Oakland Global News: Monthly Updates on the Oakland Army Base Project

  • by BPC Staff
  • on May 14, 2013


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




Monthly Updates on the Oakland Army Base Project





Oakland Global News, May 2013



Dear Reader,  


Oakland Global News is a monthly newsletter for individuals and groups with a special interest in staying current as the Oakland Global Trade & Logistics Center (former Oakland Army Base) project evolves. In this issue, you will learn about a major state grant and a new zoning district. You will also get a chance to see some Army Base photography.


CTC approves $176 million for project 

Development gains momentum


The Oakland Army Base development project (Oakland Global), reached a major milestone on May 7 when the California Transportation Commission (CTC) voted 8-0 to allocate $176 million in state matching funds for the project. Along with approximately $76 million awarded to the Port of Oakland late last year, the project is the CTC’s largest funding allocation in Northern California.


Oakland Global, which has been in the planning stages since 2003, will convert 160 acres of underused land with obsolete infrastructure into a modern trade, cargo and bulk goods center with new logistics facilities, improved rail access and a marine bulk terminal – increasing the export volume of California’s products and delivering more goods inland.


The development is a public-private partnership between the City of Oakland, local developer California Capital & Investment Group and Prologis, an international warehouse developer headquartered in San Francisco. In addition to city, state and private investment, the Port of Oakland and the federal government have also contributed funding to match the CTC funds for the $500 million project. A second development phase on Port of Oakland land could expand the project further in coming years.


In order to comply with CTC requirements, hiring and construction work is expected to get underway by the end of 2013. The CTC’s funding criteria focused on increasing the speed and volume of cargo and goods traveling through the state’s ports; making that travel more timely and reliable; improving roadway safety; and reducing truck emissions by moving more goods by rail.


 “This funding allocation is a critical step. We are grateful to all of those who are working on this project and believe it’s a huge win for Oakland,” said Phil Tagami, President and CEO of California Capital & Investment Group.


The new Oakland facilities will increase business efficiencies and are expected to attract more commerce and investors — resulting in local and regional economic stimulus. Based on the agreement signed in October 2012, 50 percent of construction jobs will go to local residents and construction employers will not ask applicants about criminal records. Operations jobs will follow the construction of new warehouses and other logistics facilities. 


S.F. Chronicle endorses Oakland Global

“A worthy plan for Oakland Army Base”


The San Francisco Chronicle endorsed the Oakland Army Base project (Oakland Global) on May 6, the day before the project received it’s funding allocation from the California Transportation Commission. 


The Chronicle Editorial supporting the project said the following:  “The proposal should be a natural natural fit: a million-square-foot freight-handling center that allows shippers to empty and fill containers close to massive trans-Pacific ships. The plan will diminish trucking costs, pollution and freeway congestion and over time could lure business away from other West Coast docks.”  


Read the complete editorial here.



Oakland poised for new zoning district




On May 28 an Oakland City Council committee will review the Gateway Industrial District, a new city zoning district that that allows for the seaport, rail and logistics operations expected when the Oakland Army Base development project (Oakland Global) is completed.


The Gateway Industrial District will apply specifically to the portion of the Army Base owned by the City of Oakland. Currently, the city’s base property is zoned for industrial uses and some commercial uses. The zones permit most uses contemplated in the new development, but not all. For instance, part of the commercial zoning does not allow for rail operations — an integral part of the project.


City law dictates that in order for the City Council to approve the new zoning district, it must conclude that the district is consistent with the Oakland General Plan. Based on that standard, the Planning Commission approved the new district on May 1. The Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board also gave its support on April 8.


In examining the Gateway Industrial District on May 8, the City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee (CED), will also need to review design standards for proposed warehouses being constructed as part of the Oakland Global project.


Once the CED committee passes the zoning district and design standards, they will be sent to the City Council for approval on June 4.  

According to city planning staff, the design standards are intended to, “ensure that the design quality of the new development equals or exceeds the design quality of the existing buildings….”


After studying the proposed design standards, the Landmarks Board made several recommendations related to building articulation, materials and windows. Many of those recommendations are now reflected in the design standards.


About the team 

Each month the newsletter features one of the many firms that  are contributing to the Oakland Global project. This month: Gray-Bowen.


Gray-Bowen is a transportation-focused consulting firm run by Bill Gray and Terry Bowen. Based in Walnut Creek, the firm provides professional engineering and project management services to public and private clients, including the management and administration of state and federal grants. 


Gray-Bowen prepared the City of Oakland’s Army Base grant funding allocation request to the California Transportation Commission (