Oakland Global February Newsletter

 

Brought to you by the Oakland Global Trade & Logistics Center and California Capital & Investment Group

 

 

 

OAKLAND GLOBAL NEWS

Monthly Updates on the Oakland Global Trade & Logistics Center Project

 

 overhead

 

 

 

Oakland Global News, February 2014

 

Dear Reader,  

 

Happy New Year! Oakland Global News is a monthly newsletter for readers interested in staying current as the Oakland Global Trade & Logistics Center (former Oakland Army Base) project evolves.

 

Port of Oakland and CCIG Negotiate

port

The Port of Oakland and California Capital &Investment Group have entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement to develop former Oakland Army Base land owned by the port.  

 

The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners approved the agreement (ENA) unanimously on Feb. 13. It comes several years after the CCIG and the port were unable to reach development agreements related to the Army Base – in 2010 and 2012. According to the new ENA, the current negotiating period would expire on June 30, but could be extended for 60 days.  

 

In October 2012, the City of Oakland formally partnered with CCIG and warehouse developer Prologis to build a modern maritime-based trade and logistics center on the city’s former Army Base parcels. Work on the city land started in October 2013. That project’s infrastructure construction is expected to take nearly five years and to be followed by the development of modern deconsolidation and storage facilities as well as a new marine terminal.  

 

After the Army Base closed in 1999, its ownership was split between the City of Oakland and the port. In 2009, CCIG master-planned the former base for a redevelopment that would incorporate both city and port parcels. The planning embraced the fact that the land shared infrastructure and that its best use would be modernized trade and logistics facilities that could make Oakland more competitive with other U.S. ports.  

 

The city and port have continued to work together in important ways. The port is currently constructing a rail yard as part of a cost-sharing agreement with the city that allowed the two entities to capture state and federal funds. And, the rail yard is ultimately designed to complement the development that could result from the ENA between CCIG and the port.  

 

The new ENA means that the redevelopment of the former base may come to fruition as originally planned. The central feature of that plan is the creation of a true “intermodal” rail terminal, possibly featuring 4,000-foot-long loading tracks and wide-span, electric powered rail mount cranes for container loading over the tracks — potentially allowing cargo to be loaded directly onto trains.  

 

Studies commissioned by both the port and the city show that an intermodal rail terminal would yield a significant economic benefit for the port, the city, and the general public because it would increase the volume of cargo moving through Oakland. A 2013 port-sponsored study by the consulting firm Moffat & Nichol showed that the new facilities could enable Oakland to meet a growing Asian demand for a range of goods, including refrigerated meat and bulk agriculture exports.  

 

Logistics expert and MIT professor Dr. Yossi Sheffi reviewed Oakland’s operations and urged the port to create a true intermodal facility. Given its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the availability of undeveloped land, the Oakland waterfront has the potential to rival the most successful intermodal logistics clusters in the world, Sheffi said.  

 

“The Oakland Army Base is an amazing opportunity,” said Sheffi, “Oakland has a large, undeveloped plot of land adjacent to an existing port; I don’t know of any other city that has that.”

 

Port Rail Yard Under Construction

train

Will enhance new development

A new Port of Oakland rail yard is currently under construction on the eastern side of the former Oakland Army Base. When complete, the yard will be a major boost to the port’s rail service capacity.

 

Port of Oakland staff provided details about the rail yard project to the Board of Port Commissioners on Feb. 13. A staff report described the benefits the rail yard would confer on the port and the City of Oakland, including an opportunity to move many more rail cars through the Oakland waterfront at any given time.

 

“The Port Rail Yard will significantly increase capacity on the former OAB (Oakland Army Base) from approximately 17 rail cars to 200 at a time,” according to the report. “Additionally, the yard will have 29,000 feet of new track capacity to handle 2 new unit trains per day up to 7,000 feet each in length.”

 

The report states that the new rail yard will be needed to handle the increased customer volume expected to utilize the Oakland waterfront once the first phase of the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center project is complete.

 

“[The rail yard] will be used to stage railcars for Port and City OAB redevelopment customers’ cargo, including export minerals through the City’s proposed bulk marine terminal, cargo to be loaded or unloaded at the new warehouses, and additional lumber, steel and grain moving by rail.”

 

The report notes that the new rail yard has two key components: 1) A manifest car storage yard; and 2) A unit train storage yard. The manifest yard is for smaller shippers, which will have volumes of less than 100 cars at a time, such as warehousing customers. The unit train yard is designed to accommodate larger rail car volumes expected for a new bulk marine terminal and intermodal terminal.

Port staff emphasized that the new rail yard will be one of many highlights resulting from the OAB redevelopment.

 

Quoting an economic analysis conducted by the port and city, the report states the following: “For each dollar of investment, the project generates $2.16 in value added to the public in the form of lower cost goods, and air quality, traffic and highway safety benefits.”

 

Why Hire The Formerly Incarcerated?

6,800 Oaklanders on probation or parole

 

With the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center Project under way, much of the focus has turned to local hiring requirements included in the project’s Jobs Policy for Public Improvements.  

