Alameda to see first major construction project in decades at former Naval Air station

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The city of Alameda has not seen new market rate, multi-family housing for more than 40 years. After years of waiting, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the start of a big waterfront development on the former Naval Air Station. (KGO-TV)

The city of Alameda has not seen new market rate, multi-family housing for more than 40 years. After years of waiting, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the start of a big waterfront development on the former Naval Air Station.

The entire Alameda Naval Air Base was officially closed in 1997. The economic impact of that closure was felt almost immediately.

It took years for Alameda to recover and just as long to come up with a plan to develop the site.

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The wait is over as Alameda broke ground Wednesday to begin a major development project on the former Naval Air Station.

"Eight hundred residential units and roughly 100,000 square-feet of retail space," said Bruce Dorfman, with Trammell Crow Residential, a managing partner of the project.

This will be mixed housing, including 130 units of affordable housing for low and very low-income households. It will be called Alameda Point.

The mayor, Trish Herrera Spencer, touched upon one of the biggest concerns here -- congestion. "The Posey Tube is not sufficient, we have to solve that problem," she told a group of people attending Wednesday's ceremony.

Besides the Posey and Webster tubes, there are only a few options to get to and from Alameda.

The city and the developers say the only way to make this work is to create a less car-dependent lifestyle.

"The city has a pretty robust strategy, including adding a third ferry terminal and this development is paying $10 million towards that terminal, putting into place transit service, bus service," said Jennifer Ott, Director of Base Reuse and Transportation for the City of Alameda.

Those shuttles will run every 15 minutes during peak times, dropping people off at the 12th Street BART station. The ferry will be located at Alameda Point.

The project will give Alameda a much-needed tax revenue.

"We have thousands of square footage of commercial space also being developed and that's going to allow for innovation and growth right in the heart of the Bay," said Malia Vella, Alameda's Vice Mayor.

The first residential units will be completed by late 2019.

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