Special Meetings to Sell Site B are CANCELLED

THE SPECIAL MEETINGS FOR THE SALE OF SITE B HAVE BEEN CANCELLED

On September 4th the Emeryville Successor Agency (City council) had a closed session meeting to discuss the sale of Site B, and they apparently decided not to move forward at this time. We have to assume their ERN will expire and the Agency will have to sell the property on the open market to the highest bidder. We suspect Site A may also have to be sold as well since the hotel project did not go forward.

It seems every time there is going to be an agenda item to approve items for Madison Marquette, they are always postponed after meetings have been set. This is frustrating for community activists who seek to have people attend, and then without public announcement, the meetings are suddenly canceled.

We believe Staff and Madison will find a way for them to acquire the site.?

CITY STAFF REQUESTS TWO SPECIAL MEETINGS TO SELL SITE B TO MADISON MARQUETTE

The Emeryville Successor Agency (former Redevelopment Agency) will hold to a Special Meeting on September 19th at 5:30pm in the City Council Chambers to approve the sale of Site B to Madison Marquette. “Madison” If approved, the sale must be approved by Emeryville Oversight Board.

On September 25, at 5:30pm, City Council Chambers, the Emeryville Oversight Board, will decide whether to ratify the Successor Agency action, should they vote to sell the property.

Background: The State decision to dissolve redevelopment Agencies has forced the former Emeryville Agency to liquidate its assets. Site B is one of those assets.

Site B is located on Shellmound Street, adjacent to the Powell Street overcrossing. In the Google Earth picture (below link) it is the large green area in the center which also includes the area (temp police station) at the top of the green area. Site A is the light brown area just south of the green area. (where they have Christmas Trees & pumpkins on the holidays)
CLICK HERE FOR MAP OF SITE B
MAP OF SITE B

Oversight Boards have been established by the State to insure the assets of former redevelopment agencies are liquidated, and the proceeds given to “taxing entities” which would have received the tax increment money, if redevelopment didn’t exist. The Emeryville Oversight Board has SEVEN representatives.

[1] Emeryville Mayor Jennifer West (Board Chair)
[2] Aisha Brown, Alameda County Board of Supervisor Keith Carson, senior staff
[3] Greg Harper, AC Transit Board Member
[4] Joshua Simon, Emery Unified School Board Director (Board Vice Chair)
[5] Ronald Gerhard, Vice Chancellor OF Administration, Peralta Community College District
[6] John Gooding, Emeryville resident
[7] Helen Bean, City of Emeryville Economic Development & Housing Director.

EMERYVILLE RESIDENT MEMBER- John Gooding was chosen to represent Emeryville Residents. He was appointed by Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson. Many people question that choice.? Informed sources in Emeryville recognize Gooding as a political consultant, known to work for the interests of large developers, such as Madison Marquette, Wareham Development, Pixar, and other clients such as Clear Channel. He may have a conflict of interest with some of the decisions of the Oversight Board. He has recused himself from some of the decisions affecting Madison Marquette. but he continues to participate on matters which benefit Wareham, and perhaps other clients we don’t know.?

John Gooding, Oversight Board Member
John Gooding
May have a conflict of interest

please click to see Gooding’s Statement of Economic Interest form 700
JOHN GOODING STATEMENT OF ECONOMIC INTEREST

The Statement of Economic Interests fails to list single sources of income from clients who seemingly pay Gooding to influence Emeryville governmental decisions. Can he be required to provide full disclosure of his clients interests to make sure a conflict does not exist..? Does Gooding qualify as a resident member by listing a Post Office Box as his address? Many believe is the behind the scenes money person involved in every aspect of Emeryville politics and City Government. He has on-going closed door meetings with Staff.?

SALE OF SITE B -This property has been the subject of community controversy. Madison is the developer of the Bay Street Project. They have approval to build a hotel on Site A, a parcel of land just north of the Bay Street Shopping Site. The word is, City Staff has insisted their project include a hotel. We believe Madison may not have wanted a hotel. Seeking to carry out the requirement Madison found a non-union hotel operator.

When the Hotel Workers Union discovered they were going to approve a non-union hotel, they became very actively concerned. They union threatened to picket and protest the project if it was approved. They also began a community effort to oppose Bay Street. Their effort has effectively paralyzed the hotel project and their expansion efforts.

The Staff and Madison decided to combine Site A and Site B into one major project. They have been working on this project for almost a decade. They have been trying to secure a Macy’s Store. Major department stores recognize the economic benefit they provide to local communities and often require a sum of money before they will open a new location. However, the end of redevelopment removes the funding which could have been available for Macy’s had an agreement been reached. In the absence of money to attract Macy’s, they may be lost.

To their credit Madison has successfully developed Bay Street with above average sales in a recession.. The Hotel project created problems for the Bay Street expansion. The union simply won’t allow a non-union hotel to be built. The existing Exclusive right to Negotiate “ERN” is about to expire at the end of September. Staff seeks to sell the property before their ERN expires.

The City Council approved a revised the ERN, on December 7, 2010. The approval included a provision to update the Council on a monthLy basis, and to send a communication to Emeryville residents every six months to keep the Council and the community informed on the progress of the project. Madison failed to provide any updates, as required.? What is the purpose of such requirements if they are ignored.? Is the ERN still valid..?

Click here to see the video of the 12/07/2010 Redevelopment Agency Meeting when the ERN was approved. (it may take several minutes before it starts playing, but it will play)

[Video not found]

The Agency could sell the property to Madison after the ERN expires. But, it may be time for the developer and Staff to have dialogue with the City Council and the community. The loss of redevelopment money will impact this project. The community needs to know what they are doing.?

Does it still make sense to build a hotel? Can we find a union hotel operator.? Continued resistance to update the community is not a formula for success. The Agency should NOT sell the property to Madison without a community presentation and input. The former Emeryville Redevelopment Agency has spent Millions of Dollars to acquire the land (by condemnation) and clean up toxic waste. This commercial property is an important component for our future tax base.

Perhaps the Agency could sell the land to Madison contingent upon an agreement to fund the ped-bike bridge, or work on a plan to raise the money for that Project. The bridge (in the planning stages for 25 years) will likely bring an additional 2,000 customers to Bay Street each day. They have a major financial interest in the project, and working together we may be able to accomplish it.

Both the City Council and Emeryville residents, need to know what is being considered before the sale of Site B should move forward.

We urge the public to attend these two important public meetings.

September 19th at 5:30pm in the City Council Chambers

September 25th, at 5:30pm, City Council Chambers, the Emeryville Oversight Board,

Comments are closed.