Association of Defense Communities: Alameda’s No-Cost EDC Followed City’s Return to Original Reuse Plan, October 19, 2011


he agreement the Navy and the city of Alameda struck last month over the terms of the transfer of a 918-acre parcel at the former Naval Air Station Alameda was the direct result of the city’s decision to return to the base’s original reuse plan, one that emphasized job growth over housing.

That reuse plan was the basis for a deal the two parties reached in June 2000 calling for Alameda to obtain the San Francisco Bay area property under a no-cost economic development conveyance (EDC). In the intervening years, the city contemplated changes in the redevelopment plan for the parcel, now called Alameda Point, which reduced the emphasis on job creation in favor of increasing the amount of space devoted to housing.

As a result of the changes, the Navy and Alameda negotiated new agreements for EDCs that would have required compensation. The most recent deal required the city — really, its master developer — to fork over $108 million to the Navy. Those agreements never were carried out, however; one development group abandoned the project due to the decline in the real estate market in 2006, and last year the city dropped its master developer SunCal due to concerns over the viability of its vision for the site.