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File #: 2015-2143   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Planning Board
On agenda: 10/12/2015
Title: Hold a public workshop on the proposed conceptual approach and process for design review of the initial phase of Site A development.
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Presentation on Conceptual Approach and Process for Design Review of Initial Phase of Site A Development, 2. Exhibit 2 - Final Development Plan

Title

 

Hold a public workshop on the proposed conceptual approach and process for design review of the initial phase of Site A development.

 

 

Body

 

BACKGROUND

 

This staff report provides an overview of the planning efforts that have been completed to date for the redevelopment of the 68-acre Site A property at Alameda Point.  This overview is provided for the general public, community members that are new to the Alameda Point planning process, and for the Planning Board’s two new members. 

 

In addition, this report introduces a conceptual approach and process for design review of the initial phase of the Site A project, including preliminary design concepts for the first new buildings to be constructed at Site A. (Exhibit 1)

 

Comments received at the October 12, 2015 public workshop will inform the upcoming work with the Planning Board’s Site A Design Review Sub-committee, as well as the developer, Alameda Point Partners (APP), and it’s design team, consisting of a variety of architects tasked with designing the different blocks within Site A.

 

DISCUSSION

 

This staff report provides: (1) a summary of the Site A and Alameda Point community planning process; (2) an overview of the Site A Development Plan and project; and (3) a discussion of the conceptual approach and process for design review of an initial phase of the Site A development.

 

I.                     Community Planning Process

 

On May 11, 2015, the Planning Board unanimously approved the Alameda Point Site A Development Plan.  

 

On June 16, 2015, the City Council unanimously upheld the Planning Board’s decision to approve the Site A Development Plan.  

 

The City Council’s action was made possible by a unique and extensive community-based planning process that began in 1993, and continued for over 20 years.   The major milestones during this extensive community effort include:

 

                     The adoption of the 1996 Alameda Naval Air Station Community Reuse Plan (Community Reuse Plan) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in 1998, which envisioned reuse and redevelopment of Alameda Point with 5.5 million square feet of employment uses and 1,425 residential units.

 

                     The adoption of the Alameda General Plan Alameda Point Element and EIR in 2003, which placed the Reuse Plan vision into the Alameda General Plan.

 

                     The July 2013 endorsement of the Alameda Point Vision Guide reconfirming the community’s support for the vision and goals presented in the Community Reuse Plan and General Plan.

 

                     The adoption of the Alameda Point Zoning Ordinance, Master Infrastructure Plan (MIP) and third EIR consistent with the Community Reuse Plan in 2014, which established the zoning and development regulations and the infrastructure improvement requirements necessary to support 5.5 million square feet of employment uses and 1,425 residential units, after over 30 public hearings and community meetings.

 

                     The May 2014 adoption of the Alameda Point Transportation Demand Management Plan (TDM Plan) consistent with the General Plan and the Alameda Point EIR, which creates a comprehensive program of strategies, measures, and transit services that supports a transit-oriented development at Alameda Point, achieves the City of Alameda’s General Plan goals to reduce automobile trips, and mitigates potential traffic impacts.

 

                     The July 2014 adoption of the Alameda Point Waterfront and Town Center Plan (Town Center Plan) which established the form-based development standards, height limits and pedestrian oriented development standards for the lands at the gateway and surrounding the Seaplane Lagoon at the heart of Alameda Point. 

 

                     Monthly meetings from January 2015 through June 2015, with both the Planning Board and the City Council to review progress and develop the Site A Development Plan prepared by APP.   This work was also informed by meetings with the Recreation and Parks Commission, Historical Advisory Board, Transportation Commission, and public open houses and public walking tours.

 

II.                     Overview of Site A Development Plan

 

The approved Site A Development Plan (Exhibit 2) implements the Community Reuse Plan, General Plan, the Zoning Ordinance for Alameda Point, and the requirements of the MIP and Town Center Plan.    The Site A Development Plan and project includes:

 

                     Eight hundred of the 1,425 total residential units programmed for Alameda Point and up to 400,000 square feet of commercial development in existing buildings, approximately 200,000 square feet of retail and hotel space in new buildings.

 

                     Approximately 15 acres of publicly accessible open space, parks and plazas representing approximately 22% of the 68-acre property, and approximately 16.3 acres of public streets and sidewalks representing an additional 24% of the property. 

 

                     Residential units are provided in multifamily building types on eight blocks located immediately adjacent to the primary transit corridor along the Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway (RAMP) that links a future ferry terminal at the Seaplane Lagoon with the planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service between Site A and downtown Oakland.  

 

                     All residential units on Site A will be within a one-block walk or less of the BRT line, protected bicycle lanes along RAMP and public open space to facilitate a pedestrian oriented environment.

 

                     Of the 800 units, approximately 635 of the units will be in stacked flat buildings over parking and approximately 165 of the units will be in attached or stacked townhomes and row houses.

