File #: 2018-5471   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Planning Board
On agenda: 4/18/2018
Title: Study Session to Review Architectural Concepts for Reuse of the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters as a Technology Campus at Alameda Point
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - The Campus at Spirits Point dated April 18, 2018



Study Session to Review Architectural Concepts for Reuse of the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters as a Technology Campus at Alameda Point





To:                     Honorable Chairs and

                     Members of the Historical Advisory Board and Planning Board


From:                     Jennifer Ott, Base Reuse and Transportation Planning Director

                     Michelle Giles, Redevelopment Planning Manager




Since the closure of Naval Air Station Alameda (NAS Alameda), one of the primary goals for the redevelopment of the base has been the replacement of the approximately 18,000 jobs that were lost in Alameda when the base closed.  The Community Reuse Plan (1996), and the General Plan Amendment (2014), have identified the reuse of existing buildings, specifically in the NAS Historic District, as an effective and appropriate job generating strategy for Alameda.

Since the departure of the Navy in 1996, all of the existing large hangars in the Historic District have been leased for employment generating uses.  However, a few of the largest buildings, such as the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) remain vacant because they are in need of significant investment. 

The BEQ complex is comprised of five individual buildings on 21 acres with approximately 500,000 square feet of floor area.   The BEQ has remained vacant since the Navy’s departure and has been severely vandalized over the years. 

Given its campus-like configuration, staff believes that the BEQ complex might have broad appeal among tech companies that desire unique and authentic spaces and are increasingly interested in socially responsible adaptive reuse of historic buildings, such as the Twitter and Airbnb headquarters in San Francisco.  With an excellent location in the middle of the NAS Historic District; adjacent to wineries, distilleries, breweries, and other high tech companies like Google, Wrightspeed, Saildrone, Natel Energy, and Astra Space; walking distance from the Main Street ferry terminal and the future Seaplane Lagoon ferry terminal; and adjacent to existing and future athletic facilities and open space, including over five miles of waterfront bike and running paths on Alameda Point, the BEQ has many of the qualities that are sought after by tech companies in the Bay Area and around the world.

To demonstrate the potential of the BEQ as a tech campus and to draw the interest of potential users and developers, staff is consulting with a team of architects and interior designers, with experience working with technology firms in the Bay Area.   The goal of this work is to prepare a Request for Proposals (RFP) with concept renderings and possible floorplan configurations for a specific tech campus user or developer.  The November 21, 2017 City Council report awarding the contract to BAR Architects is available at the following link as background: <>


The BEQ is an important contributor to the NAS Historic District, and any changes to the exterior of the building would require both a Certificate of Approval from the Historical Advisory Board (HAB) and a Design Review approval from the Planning Board. At this time, staff would like to invite the Planning Board and HAB to review some of the initial materials that have been prepared that might be used in a future RFP to attract interest to the BEQ. These initial ideas are included in Exhibit 1.     The materials are designed to introduce potential end users to the opportunity represented by the BEQ as a future headquarters and employment campus. In addition, the materials attempt to illustrate some ideas and suggestions about the types of modifications or changes to the site or the buildings that the City might be willing to consider for the right end user if changes are needed to accommodate an office user in this building complex that was originally designed to serve as a dormitory for Naval personnel.  

Although staff is very interested in attracting a good company by showing off the complex and the possibilities and opportunities to adaptively reuse the structure for a modern employment location or headquarters, staff does not want to include any design ideas or concepts that either the Planning Board or the HAB would not be willing to consider at a later date.  

Therefore, at this time, staff is soliciting comments on the draft materials in Exhibit 1 from both the Planning Board and HAB.  In particular, if there any design concepts that either Board believes are not appropriate for the site or the building, staff would like those potential problem proposals identified at this time.


Staff will also be providing an opportunity for the Planning Board, Historical Advisory Board, and public to tour the complex at 5:30 PM on April 18, 2018.  Additional details on the tour will be provided in a separate document.  




Feasibility and planning studies for possible future action which has not been approved, adopted or funded is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guideline section 15262. 




Review and comment on the architectural concepts for reuse of the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters as a technology campus at Alameda Point as shown in Exhibit 1.


Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Ott, Base Reuse and Transportation Planning Department Director



Michelle Giles, Redevelopment Project Manager, Base Reuse




1.                     The Campus at Spirits Point dated April 18, 2018