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OAKLAND, CA-Ellis Partners has entered exclusive negotiations with the Port of Oakland to be the master developer at Jack London Square. The port’s commissioners voted 7-0 last month to enter into exclusive talks with Ellis Partners over the $200 million project, which will include a new hotel, office space and retail.

The two sides entered a 90-day negotiation period on Dec. 5 and as part of the agreement, Ellis Partners was required to pay a $100,000 non-refundable deposit for the 90-day period. If the two sides do not reach an agreement by the end of three months, Ellis can extend the negotiating period and pay another $100,000, fees that are applicable to rent during the construction period.

Ellis Partners was one of three firms to be considered last spring when RFQs went out, according to Harold Jones, a communications director for the Port of Oakland. The Port had originally selected LCOR-WDG Ventures last May, but the company backed out in August.

The negotiations between Ellis and the port will center on development rights on five land parcels that are south of the current Jack London Square. The port is committing $5 million to the project, as well as an additional $5 million for parking and other neighborhood improvements. Hal Ellis, founder of Ellis Partners, says he will look at the project closely with possible modifications to the plan. But, he adds, he’s confident that the two sides will reach an agreement that works for both.

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