 

                     To create a comfortable transition between the adjacent Bayport neighborhood and the commercial center at the Seaplane Lagoon, the height and residential density of the eight residential blocks increase along RAMP and across Site A from Main Street to the Seaplane Lagoon.  The blocks facing Main Street and the Bayport neighborhood are the lowest density blocks with three-story townhomes. The blocks closest to the Seaplane Lagoon and the commercial center of the project will provide space for the higher density multifamily housing units that will support the commercial uses and waterfront activities.

 

                     To facilitate a pedestrian oriented “town center” environment, Development Plan Blocks 3, 4, 8, 9, and 11 will have ground floor retail and/or adaptive spaces facing RAMP. (See Exhibit 2 for map of blocks)

 

                     Existing buildings will be marketed primarily for flexible R&D, office and/or light industrial and retail uses or ancillary retail uses.  These uses are complementary to existing uses within the Adaptive Reuse Area, which include clean-tech companies and food and beverage manufacturing production.

 

                     A TDM Compliance Strategy that includes dedicated annual funding for transit services and transportation programs.

 

                     $10 million for construction of the new Ferry Terminal at the Seaplane Lagoon to support expanded ferry services to San Francisco and the region.

 

                     Over $8.5 million to construct complete streets in and around Alameda Point, including key transit improvements, such as dedicated bus lanes on RAMP to support expanded transit services from Alameda Point to downtown Oakland and BART.  

 

                     200 of the 800 units (25%) restricted to very low-, low- and moderate-income households.  The other 600 units will be market rate units. 

 

                     One hundred twenty-eight (128) of the 200 affordable units permanently restricted for very low-, low- and moderate-income households.  These units are proposed to be constructed by Eden Housing, a nonprofit affordable housing developer, in one or two buildings on a shared or separate podium on Block 8 in the first phase of the development.  Eden Housing is exploring either providing 128 units for very low-, low-income family housing or 50% of the units as low- and very low income senior housing and the remaining 50% as very low- or low-income family housing.  Eden Housing will also provide long-term property management and resident services targeted to the needs of its residents. 

 

                     Seventy-two (72) moderate-income units will be dispersed throughout the remaining residential blocks of Site A in buildings to be constructed as part of the APP Site A Development Plan.    

 

                     The initial phase of the Site A development includes Blocks 1(a), 6-11, 18, and portions of 19, consisting of 669 housing units, approximately 100,000 square feet of commercial space, and five acres of publicly accessible parks and open space.

 

III.                     Conceptual Approach and Process for Design Review

 

Over the next six months, APP, a variety of architects and engineers, City staff, and the Site A Design Review Planning Board Subcommittee will begin work on a number of independent, but interrelated efforts to implement the initial phase of the Site A Development Plan, including design review for buildings, landscaping on RAMP, and the public parks and waterfront improvements. 

 

The Planning Board is responsible for the review and approval of the architectural design of each building, landscaping of streets, and public parks within Site A.   Portions of Site A also require approval by the Historical Advisory Board because they are located within the boundaries of the Naval Air Station Historic District.  The Recreation and Parks Commission also reviews and comments on the design review of public parks. 

 

The Site A Design Review Planning Board Subcommittee will be meeting with City staff and the architects for each block (per the Development Plan, no two adjacent blocks may be designed by the same architectural team) to review and comment on initial design concepts and prepare recommendations for consideration by the full Planning Board.  

 

The APP team anticipates that the first three blocks to be presented to the public and the Planning Board for consideration as part of the initial phase of the Site A development will be Block 8 (128 units of affordable family and affordable senior housing), Block 9 (182 multifamily units and 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail), and Block 11 (200 multifamily units and 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail).  Blocks 1(a), 6, 7, 10, 18, and portions of 19 will be presented later in the design review process. 

 

As described above, the Site A Development Plan established the location, configuration, and size of each public park, but work still needs to be done to finalize the design details, sea-level rise protections for the waterfront park, and final programing for the parks.   APP plans to begin the park planning process with the subcommittee and the the Recreation and Parks Commission with the Seaplane Lagoon waterfront park on Block 19.  Once the Recreation and Park Commission has reviewed the final plan for the park, the Subcommittee and staff will make a final recommendation to the full Planning Board on the park design.   When the Seaplane Lagoon park is ready for full Planning Board review, APP, staff and the subcommittee will also make a final recommendation on the landscaping plans for the extension of RAMP within Alameda Point and the entry design at Main Street. 

 

Exhibit 1 includes initial design and architectural concepts and ideas for the first phase of the Site A development for public and Planning Board comments with a focus on the first three blocks (Blocks 8, 9, and 11).    

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

On February 4, 2014, the City of Alameda certified the Alameda Point FEIR in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  The FEIR evaluated the environmental impacts of redevelopment and reuse of the lands at Alameda Point consistent with the Alameda Point Waterfront and Town Center Plan, which included Site A.   No further review is required for this status report.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Hold a public workshop on the proposed conceptual approach and process for design review of the initial phase of Site A development. 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

Andrew Thomas, Assistant Community Development Director

Jennifer Ott, Chief Operating Officer - Alameda Point

 

 

Exhibits:

1.                     Presentation on Conceptual Approach and Process for Design Review of Initial Phase of Site A Development

2.                     Approved Site A Development Plan