By the City of Alameda
The California State Lands Commission approved the Naval Air Station Alameda (NAS Alameda) Exchange Agreement on Friday Oct. 19, marking a momentous step towards the future development of the former naval base.
After more than 12 years as a work in progress, the agreement paves the way for the cohesive and orderly development of Alameda Point.
“We are thrilled that after 12 years the City and State of California were able to finalize such an important agreement," said Mayor Marie Gilmore. "The agreement paves the way for public enjoyment of some of the City’s most spectacular waterfront areas and for employment centers and other types of development on the interior parts of Alameda Point.”
As a result of the exchange agreement, lands along the waterfront will be placed in the Public Trust, creating valuable opportunities for public access to the waterfront and attracting maritime commerce, while interior lands that have been cut off from access to the water will be removed from the Public Trust and allowed to be used for a greater diversity of development that will help revitalize Alameda Point.
“Aside from the conveyance agreement with the Navy, the Exchange Agreement with the State of California is the single most important regulatory approval needed to move the Alameda Point project forward,” said Jennifer Ott, Chief Operating Officer of Alameda Point.
The California Legislature enacted legislation in 2000 that authorized an exchange of property between the City and State, subject to approval by the State Lands Commission.
Most of the lands at Alameda Point are former tide and submerged lands that are subject to the public trust for commerce, navigation and fisheries (“Public Trust”), which generally limits the allowable development on certain lands to maritime-related uses, water-oriented recreation, visitor-serving facilities, habitat preservation, and scientific study.
There are lands well suited for these types of uses along the waterfront that would not be subject to the Public Trust without an exchange of property between the City and State.
The City expects that the initial closing of the exchange under the agreement will occur within six months of the City receiving the first phase of land from the Navy, which is anticipated early next year. Following further conveyances from the Navy, subsequent exchange closings will occur consistent with the agreement.