The Alamedan: ELECTION 2014: Gilmore, Spencer vying for mayor's seat, October 2, 2014
ALAMEDA POINT: During Gilmore’s tenure as mayor, the city has secured deeds to hundreds of acres of Alameda Point and approved plans allowing the development of up to 1,425 homes, 5.5 million square feet of commercial space and 291 acres of open space and parks at Alameda Point, and the city is considering finalists to develop 150 acres of the former Naval Air Station and fielding proposals from developers interested in purchasing other acreage. In her response to a question about her vision for the Point – something Gilmore said is already being realized – she said she focused on retaining city control over development of the property and assembling a financially viable development plan with community input that focuses on producing jobs and open space. Gilmore has cast the housing that would be built at the Point – a third of what the city’s prior master developer, SunCal, had proposed – as an “amenity” for businesses intended to reduce traffic and sprawl, and other council members have pushed for the option to develop more housing there. The council has also signed off on developer fees approaching $1 million an acre to fund roads, utilities and protections from sea level rise.
When asked about her vision for Alameda Point, Spencer said she would prioritize wetland and park development and restoration of commercial and industrial areas, job production, and then residential development, “which would require careful planning to ensure that the public’s health is protected.” Specifically, Spencer said the Point offers an opportunity to create a regional park similar to Crab Cove. Spencer – who noted that she gathered signatures to fight SunCal – said she’s concerned about the risks of contamination and that the Point will be over-developed with buildings, and she said other issues – like sea level rise – need to be fully explored and addressed in development plans.