The city is looking for "a dynamic mixed-use development thatwill take advantage of the site's unique location to generate adiverse array of jobs that serve a range of employment needs forOakland residents and create an attractive gateway to the city,"according to Gregory Hunter, Deputy Director of Oakland's Communityand Economic Development Agency. Also reflected in the RFP are theexpectations of the city's Economic Development Agency Board, whosevision "emphasizes commercial and industrial uses, greendevelopment, high-quality jobs, attractive design, and communitybenefits."

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The development strategy is the result of two years of analysisand community workshops. City staff used several consulting firms,including Bay Area Economics, to examine the market potential andfeasibility of attracting different industries in the Army Base.BAE's managing principal Janet Smith-Heimer says her firm sees thesite as offering "the opportunity to bring new clean techindustries and green collar jobs to the City, as details of theproject are fleshed out."

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After the Agency Board makes final comments on the RFP language,staff will issue the RFP to the four developerteams--AMB/California Capital Group, Federal Development, FirstIndustrial Realty Trust, and ProLogis/Catellus. Proposals will bedue in February 2009. The proposals will be analyzed and thenbrought back to the Agency Board for discussion.

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The RFQ/RFP process comes on the heels of a run at the site madeby a joint venture of Hollywood's Wayans brothers and LosAngeles-based Pacifica Capital Group, which previously signed anExclusive Negotiating Agreement with the city for the acquisitionand development of the site. Their plan, Destination Oakland,called for a 435,000-sf film production studio and creative officecenter, as well as 480,000 sf of retail, entertainment andeducational offerings.

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The Port of Oakland, reportedly not taking kindly to thepotential for complaints about noise, traffic and air pollution,reintroduced long-standing plans for extending a six-story wall ofcontainers such that it would block prime views from a significantportion of the property. "With containers on two sides, there wouldbe no compelling reason why a creative company would want to comehere from Emeryville, San Francisco, LA or anywhere else," Shufordtold GlobeSt.com last fall, when he was still hoping the City wouldhelp the Port change its mind about the defensive move.

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Once it became clear that the City was not going to be able tochange the Port's mind, the Wayans/Pacifica plans for a decidedlynon-industrial development fell by the wayside and four industrialspecialists were selected for the second go-round. The City's"preferred scenario" is for the 108-acre area to be developedinto"complementary commercial and industrial uses that can attractkey industries to Oakland, create livable-wage jobs, and create asignature gateway into the city. "Specific uses should focus oninnovative technologies, green technologies, trade and logistics,and other strategic business sectors," according to the RFP.

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The scenario allows for retail (including bothneighborhood-serving and destination retail) and hotels but only asa secondary use, and requires the master developer to accommodatetwo smaller stand-alone projects in the development: the OaklandFilm & Media Center and the Oakland Produce Market.

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Under the proposed timeline, staff would prepare and issue theRFP within the next 30 days, with proposals due Feb. 2, 2009.Developer interviews would be held in April and May and one or moreproposals would be recommended to the City Council in June. Thistime next year, the City would be back in exclusive negotiationswith a new would-be master developer.

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