Election Section

Army hands over base to city of Oakland at no cost

Daily Planet Wire Service
Friday October 04, 2002


OAKLAND – The U.S. Army has agreed to hand over the Oakland Army Base to the city of Oakland at no cost, city officials announced Thursday. 

In a written statement, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown said, “after marathon discussions we are now in a position to complete the toxic clean-up and prepare the base for maritime and commercial use.” 

The city's application for the property transfer was submitted under a no-cost economic development conveyance law. The law, which expired this year, allowed recipients of former bases to direct resources into the development rather than purchase of the land. 

The city plans to redevelop the base to include new waterfront facilities and a signature “gateway” entrance to the city. 

“The mayor and City Council are interested in showcasing the waterfront and increasing public access, including a shoreline route for bikes and pedestrians,” executive director of the Oakland Base Reuse Authority Aliza Gallo said. 

It is estimated the new developments will create more than 8,000 jobs for the Bay Area.  

“We had to demonstrate our ability to plan and ensure a project which would create many job benefits,” said Gallo. 

A large part of the redevelopment will include the use of a $2.4 million federal grant to design and engineer a new infrastructure. In addition, Oakland will perform an environmental cleanup with $13 million in funding from the Army. 

“Our remediation action plan allowed conveyance of the property to the city sooner, saved the army a lot of money and provided a model for other remediation programs.” Gallo said. 

The Oakland Base Reuse Authority began a successful lease program on the base after it was closed in 1999. Approximately 70 tenants now occupy 3 million square feet of space. 

The complete package of documents transferring ownership will be ready for Gov. Gray Davis' approval by the end of the year. A transfer of the deed is expected next spring.