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File #: 2014-1128   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Planning Board
On agenda: 12/8/2014
Title: Development Plan PLN14-0689 for adaptive reuse of the Bachelors' Enlisted Men's Quarters located at 2401 Lexington Street. The site is located within the Alameda Point Adaptive Reuse Zoning District. An Alameda Point Environmental Impact Report was prepared and certified in February 2014 that evaluated the potential environmental impacts of adaptive reuse of the historic district including this building.
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Applicant’s Statement, 2. Exhibit 2 - Draft Development Plan, 3. Exhibit 3 - Draft Resolution
Title
 
Development Plan PLN14-0689 for adaptive reuse of the Bachelors' Enlisted Men's Quarters located at 2401 Lexington Street.  The site is located within the Alameda Point Adaptive Reuse Zoning District.  An Alameda Point Environmental Impact Report was prepared and certified in February 2014 that evaluated the potential environmental impacts of adaptive reuse of the historic district including this building.
 
Body
 
CITY OF ALAMEDA
    Memorandum
 
To:            Honorable President and
            Members of the Planning Board
      
From:         Andrew Thomas
City Planner
 
Date:      December 8, 2014
 
Re:      Development Plan PLN14-0689 for adaptive reuse of the Bachelors' Enlisted Men's Quarters located at 2401 Lexington Street.  The site is located within the Alameda Point Adaptive Reuse Zoning District.  An Alameda Point Environmental Impact Report was prepared and certified in February 2014 that evaluated the potential environmental impacts of adaptive reuse of the historic district including this building.
 
BACKGROUND
The applicant, Alameda United Commercial (AUC) is proposing to purchase, rehabilitate and adaptively reuse the Bachelors' Enlisted Men's Quarters (BEQ) located at 2401 Lexington Street.  
 
The BEQ complex (Buildings #2, #3, and #4) was constructed by the U.S. Navy in 1940, to provide facilities for the boarding, dining and recreating of enlisted men.  AUC is proposing to adaptively reuse the building for a variety of uses, including: offices, senior assisted living, and an international boarding school. The proposal does not include any residential units. Exhibit 1 includes a brief description of AUC's proposal for the site.
 
In February 2014, the City Council approved the Alameda Point Zoning District and the Alameda Point Environmental Impact Report (EIR).   Under the Alameda Point Zoning District, the BEQ property is zoned Alameda Point Adaptive Reuse (AR).  The AR zoning district establishes the list of permitted uses for the properties in the sub-district and the development standards for the reuse of existing buildings.  The Alameda Point EIR establishes the required environmental mitigations that must be imposed on each development plan to ensure that impacts to the environment are minimized or eliminated.  
 
On August 1, 2014, the City Council entered into an Exclusive Negotiations Agreement (ENA) with AUC for the BEQ.  Under the ENA, AUC has six months to negotiate a Disposition and Development Agreement for review and approval by the City Council.  During the six month period, AUC is required by the ENA to submit a proposed development plan for the site for Planning Board review and approval.   
 
On November 3, 2014, AUC submitted its draft Development Plan and Tentative Map application for City review. (Exhibit 2)  Staff is still evaluating the tentative map.  City staff is currently working on a phased infrastructure improvement plan for the property.  Once complete, the infrastructure improvement plan will be included with the tentative map for Planning Board review and approval at a future meeting.   
 
ANALYSIS
The BEQ complex is a 518,219 square foot group of three buildings that formerly served as dormitory and dining facilities for enlisted naval personnel and associated office and support services. The total site area is approximately 957,043 square feet, which includes the building footprint and the surrounding parking and landscaping.  The subject development plan does not include the interior lawn which is zoned for open space and is currently used by youth soccer leagues.   
 
The building has been vacant for almost 18 years, and is in very poor condition. Thieves have entered the building to remove any materials that have any value (i.e. copper), and others have entered the building to simply vandalize the property.  Interior features such as bathrooms and windows have been destroyed, walls have been damaged and covered in graffiti, toilets have been smashed, and many exterior windows have been broken.  The roof is leaking, which is causing problems with mold and damage to the interior spaces. Despite its poor condition, the building is one of the most important contributing buildings to the NAS Historic District.  
 
The applicant is proposing to:
 
·      Adaptively reuse the BEQ Building with a mix of uses including a school with boarding facilities, senior assisted living, and office use.
 
·      Rehabilitate the building and the site, including the cultural landscape, consistent with the Secretary of Interior Standards as required by the Alameda Point Zoning.
 
·      Improve and expand the parking areas on the site to support the new uses. All the parking will be shared among the uses.
 
