The Oakland Conduit: When SunCal Came to Town, August 4, 2017


In the four-plus years that Southern California developer SunCal unsuccessfully tried to redevelop the old Alameda Naval Air Station, it backed a ballot measure that 85 percent of Alameda voters rejected; got involved in a public transparency scandal involving a city councilmember; spent record sums of money trying to influence local elections; and forced the city to pay out $4.1 million in a legal settlement.

That’s what happened when SunCal came to Alameda.

SunCal, which is now trying to redevelop the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital property in the Oakland Hills, wasn’t the Alameda City Council’s first choice to redo the old Naval Air Station property, now known as Alameda Point. The Point was originally going to be developed by Alameda Point Community Partners (APCP), a coalition of private financiers, but APCP had to back out due to economic concerns. After APCP dropped out, the Council requested that Catellus Development Group and Lennar Urban form a partnership to redevelop the former Naval Base, but the companies’ efforts to do so were unsuccessful. Then city staff recommended that the Council select Catellus as the sole developer, but the Council rejected that idea and selected SunCal in a 3-2 vote in 2007.[1]