The Oakland Army Base Project that was approved by the Oakland City Council via a first vote on the enabling ordinance, is not out of the woods and on to breaking ground. According to a source who has been involved in the project for years, The California Transportation Commission is in the middle of political battle between the board of commissioners and the staff over the $242 million that was set aside for the Oakland Army Base Project by the CTC.
For those who are just getting up to speed, the Oakland Army Base Project is a result, first, of the closure of the Oakland Army Base itself in June 1995, and then 15 years of plans and studies, and the last two years forming master plans. Here’s a video of what developers Prologis and California Capital and Investment Group plan for the site:
But it’s far from that stage, and where it once looked as if all that was needed was the Oakland City Council’s vote to make sure the $242 million from the CTC remains for the Oakland Army Base Project and not for something else, now that’s in jeopardy.
“We’ve got the city and the Governor’s with us and the CTC board – it’s the staff that’s the problem,” my source said. But City of Oakland staff and California Capital and Investment Group head Phil Tagami made a recent trip to Sacramento to meet with various officials, including those representing the CTC, and to save the $242 Million.
The problem is CTC staff, tired of the massive set of changes to the Oakland Army Base Project – it was at first designed to be a city-within-a-city before circling back to a plan that was originally floated 13 years ago from my memory – wondered if this plan was all they were getting.
It’s too bad the CTC staff doesn’t seem to see that market forces come to play in any project, and its important to heed them – especially in a 300-plus acre development effort. But that’s what the City of Oakland and California Capital and Investment Group find themselves dealing with.
One has to wonder who’s pulling the staff strings at the CTC.