For more than a decade, the City of Alameda has developed a series of aligned planning initiatives to redevelop the Northern Waterfront and to transform it from industrial uses into a mixed-use and residential district comprised of compatible and complementary uses. After substantial public input, the City specifically designated Alameda Marina for mixed-use redevelopment as well as a multifamily housing site to fulfill Alameda’s Housing Element commitments.
Below is the series of historical events which have led Pacific Shops, Inc., the property owner, to where we are today in our planning for the future of Alameda Marina.
Since 1950, Alameda Marina has served primarily as an industrial boating and marine craft maintenance and storage facility. Located along Alameda’s Northern Waterfront, between Clement Avenue and the Oakland/Alameda Estuary, this 44 acre facility currently houses dry storage for boats and recreational vehicles, as well as some light industrial and professional service-oriented businesses.
In 2000, Alameda created the Northern Waterfront Advisory Committee, a 15-person advisory panel representing a range of community members, area property owners, and local business interests. They are tasked with managing an active community planning process to present recommendations for reuse and redevelopment of vacant land along the waterfront.
NWAC’s 2002 recommendations for the Northern Waterfront were “to promote and facilitate redevelopment of the area with a mix of uses…[where] existing non-conforming land uses and the inherent land use incompatibilities between industrial and residential uses [will] gradually be replaced with a more cohesive land use pattern.”
In 2005, Svend Svensen learned that Pacific Shops, Inc., the owner of Alameda Marina, was interested in selling. The Svendsens formed a partnership with Bill Poland with the objective of acquiring PSI for the specific purpose of redeveloping Alameda Marina for its highest and best use, while keeping it in alignment with the vision of the City of Alameda.
In 2006, the Svendsen family and the Bill and Mary Poland Family Trust purchased Pacific Shops, Inc. 49.999% of the ownership was with the Svendsen Family Trust and 50.001% was with the Bill and Mary Poland Family Trust.
Director & President
Note: Svendsen’s Boat Works is an entirely separate business that leases property from PSI.
Northern Waterfront General Plan Amendment
After review by the public, the Planning Board, the City Council, and by several City Commissions, the City Council amended and incorporated the NWAC’s recommendations into the Northern Waterfront General Plan Amendment for the Western Portion of the Northern Waterfront. Alameda Marina lies outside the boundaries of the NWGPA to the east.
General Plan Housing Element
A city’s Housing Element identifies the existing housing stock in the city, projects housing needs, and identifies adequate sites for housing for all economic segments of a community. It includes the city’s commitment to multifamily housing development to meet the city’s share of its region’s affordable housing needs.
In 2011, the City of Alameda faced a lawsuit for failure to adopt the 2007-2014 Housing Element, In response, in 2012, the City of Alameda conducted outreach for compliance with the 2007-2014 Housing Element. Outreach included several Planning Board hearings, a City Council hearing, publication of the City staff report with proposed sites for multifamily housing (including Alameda Marina), and notifications to nearby residents via mail and via local newspaper notices.
The City of Alameda and PSI entered into a new lease of the state-owned Marina and waterfront property in anticipation of the City’s adoption of the Housing Element.
The lease required that PSI propose “a mixed use commercial and/or residential and/or industrial project…” and provides that a “financeable, long-term lease (66 years) will be granted only if PSI obtains final approvals for the “demolition and/or replacement and/or comprehensive rehabilitation of existing improvements on the [property] and construction of a new, higher-value project…”
The Lease further requires PSI to:
By the end of 2016: Submit to the City a complete development plan application setting forth PSI’s development proposal.
By the end of 2019: Obtain final approval of the proposed development plan, as well as the issuance of all other permits and land use entitlements, including financing for the final phase of the development project.
City Council adopts Housing Element (2007-2014) and designates Alameda Marina as a Site for Mixed Use/Multifamily Residential Rezoning
PSI hires Bay West Development Group to pursue entitlements for the mixed use/multi-family (MX/MF) redevelopment of Alameda Marina.
PSI’s Board of Directors, including Sean Svendsen, unanimously approve the engagement of Bay West to redevelop the property for residential and mixed-use purposes and obtain the necessary entitlements.
In 2016, PSI has continued to have discussions with our tenants, community members, local elected officials and other stakeholders to work towards building a plan for the redevelopment of Alameda Marina that help it fulfill all of its requirements to make critical infrastructure investments to shore up the marina, preserve Alameda’s unique maritime heritage, and provide a boost to the City’s housing stock. Highlights of our activity in 2016 include: meetings and discussions with city staff and elected officials including this letter from PSI’s Bill Poland, a walking tour for the community and the City Council, and representation at City Council meetings regarding the future of the Northern Waterfront. Most recently, we spoke at an April 19 City Council where we, along with our supporters, presented our thoughts on how to best proceed with zoning along the Northern Waterfront. You can watch the footage from this meeting here. As required by our lease, we expect to submit a development plan this year.