San Francisco Examiner: Oakland Waits to Catch a Break, December 20, 2010


Then there was the former Oakland Naval Hospital, also known as the Oak Knoll Medical Center. Located in the hills above the MacArthur Freeway, the hospital complex was a source of pride for both the city and the US government. Construction began in 1941 to provide support for the war effort. By 1945, the hospital was caring for more than 6,000 patients with a military and civilian staff of 3,000. At one point, the total number of buildings on the 220-acre campus was about 135 including a chapel, Navy exchange, library, swimming pool, tennis court and extensive living quarters for staff. The hospital provided care in the region to nearly 200,000 active duty and retired military personnel and their dependents.

Then, in 1993 Congress consolidated military facilities throughout the country as part of its Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program. Oak Knoll was among those selected for closure.

The property was eventually sold by the General Services Administration in June 2002 for $22.5 million to SunCal Companies, an Orange County developer. The developer was to convert the abandoned property into a mix of apartments, townhouses and single-family homes; there was also talk of establishing a charter school on the site.