Memo Regarding Resolution Approving the Updated Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal Plan Resulting in the Procurement of the Ferry Terminal Float and Construction of the Remaining Water and Landside Improvements, September 4, 2018
1. Ferry Terminal Plan
2. WETA MOU
3. Updated Ferry Terminal Plan
On June 16, 2015, the City Council approved a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) with a private developer, Alameda Point Partners, LLC (APP), for the Site A development at Alameda Point, consisting of a 68-acre mixed-use project at the gateway of Alameda Point. As part of the backbone infrastructure included with the Phase 1 development of Site A, APP and the City agreed to cooperate in the design, permitting and construction of a new ferry terminal at Seaplane Lagoon (Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal), and APP agreed to contribute $10 million towards its development. Consistent with the DDA, the City is responsible for obtaining third party permits and approvals necessary for construction and operation of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal, and APP is obligated to complete the construction of the new terminal.
In accordance with the DDA [Article 5.2(b)(1) through (3)], a Ferry Terminal Plan shall be developed with a reasonable conceptual design and the parties’ best estimate of the schedule and costs based on available information. On April 5, 2016, the City Council approved the Ferry Terminal Plan (Exhibit 1) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Alameda and the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) (Exhibit 2) to provide a framework for collaboration on funding and operations of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal, which was then estimated to cost approximately $18.2 million. The MOU outlined that WETA was responsible for obtaining funds for operations and the procurement of the required vessels and the City was responsible for securing sufficient funds for the development of the new Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal. Both parties agreed to cooperate with each other in obtaining funds for these purposes.
The following provides a summary of the progress made since the City Council approved the Ferry Terminal Plan in April 2016:
• In June 2016, City staff submitted conceptual designs for the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal to the Bay Conservation Development Commission (BCDC) Design Review Board (DRB) for review of the design and public access elements. The DRB supported the design at that time with recommendations for a canopy and other interactive elements on the promenade outside the ferry and to proceed with final approval with no additional DRB review.
• In October 2016, WETA approved the procurement of the necessary vessels to expand service in the Central Bay, including Seaplane Lagoon, and approved the WETA Strategic Plan, which envisions 15-minute ferry service to and from San Francisco from the west end of Alameda (Main Street and Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminals).
• In March 2017, the City was awarded an $8.2 million grant for the construction of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal for the upcoming Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20 from the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC), resulting in a total of $18.2 million in funding for the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal.
• On March 6, 2018, the City Council authorized the City Manager to enter into an agreement with Marcy Wong Donn Logan (MWDL) Architects and their consultant team for architectural and engineering services for the design of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal in advance of the closing of Site A to meet the design and permitting timeline for construction completion in FY 2019-20.
• On March 15, 2018, the City transferred land for Phase 1 of Site A to APP. At closing, APP provided a promissory note for $10 million for permit, design and construction costs of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal, including associated parking and landside improvements.
• Between April and July, 2018, the City obtained all required City approvals from the Planning Board and Historical Advisory Board for all aspects of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal.
• Since March 2018, City staff and its design team, in cooperation with WETA and APP, have made significant progress preparing the final design and obtaining the permitting approvals required by outside regulatory agencies, such as BCDC. The float component of the project is at 100% construction drawings, and the remaining elements are at 30% construction design.
• Based on the updated designs and current market conditions, the City, APP, WETA and the design team have updated previous cost estimates from multiple sources, which have indicated that the total cost of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal is likely to exceed the 2016 cost estimate of $18.2 million by $4.0 million for a total of $22.2 million. This is due primarily to significant annual construction cost escalation.
• On June 5, 2018, Bay Area voters approved Regional Measure 3 (RM3), a bridge toll increase that once implemented will result in significant funding for capital and operational funds for WETA to implement its Strategic Plan, including expansion service to San Francisco from the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal.
• On June 19, 2018, due to the increased costs, the City Council adopted a budget for FY 2018-19 that included $2.0 million in additional funds for the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal, resulting in $20.2 million in total funding for the project.
• On August 2, 2018, the WETA Board discussed a request from the City for an additional $2.0 million to help cover the increased costs and complete the needed funding for the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal. The WETA Board voiced general support for helping the City with the final required $2.0 million, but made specific requests for WETA staff and the City to address before returning for an action item at their next Board meeting on September 6, 2018.
These requests included: (1) provide information on what existing sources of funds are available to WETA that could be used to provide a funding commitment to the City for $2.0 million next fiscal year since funds from RM3 are not yet available (for WETA staff); (2) modify the MOU to clarify that WETA must agree to any private use of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal (for WETA and City staff); (3) ensure that WETA funds are used as the last funding into the project in the event costs come in lower than expected; and (4) make efforts to obtain a commitment from a prospective hotel developer at Harbor Bay near the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal to agree to enter into a shared parking agreement for ferry parking, upon approval and development of their project (City staff).
Significant progress has been made since the City Council approved the conceptual Ferry Terminal Plan in 2016, including changes to the budget and funding plan, and WETA has requested potential modifications to the MOU. City staff has updated the Ferry Terminal Plan (Exhibit 3). Upon obtaining City Council approval of the updated Ferry Terminal Plan, APP, in consultation with the City and WETA, will enter into a $5.9 million contract to procure the float component of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal the same week. The immediate procurement of the float will allow the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal to be constructed next year and operating in early 2020 as described in greater detail below. If the float procurement is delayed beyond early September, the opening of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal could be significantly delayed, possibly an entire year due to the limited window for in-water construction work.
Regarding the MOU amendments, WETA staff will be seeking additional direction from the WETA Board on September 6 on whether amendments to the MOU are necessary and if so, more precise direction on the nature of those modifications. Depending on the final direction from the WETA Board, City staff may need to return to the City Council at a later date for approval of amendments to the MOU.