On Wednesday, April 12, the Navy will auction off part of its long vacant military housing known as North Housing. The opening bid for the 14.9-acre parcel is $5 million. The online auction is being conducted by the federal General Services Administration.
In the coming months, another part of the North Housing neighborhood will be given to the Alameda Housing Authority and to Habitat for Humanity, and the former Island High School and Woodstock Child Development Center in the neighborhood will be given to Alameda Unified School District.
A complicated land disposal process for the area began about 10 years ago when the Coast Guard decided not to accept the housing site. Coast Guard personnel had been living in the Navy-owned townhouses until they vacated in 2005. The Coast Guard manages its adjacent Marina Village Family Housing complex between the North Housing and Bayport neighborhoods.
In a deal worked out with the city, 13 acres will go to the the city’s Housing Authority to provide 90 units of homeless accommodations, along with a community center and park space. A two-acre “self-help parcel” will go to Habitat for Humanity for 30 units. The remaining market-rate parcel, which will be sold at auction, is comprised of 14.9 acres and is authorized for 315 housing units. The land disposal deal became an amendment to the 1996 Community Reuse Plan for the naval air station.
“The Navy expects to close escrow with the successful bidder(s) late in calendar year 2017 or early 2018,” said Anthony Megliola, Base Closure Manager for the Navy.
“The Navy is extremely excited to see this property moving into the transfer and redevelopment stages after so many years of effort spent on the environmental cleanup and reuse planning efforts,” said Megliola. “It will be especially gratifying to see a revitalized community that includes new school facilities, a park with sports fields, and new housing replace the existing site which has stood dormant for many years.”
The new owner-developer of the market rate parcel, which has been given the name Admirals Cove, will be required to construct all new infrastructure, along with extending Mosley Avenue and Singleton Avenue to their terminus to the east in Alameda Landing. The developer must also create a utility district to fund ongoing maintenance so as not to burden the city’s general fund. It is anticipated that all of the buildings will be demolished and a new street grid constructed between Singleton Avenue and Mosley Avenue. The housing will be a mix of apartments and townhouses.
Moving forward with the homeless and self-help housing and the school facilities is dependent upon the timeline of the new market rate developer and the construction of new infrastructure. The high school and child development center, for example, are in need of a new water main along Singleton Avenue. The homeless and self-help housing sites are dependent on new infrastructure to tie into. The Housing Authority and Habitat for Humanity parcels are adjacent to the Alameda Landing residential and commercial neighborhood where Target is located.
The total number of housing units that will be built in the market rate area is yet to be known. While the reuse plan amendment stipulates a total of 315 units, with 15 percent being affordable, the developer could apply for a density bonus of up to a 35 percent increase. The density bonus allows for additional market rate units to be constructed if a certain number of additional affordable units are built, depending on the formula for the percentage increase requested. The maximum increase would be 110 units.
“The Navy thanks the community for its patience as we worked through this multi-faceted land disposal process,” said Megliola.
Estuary Park in the North Housing area was given to the city about two years ago. New all-weather lighted sports fields are already under construction.
Originally published in the Alameda Sun.
North Housing Amendment to 1996 Community Reuse Plan for Naval Air Station-Alameda.