening much more often.”

City leaders have granted what some deemed an historic early approval for a new housing development that will include homes that don’t comply with Measure A, despite a lawsuit that challenges an earlier decision that allows such development on a limited number of sites.

Photos by Mike Rosati. Click photo for slideshow.

“If asked to describe myself, I’d tell you I’m an artist. I don’t know how I got into this industry,” Reusable Lumber Company’s Jim Steinmetz said.

A developer demolishes defunct warehouses on a site near the Park Street Bridge. Photos by Tom Charron and Michele Ellson; click photo for slideshow.

The City of Alameda is getting an early Christmas gift from a local developer. Boatworks developer Francis Collins is in the process of demolishing a series of defunct warehouses along Clement Avenue, near the Park Street Bridge.

The demolition comes in advance of what the developer’s representatives said in court papers would be a new development plan for the site.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. Monday, August 6 in bold

A proposed housing development that would line a stretch of waterfront near the Park Street Bridge is once again tied up in litigation, with the city insisting the blighted property be cleaned up and its owners saying those cleanup demands are inhibiting their efforts to sell.

Alameda’s city leaders are attempting once again to revise the city’s plan for housing to comply with state law and to avoid state funding losses and lawsuits. Alameda’s so-called housing element, which is designed to show that a city’s got enough land zoned in a way that allows its housing needs to be met, has been out of compliance with state law since 1999.

October 5, 2011 was to be a watershed moment in the city’s long struggle to revitalize the defunct Naval Air Station Alameda. That night city leaders signed a new deal with the Navy that would put most of the former base into the city’s hands by the end of 2012, free of the $108.5 million price tag the Navy had demanded in prior years.