·      Replace and improve the adjacent public infrastructure, including the streets, storm water, waste water and other utilities, consistent with the requirements of the Alameda Point Master Infrastructure Plan. (The street sections shown on Sheet BEQ-6 and 7 are taken from the Master Infrastructure Plan.)
 
·      Implement each of the applicable mitigation measures from the Alameda Point EIR and all required conditions set forth in the Biological Opinion issued by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife and Alameda Point Lighting Mitigation Measures.
 
Pursuant to the Disposition and Development Agreement, the applicant is required to request Development Plan review and approval for the proposal.  Staff believes the findings can be made for development plan approval at this time.  The recommended findings are included in the attached resolution of approval.   
 
In addition, under the Alameda Municipal Code, the project will also require Design Review approval from the Planning Board and a Certificate of Approval from the Historical Advisory Board.   These subsequent approvals will be considered at a later date when the applicant has more information about the specific users and the changes necessary to accommodate the uses in the building and parking areas.  For example, additional exiting doors and ADA ramps may be necessary for particular uses.  Once these changes are identified and designed, staff will be able to evaluate the design changes for consistency with the Secretary of Interior Standards and make a recommendation to the Historical Advisory Board for the Certificate of Approval.   To determine the maximum number of parking spaces permitted and the minimum number of bicycle parking facilities needed, staff needs to know the exact number of square feet to be dedicated to office space, the number of rooms and employees in the assisted living facility, and the number of students and employees in the school.  Conditions of approval on this development plan require that once this information is known, the applicant will return to the Planning Board for Design Review approval at which time the Board will be able to review the changes to the exterior of the building, the final parking lot size and design, the final number and location of the bicycle facilities, and other final design changes to the building and site prior to issuance of a building permit.  Although some of the specific design changes are not currently know, the applicant has shown in his development plan where he proposes to place the future automobile and bicycle parking.  As shown in the attached plans, the site is large enough for multiple bicycle and automobile parking areas and up to as many as 1,000 parking spaces.  
 
As detailed in the attached resolution, staff does believe that the Planning Board can make the findings for Development Plan approval at this time. The rational for the findings of approval is summarized below:     
 
·      The Development Plan provides for the adaptive reuse of the existing BEQ complex with a variety of uses that are permitted by the Zoning Ordinance and are compatible with the historic use and character of the building.  The Alameda Point Adaptive Reuse District permits office uses and educational uses by right.  Although the Assisted Living facilities are not specifically identified as a permitted use, the use is similar in character to a number of other permitted uses in the district and is consistent with the intent of the district which is to encourage uses that are compatible with the character and preservation of the Historic District.  The BEQ complex was originally designed to provide group sleeping, eating and recreating space, as well as some office uses.   The current proposal included sleeping, eating and recreating space for a school and senior assisted living and office space. Conditions of approval require that all final design details and improvements to the building and landscaping be reviewed for consistency with the Secretary of Interior Standards by the Historical Advisory Board and for consistency with the Design Review findings and Alameda Point zoning provisions by Planning Board prior to issuance of any building or site improvement permits.
 
·      The proposed use and improvements will support the preservation of the historic resource and provide much needed re-investment in the property and infrastructure.  
 
·      The proposed development supports General Plan policies encouraging preservation of the Alameda Point Historic District and General Plan policies in support of economic development, attraction of new businesses and institutional uses, and employment opportunities at Alameda Point.
 
·      The Development Plan will improve access to Alameda Point.  The project includes pedestrian and bicycle improvements and support for the Alameda Point Transportation Demand Management transit services. The Development Plan is conditioned to require that the uses of the site will provide financial support to expand transit services to the Alameda Point and the users of the property.  
 
 
PUBLIC NOTICE and Comments
Property owners, tenants, and residents within 3,000 feet of the BEQ complex were notified of the public hearing and given the opportunity to review and comment on the proposal.  As of the writing of this report, no comments have been received by staff.
 
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW
On February 4, 2014, the City of Alameda certified the Alameda Point EIR.  The EIR evaluated the environmental impacts of redevelopment and reuse of the lands at Alameda Point, including the adaptive reuse of the BEQ facilities.   Consistent with the February 2014 action, the attached resolution requires that the project proponent comply with, and implement, all the relevant mitigations measures adopted by the City Council in February 2014, for redevelopment and reuse of the properties at Alameda Point, including the BEQ.
 
RECOMMENDATION
Approve the Development Plan pages BEQ-1 through BEQ-8 in Exhibit 2.  A draft resolution of approval is attached as Exhibit 3.
 
 
Respectfully Submitted,
 
 
 
Andrew Thomas
City Planner
 
 
 
Exhibits:
 
 
1.      Applicant's Statement
2.      Draft Development Plan
3.      Draft Resolution