Q: Where can the Proposed Plan be found?
A: The full preliminary Development Plan Amendment application to the City can be accessed through the City’s website and is also summarized and linked through here – where we will continue to host updates as well as links to other complete submissions to the City. There is also a hard copy of the plan at the Main branch of the Alameda Public Library.
Q: What is the environmental impact review process?
A: The City of Alameda will prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EIR will identify the project’s potential environmental impacts, including but not limited to matters relating to: air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and energy, biological resources, cultural resources, geotechnical studies and hazardous materials, land use, noise, and traffic. The first step in the EIR process is for the City to issue a Notice of Preparation (NOP), giving interested parties and public agencies notice of the City’s intent to prepare an EIR, and invite interested parties to an EIR Scoping Meeting to provide feedback of the kinds of analyses to include in the EIR. The EIR scoping session will be scheduled for a planning board meeting at a date yet to be determined.
You can learn more about CEQA and the EIR process here.
Q: What will happen to existing businesses located within redevelopment areas?
A: We are working closely with our tenants throughout the planning process. Beyond what we are bound to through lease agreements, we know that what is good for our tenants is good for us and for Alameda. Phases 1 and 2 require relocation of certain beloved tenants such as South Shore Café, Sushi House, and Pagano’s. Phases 3-6 will only occur if some of our bigger box tenants currently located there ask to downsize or close.
Q: Why not simply stick to retail?
A: Retail is struggling nationally and South Shore Center is no exception. Numerous stores have closed or gone bankrupt (i.e. RadioShack, Beverly’s Fabrics, Charming Charlie, Crazy 8, Payless), and many tenants are struggling to stay open. We believe the businesses at South Shore Center will thrive if more thoughtfully consolidated and supported by other uses, including residential.
Q: Is the soil safe for building and what about sea level rise?
A: We are concerned about both of these issues too! Any new building will meet current building code requirements, including for seismic safety, which are more stringent today than ever before. We will study soil conditions and sea level rise risk and mitigations measure in detail as part of the EIR and share the results as they become available.
Q: How will this project make South Shore Center more bike & pedestrian-friendly?
A: Jamestown has a strong track record of supporting bike and pedestrian infrastructure to encourage multimodal movement, and we will bring these values to South Shore Center. We will continue to work with organizations like Bike Walk Alameda and Bike East Bay to study opportunities to improve bike-ability and walkability of site and include their input in more detailed circulation plans as they are developed.
Q: What kinds of public transit options will the project support?
A: All new residential projects fund Alameda’s Transportation Management Association (TMA), which itself coordinates and funds additional and improved transit with public agencies (such as more frequent service and additional bus stops). We plan to both fund and also be active participants in the TMA.
Q: How will the project provide housing at all income levels?
A: We are committed to working with the City to support inclusionary housing goals, and will comply with related ordinances. Each phase of our project will include at least 16% of income-restricted units at varying levels of affordability – from very low income to moderate income. The exact percentage may increase and vary based on the mix of units for families set aside for very low, low, and moderate incomes. Our proposed program also includes 238 assisted living units.