OAKLAND, CA—SunCal, one of the largest realestate development companies in the U.S. that specializes inlarge-scale, mixed-use master-planned communities, has closedescrow on the purchase of the 167-acre Oak Knollproperty in Oakland from the Lehman Brothersestate. The transaction was concluded on Friday for anundisclosed sum.
The parcel in the exclusive Oakland Hills area wasthe site of the former Oakland Naval MedicalCenter that SunCal and its former financial partner,Lehman Brothers, had been redeveloping into a master-plannedcommunity before Lehman collapsed in 2008 duringthe global economic crisis. The Naval complex treated thousands ofwounded military personnel during World War II and continuedserving through the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War and peacetimebefore it closed in 1996.
During its previous involvement with the site thatbegan in 2005, SunCal conducted extensive planning andon-site work. This included community outreach; initiatingthe entitlement process; clean-up and demolition; and designing amixed-use community planned to include 960 homes,82,000 square feet of commercial/retail, and 50 acres of parks andopen space.
"We're excited to resume our involvement with this very specialsite and we look forward to again working toward making this a newcommunity that all of Oakland can be proud of," said Frank Faye,SunCal EVP. "This is one of the most significant master-plannedcommunity opportunities in the San Francisco Bay area, and it isparticularly satisfying to once again be at the helm of Oak Knoll'sdevelopment."
"The City of Oakland is thrilled to have SunCal back on theproject," said Larry Reid, vice mayor, City ofOakland. "They worked well with our City and we know they candeliver a development that will be an asset to my district and allof Oakland."
Beginning in 2009 while the property was on hold during Lehman'sbankruptcy process, SunCal managed the general cleanup, weedabatement and demolition of numerous buildings throughout the siteon behalf of the bankruptcy trustee. The last building to bedemolished was the 11-story main hospitalbuilding, which was imploded withdynamite in April 2011 before a festive gathering of cityofficials, area residents, former Navy staff and numerous newsoutlets.
SunCal acquires, entitles and develops major residential propertiesand commercial developments. The company creates distinctivemaster-planned and mixed-use communities that emphasize quality oflife, environmental sensitivity and recreationalopportunities.

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David Phillips

David Phillips is a Chicago-based freelance writer and consultant with more than 20 years experience in business and community news. He also has extensive reporting experience in the food manufacturing industry for national trade publications.