Oak Knoll Naval base about to get facelift

January 12, 2011 12:58:29 PM PST
An abandoned naval base and hospital that has long been a concern of city officials for its neglected buildings, potential for fires and attraction to squatters is about to get a major facelift.

Lehman Brothers was the financial backer in the development of the former Oak Knoll Naval base in the Oakland hills. The 167-acre property fell into disrepair with the bank's financial collapse in 2008.

But a federal judge presiding over the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy case recently ordered the release of $1.7 million to complete major demolition work needed. The money means dilapidated buildings on the site will be demolished, including the largest building on the property, an 11-story hospital.

Oakland City Attorney John Russo, whose office has pushed for the property's clean-up, praised the release of funds from the bankrupt institution.

"Bankruptcy is not a chance to get out of obeying the law," Russo said.

A developer hopes to build 962 homes and 82,000-square-feet of retail space on the former base.