A long-held vision to revitalize this city’s decommissioned Army base is nearer reality at the Port of Oakland. Port Commissioners have given initial approval to a landmark deal with CenterPoint Properties for a logistics center at the former base. The tentative agreement caps nearly 15 years of planning for the most-anticipated Port growth project ever. Port officials said today that the agreement includes unprecedented commitments to hire local workers.
“The future is at hand,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle. “We’ve got a great development partner, a great plan for the community and a new direction that will set us apart from competitors once the deal is fully approved.”
The Board of Port Commissioners voted initial approval of the agreement last night. It comes up for final vote Nov. 30. If Commissioners say yes a second time, the deal becomes official in January.
The agreement calls for industrial real estate giant CenterPoint Properties to develop a $52 million logistics facility on Port property that once served as an Army supply depot. Construction would culminate 20 months of negotiations between CenterPoint, the Port, and Revive Oakland and Oakland Works which are coalitions of more than 30 organizations including labor, community and faith partners.
The project would be the first phase of a planned Seaport Logistics Complex that could eventually encompass nearly 180 acres. The vision for the Complex: modern distribution centers, including a railyard, close by marine terminals in the heart of the Port. Port officials said no other U.S. port has the land to duplicate Oakland’s marriage of transportation
and logistics capabilities.
Work on CenterPoint’s 440,000-square-foot building could begin as early as the first quarter of 2018, the Port said. Port officials said the building would be the largest distribution facility at any U.S. West Coast Port.
“We’re pleased to take part in an important growth project for California
’s economy,” said CenterPoint Chief Development Officer Michael Murphy. “The Port of Oakland has a thoughtful vision for the future and with this agreement we can help them bring it to life and provide jobs that give people dignity and allow them to stay in Oakland.”
The Port estimated that the facility could create hundreds of construction and permanent jobs in Oakland. “As the Port of Oakland grows, we also ensure that our neighboring communities benefit from our success,” said Port Social Responsibility Director Amy Tharpe. “Giving local residents from all backgrounds access to good, family-sustaining jobs is central to this project.”