WELCOME TO CURRENTS!
Welcome to the Port of Oakland’s new Port-wide electronic newsletter, designed to engage and inform our local community and stakeholders across the region. Though we are an independent department of the City of Oakland, we are also a statewide asset. The economic impact of our seaport, airport, and commercial real estate businesses extends from Oakland all the way around the San Francisco Bay, through Northern California, and into the Central Valley. We therefore need to reach everyone locally and regionally to share information about who we are, what we do, and why it matters.
In this inaugural issue, you will read stories about what we are doing to develop the Oakland International Airport of the future; how we are transforming the former Oakland Army Base into a trade and logistics hub to support American exports and jobs; how we are partnering with the private sector to develop the Oakland waterfront; and how we are cleaning up the air.
Thank you for taking time to read this newsletter. We hope that you will find the content informative and engaging.
Oakland Army Base Redevelopment Update
The Port of Oakland, in partnership with the City of Oakland, State of California, the private sector, and community, labor, and environmental partners, is working hard to move forward on the half billion dollar first phase of the redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base (OAB).
The first phase involves the build-out of the City of Oakland-owned 165-acre development area (see map in green) and the establishment of a new rail terminal on 40 acres of the Port property (see map in blue). This phase will break ground by January 1, 2014. Subsequent phases of the redevelopment include the 7th Street Grade Separation; further expansion of the rail terminal; and additional trade and logistics facilities on Port land.
Photo caption: Oakland Army Base aerial view. Port of Oakland’s redevelopment zone highlighted in blue, the City of Oakland’s in green.
The public benefits of this project are significant:
- Reduce truck trips by increasing rail connections at the Port, translating into less wear and tear on roads, reduced emissions, less congestion, and increased safety.
- Make existing seaport operations more competitive, which will help protect and grow the tens of thousands of jobs maritime operations at the Port already generate across the region.
- Create thousands of new construction jobs during development, and more operational jobs once developed.
Funding for the $484 million first phase comes from $242 million in state bond funds. These funds will be matched 1-1 by primarily the private sector, followed by City funds previously allocated to the OAB, and Port funds. The Port is competing for a federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant for its rail facility, and will pursue funding for subsequent OAB phases from Alameda County transportation sales tax and additional private investment.
To learn more, join us for the May 11 Special Board Meeting, and if you would like to voice your support for this project, please contact Port External Affairs Director Isaac Kos-Read at email@example.com.
Shore Power = Cleaner Air for All
When it comes to cleaner air, the Port of Oakland is making good progress with its Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan (MAQIP). Earlier this year an independent study by the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, verified a more than 50% reduction in diesel emissions from trucks, which is a good trend toward the ultimate MAQIP goal of an 85% reduction in Port-related diesel health risk by 2020. The next big step is our Shore Power Program, which will ensure that by 2017 the majority of all container ships docked at the Port will plug into the electric grid instead of running their diesel-fueled auxiliary engines while at berth. This will remove thousands of tons of diesel particulate matter and other pollutants from the air.
The Shore Power program has multiple elements:
- Phase 1 includes Berths 56-58, and is in the final testing phases for plug-in by the end of Summer 2012
- Phase 2 includes the majority of remaining berths, and will be on line by the end of 2013
- APL, one of our eight marine terminals, already put in their own shore power infrastructure
- PortsAmerica, another of our terminals, will soon be building its own shore power system
- While the Shore Power systems are being built, the shipping lines that call the Port of Oakland are retrofitting and upgrading their vessels to plug in, representing $1 billion of cost born by Port customers
- The total cost of Phases 1 and 2 is around $70 million, of which about $30 million is funded by a mix of federal and state/local grants; the balance of the cost is being paid by the Port
We are proud that this project will ensure the Port’s early compliance with California’s leading environmental requirements.
Exciting News from Oakland International Airport
Did you know that the Oakland International Airport (OAK) is part of the Port of Oakland? Well now you do!
We are very pleased to announce that beginning in June, travelers will be able to fly from OAK to Amsterdam (Netherlands) on Arkefly. The Dutch airline has chosen OAK as its San Francisco Bay Area gateway with twice-weekly service during the summer months. Information/Reservations: 855-808-4015 (toll free).
The Port is also working closely with BART to develop the BART Oakland Airport Connector (OAC). Expected to be in service in spring 2014, OAC will be an automated people mover that will replace the AirBART bus system. The OAC system will operate a cable-powered driverless transit vehicle that runs along a dedicated guideway from BART’s Coliseum station to OAK. OAC will drop off riders directly across from OAK’s terminals. Perhaps you’ve noticed the construction of the raised railway running down the center of Hegenberger Road. This is the pathway for OAC which will bring added convenience and save time for all who choose OAK.
As the City of Oakland works to create a Coliseum Area Specific Plan, the OAC project also will be a key element moving Oakland toward an “aerotropolis” model. An aerotropolis is an urban planning term used to describe an infrastructure and layout that centers around an “airport economy.” This new aerotropolis translates to a stronger future for the City of Oakland and Oakland International Airport.
Book your flight now and don’t forget the parking coupons we’re offering for OAK: Click here for OAK parking coupons
Jack London Square – Nearly 90% Leased!
Jack London Square (JLS) is a beautiful waterfront location. We have a strong partner that’s helping us fill the Square with green businesses, exciting festivals, and innovative restaurants. While the Port still owns the underlying land throughout JLS, nearly two thirds of the commercial space is leased through our Master Developer, Jack London Square Ventures.
Despite an incredibly challenging real estate market, nearly 90% of commercial space at JLS is leased. New and expanded leases signal that Jack London Square is recovering from the recession:
- Sungevity, a residential solar energy services company, is finding success on the Oakland waterfront, expanding its presence and growing its workforce to several hundred employees in the Square.
- Haven, a bold, new restaurant by Bay Area celebrity chef Daniel Patterson, opened in 2011.
- Navis, a leading maritime technology and cargo management company, in early 2012 decided to stay in Oakland by moving to the waterfront, preserving a couple of hundred office jobs for our local economy.
- Senator Barbara Boxer relocated her Bay Area office to JLS – a welcome addition to the Square.
- Live Culture Company, the organization behind the popular annual Eat Real Festival, is also now based at the Square.
New Playground in the Square
Jack’s Play Space is a new, fun, free, and family space to bring your kids and enjoy Jack London Square!
Round the World Yacht Race
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race came to Jack London Square in April. The fleet of ten, identical, 68-foot racing yachts, each sponsored by a city, region, or country, are crewed by amateurs – making it the only race in the world where taxi drivers rub shoulders with chief executives, students work alongside bankers, and doctors team up with rugby players.
In Leg 6 of the race, the crews set off from Qingdao, China, March 4 for the 5,680 miles at sea until their feet touched our docks at Jack London Square a month later. Jack London Square always has something going on!
Good Breakfasts Make Good Neighbors
We hosted a Good Neighbor Breakfast meeting on Saturday, April 14th at the West Oakland Senior Center. The Good Neighbor Breakfast is part of our renewed and ongoing community engagement efforts.
Port Commissioner Margaret Gordon and staff provided details on several Port projects. The presentations were followed by a 30-minute public input session with approximately 100 attendees.
Please join us for our next Good Neighbor Breakfast on June 2, 2012. To find out more about the next breakfast or to schedule a briefing with Port staff in the community, please contact our Community Relations Representative Laura Arreola: firstname.lastname@example.org; 510-627-1135.