Redevelopment of Oakland Army Base


This morning the crew from Federal Oakland Associates did a presentation about the future of the Oakland Army Base which is located at the southwest corner of the Bay Bridge and the 880/80 freeway intersection. 

While it isn’t yet approved, these guys have some grand plans for the “Grand Gateway.”  Should the City of Oakland accept their approval (which they believe the city will make their decision in the next 60 to 90 days), development will begin on the largest outlet/business/retail space in Oakland in decades.  Artist Commons, the Oakland Film Center, a wholesale produce mart, large, big-box retail sites (just think- Target or Lowes!), a new cineplex (ok, do we SERIOUSLY need ANOTHER movie theater?  I guess Oakland needs their own fancy-schmancy place to sell $4.00 candy bars), a state-of-the-art destination hotel, office space, statue gardens, and more.  In addition the proposed development would include a shuttle going to-and-from BART (like the Emery Go-Round in Emeryville?), a possible ferry landing, and a transit center near the Bay Bridge.  They are even talking about putting BART underground to this area.  I have one word for that: DREAMERS.  They can’t even get BART around the bay. 

Of course this is a great way to provide some much-needed tax revenue for the city of Oakland, and of course this will provide jobs, which are needed.  But WHAT ABOUT THE TRAFFIC???  The traffic on the 80 corridor coming from Berkeley is already treacherous.  Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to go 3 miles.  I brought this question up to the panel and they said that they had a traffic expert on board, but from the looks of it they were only focusing on the freeway stretch once you have passed through the maze.  Not that this section should be downplayed, but if they don’t focus on the Berkeley/Emeryville side, they won’t be getting my business.

Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a great idea, and one that I hope will be approved.  But please please please, no more freeway congestion!

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Go Oaktown!