It is a well known fact that redevelopment takes far more time and effort and funding than building from scratch. The redevelopment of former military bases, where the planning and clean up take years, are riddled with set backs, litigation and funding shortfalls.
Here in the Bay Area we have a number of exciting new base redevelopment projects under way which will ultimately effect multi-family housing. The Concord Naval Weapon station, the Alameda Point and the Oakland Army Base are three big projects and part of the East Bay major base reuse plan. The fall of redevelopment agencies has further complicated the issue by stretching out the completion of these major projects.
According to Michael Wright, director of community reuse planning for the City of Concord, the blow is rather big, as it affects most military bases involved in some form of redevelopment. Rules for redevelopment generally allow federal agencies and cities to borrow, as well as to continue incremental taxing, for sites that have recently been redeveloped. Large tracts of vacant land could be put to use for research facilities or corporate campus, which usually need 100 to 150 acres of land. The Bay Area has an incredible future with respect to base redevelopment, particularly Alameda Point and Oakland Army bases with their waterfront locations.
Concord has been in the process of reuse planning since 2006 and is now actively involved in the development plan for a 5,000 acre site. It proposes to leave 3,500 acres free as open space (which will be highly desirable for future tenants and apartment owners) and use the rest for commercial buildings and housing. Jenniffer Ott, who is project manager of Alameda Point, and her team are pushing for a new state law that will allow tax increment funding to be maintained, however it is unclear if redevelopment funding will be sufficient. Alameda Point is in desperate need of clean up, funding and direction. It is an incredible jewel of the Bay Area in terms of location and Alameda residents have been patiently waiting for something to be done there.