April News from Oakland Global

  • by BPC Staff
  • on April 30, 2014

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


Monthly Updates on the Oakland Global Trade & Logistics Center Project



Oakland Global News, April 2014

Dear Reader,  


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.

Gardner Is Interim City Administrator


Henry Gardner, Oakland’s City Manager in the 1980s and 90s, will take over as interim City Administrator in mid-June following the departure of Fred Blackwell – the city’s top official directly involved in the Oakland Global Trade & Logistics Center development at the former Army Base.


Gardner, 69, has been assisting the city as a consultant in a planned transition. Since 2010, he has been working as a financial consultant to municipalities after retiring as the executive director of the Association of Bay Area Governments. Gardner has been involved in Oakland government for decades and worked for the city for 22 years, including 12 as the City Manager — then the city’s chief executive. That changed in 1998 when voters approved a charter change making the mayor the chief executive. More recently, Gardner headed Mayor Jean Quan’s 2010 transition team.


As Oakland’s City Manager from 1981-1993, Gardner was respected by his peers. He was named Most Valuable City Manager in the Nation in 1990 by City and State Magazine. When he started the job, Oakland had recently eliminated 1,000 positions and closed scores of public facilities due to Proposition 13. Later he helped manage Oakland’s recovery from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1991 North Oakland hills fire.


As interim City Administrator, Gardner will again confront a city in transition. While Oakland’s economy is improving, government faces budget shortfalls, fractious politics and a November mayoral election. Meanwhile, businesses are flocking to the city’s Uptown District and several development projects have broken ground, including the 3,100 housing unit Brooklyn Basin and Oakland Global. 

TIGER Grant Could Yield $16 Million

The City of Oakland submitted a federal transportation grant

application on April 28 in hopes of landing $16 million that would

go toward wharf repairs and new truck parking and ancillary maritime support facilities on former Oakland Army Base property owned by the city.


The funded work would supplement infrastructure improvements being made to adjacent property through the Oakland Global development project, which is a partnership between the City of Oakland, warehouse developer Prologis and California Capital and Investment Group.


The federal TIGER grant (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery), appears to be a natural fit for the project, given that its goals are to build a multi-modal, world class logistics cluster, replace jobs lost through the base closure, improve air quality and environmental sustainability and increase the diversity and volume of goods moved through the Oakland waterfront.


Previous TIGER grants have supported Oakland’s waterfront industry improvements, including an Army Base infrastructure master plan and a new 40-acre Port of Oakland train facility. TIGER’s funding criteria includes projects that achieve the following: A state of good infrastructure repair; economic competitiveness; quality of life; environmental sustainability and safety.


Specifically, the wharf repairs would help convert the former Army Base’s West Gateway (at the foot of the Bay Bridge) into a rail-served commodity-exporting marine terminal connected to the Oakland Global development. The terminal will be designed to export bulk commodities, such as iron ore, copper concentrate, agricultural products and overweight cargo.


“The construction of the bulk terminal on the wharves fits well with the funding criteria of ‘state of good repair,'” said Chris Nelson, who as part of Roje Consulting, assisted the city in its grant application. “There are no other uses envisioned for the wharves and the terminal will improve the wharves’ safety and bring them back to a productive use.” 


Other firms that consulted with the city on the grant application are as follows: AECOM, California Capital & Investment Group and John Barna. 


The trucking and maritime support facilities would add badly-needed truck parking to an area that has a shortage and is expecting more activity. Meanwhile, the city is increasingly attempting to shift illegal truck parking out of West Oakland neighborhoods and onto the working waterfront. That effort goes hand-in-hand with environmental mitigations adopted as part of the Oakland Global project, including construction of 30 acres of truck parking on city and port land.  

More Warehouse Wood Preserved


Three 20,000 square-foot former Army Base warehouses have been completely deconstructed and workers are currently dismantling a third 270,000 square-foot building as part of the early phase of the Oakland Global construction plan.


The old growth Douglas fir warehouse timber is being preserved, de-nailed and banded so that it can be applied to a range of uses, such as furniture production and future construction. It is estimated that the three smaller warehouses account for approximately 74,700 board feet of wood.


Preserving the old growth wood helps the Oakland Global project comply with city and state rules requiring construction and demolition debris recycling. The centerpiece of those rules comes from Section 15.34.010 of the Oakland Municipal Code. Its intent is to “divert at a minimum 50 percent of construction and debris from landfills; process and return the materials into the economic mainstream thereby conserving natural resources; and stimulate markets for recycled and salvaged materials.”


The city now requires 100 percent recycling / reuse for asphalt and concrete and 65 percent waste reduction for all other materials. Oakland Global’s deconstruction and demolition project is specifically designed to meet those rules. 


When the work is complete, an estimated 3,150 tons of salvaged materials will be sold and recycled across the Western United States and Mexico.


Compared to younger wood, old growth timber features denser growth rings, and as a result, is much stronger. Also, saw mills previously cut old growth into larger pieces (such as 10 in. x 20 in.), than are typically available today.


During the next several months, four additional, larger buildings will be deconstructed. Much of their timber also will be preserved.

Air Quality Stakeholders

On April 23, the Oakland Global project’s third air quality stakeholder meeting convened at 150 Frank Ogawa Plaza. The two-hour meeting addressed the results of a related March governance meeting, reviewed on-going reports about West Oakland air quality, and discussed future issues.


Hui Wang of the city’s Economic & Workforce Development Department reported back to the group the outcomes of the governance meeting, which covered topics including future agenda-setting, chairpersons and potential subcommittees.


Ms. Wang noted that the framework for the quarterly meetings originated in a July 2014 Oakland City Council resolution that directed the city and project developer to host quarterly meetings to review project-related air quality and trucking mitigation plans.

She said and that per the resolution, the city will continue to set the agenda and the City Administrator will approve the mitigation plans. The resolution does not provide for committees but committees may report their activities to the air quality stakeholder group if the activities are pertinent to project-related air quality and the plans.


Ms. Wang noted that the city has agreed to the possible formation of an ad-hoc, inter-agency working, provided that it does not require additional city resources. The group would likely include regulatory agencies, such as The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the Alameda County Public Health Department and ostensibly serve as a technical interface for community member stakeholders.


A first-quarter 2014 air monitoring report reviewed air data from the four monitors analyzed continually by the project. The data showed that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 24-hour average for ambient particulate matter was exceeded five times at the project’s West Gateway station (at the foot of the Bay Bridge), in all cases coinciding with or falling closely to BAAQMD “Spare the Air” days.


 The 24-hour average standard was exceeded once at the Raimondi Park, Prescott Elementary School and BAAQMD West Oakland stations on January 1.  Elevated particulate levels were detected in the early morning hours of January 1 (fireworks residuals and a “Spare the Air” day), January 6 and 7 (following five consecutive BAAQMD “Spare the Air” alerts), January 17 (the day of a six-alarm fire and a day prior to a “Spare the Air” alert), and January 24 (a day prior to a “Spare the Air” alert). 


Project construction activity, which included utility removal, building deconstruction, minor excavation, soil/asphalt/concrete hauling and backfilling, used minimal heavy equipment in the Quarter #1 2014. The air data reflected regional air quality, and therefore no additional analyses, actions, or changes to the project’s air monitoring program were recommended.

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. 

Warehouse foundation demolition


Benign pipe discovered during demolition

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 19
Henry Gardner
Air Stakeholders




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.
Phil Tagami
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