 

The comprehensive jobs policy requires that, “at least 50 percent of Project Work Hours are performed by Oakland Residents, 20 percent of Project Work Hours are performed by apprentices, and that at least 25 percent of apprenticeships positions are filled by ‘disadvantaged workers’.”

 

Phil Tagami, the lead developer of the project, has taken special interest in one group of disadvantaged workers – formerly incarcerated individuals living in Oakland. Tagami views job creation for this population as one possible step in breaking the cycle of incarceration in Oakland.

 

“This is very simple. If an individual can’t find work, he can’t better himself and he can’t contribute to society,” Tagami said. “Employers have reasonable concerns about hiring ex-offenders, but they also have to look at the community in which they do business. Any city with a large numbers of people cycling through the prison system will have serious problems. We need to change that in Oakland.”

 

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in 2012, 1 out of 35 Americans were incarcerated in jails or prisons, or on parole or probation. Meanwhile, California accounts for over 10% of the national prison, jail, and parole populations, according to the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law & Social Policy.

 

Reports from the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, state that the city of Oakland is home to approximately 5,500 probationers and 1,300 individuals on parole. Recidivism rates for these groups are alarming: As stated in a report distributed by the Urban Institute Reentry Roundtable, two-thirds of people released from prison are re-arrested and 50 percent are re-incarcerated within three years of release from prison. California spends an average of $47,000 per prisoner annually.  

 

Stable employment is a key determinant in whether a formerly-incarcerated individual will re-offend. Yet, national reports put the unemployment rate among this population between 45 and 97 percent.

 

The contractors on the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Project have already agreed to “ban the box” – a practice in which employers remove from job applications questions about previous convictions.

Proponents hope that this practice will help individuals get through the initial application and interview process based on their skills and experience, rather than be stigmatized by prior convictions. Tagami also hopes to partner with community organizations that already work closely with the formerly incarcerated to create job opportunities.

 

ROJE Consulting, the Oakland-based consulting firm hired to support contract compliance for the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center, sent thirty local re-entry organizations a short survey in early December. When asked about the benefits of hiring formerly incarcerated individuals, most survey participants stated a combination of the following: decreased cost to taxpayers; local economic benefits from increased spending and tax base; fulfillment of local hiring requirements; offering hope, family reunification, and futures filled with positive potential; and possible tax credits and/or low cost bonding programs.

 

Such sentiments are not isolated to organizations working directly with formerly incarcerated individuals. Former Secretary of Labor Hilda. L. Solis has said that, “Stable employment helps ex-offenders stay out of the legal system. Focusing on that end is the right thing to do for these individuals, and it makes sense for local communities and our economy as a whole.”

 

March 3 Air Quality Meeting

Governance to be discussed

 

On March 3 several members of an air quality stakeholder group related to the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center project will meet to discuss the governance of their quarterly stakeholder meetings.

 

The stakeholder meetings were mandated through an Oakland City Council resolution in July and are one of the many environmental mitigation measures incorporated into the project’s binding development agreement.

 

The governance confab will cover topics such as agenda setting, chairpersons and potential subcommittees. The request for a governance discussion came up in the group’s second quarterly meeting on Jan. 15. Approximately 25 individuals attended the three-hour session, including representatives from regulatory agencies, environmental organizations and the community.

 

The July council resolution directs the city and project developer to host quarterly meetings to discuss the creation of air quality and trucking-related mitigation plans, which relate to the potential emissions created by construction and truck travel associated with the project.

 

While the stakeholders did discuss air quality issues at meetings in September and January, the topic of governance – of the meetings themselves — has become a major focus of attention.

 

The resolution approved by the City Council says the following about the quarterly meetings: “Beginning in September of 2013 and continuing until such time as the City Administrator has approved all of the Subject Plans, the City and Developer shall jointly host quarterly meetings to discuss the status of the Subject Plans.”

 

Inquiries about the stakeholder meetings should be addressed to Hui Wang at the City of Oakland, Hwang@oaklandnet.com.

 

Army Base Photography 

As a recurring feature, the Oakland Global News presents photography from the Army Base.The photos and captions below are by Dan Nourse. 

 

 deconstructing

Deconstructing a warehouse roof 

 

 paint removal

Removing paint from a warehouse prior to deconstruction

 

 crushing

Crushing operation and San Francisco view 

 

Dan Nourse, a project manager with Oakland-based Roje Consulting, focuses on Oakland Global’s environmental remediation, site elevation increase and site surcharging. Dan was instrumental in the redevelopment of Emeryville and West Oakland. He is a self-taught photographer and uses photography to capture the progress of redevelopment projects as well as producing artful images along the way.

 

Issue 18

 

IN THIS ISSUE

Port and CCIG ENA

Port Rail Yard Construction

Ex-Offender Hiring

Photos!

 

 

 

QUICK LINKS 

Oakland Global Website 

 

 

Stay informed

 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Oakland Global Trade & Logistics Center development. I believe that the Oakland Global Newsletter will prove to be a useful tool for staying informed and current on this important project going forward.

 

Sincerely,

Phil Tagami