ALAMEDA, CA-The Planning Commission will review a proposal from Catellus Development Corp. at a meeting next week for plans to build a shopping center near the College of Alameda on land that is slated for offices.

Catellus is redeveloping 215 acres at the former Alameda Naval Base. It original plan was to build up 1.3 million-sf of commercial space; build nearly 600 residential units, 25% of which will be designated as affordable housing; build a school site; and construct waterfront promenades and parks. Because of the decline in office demand, Catellus now wants to build a shopping center on 40 acres of the land slated for office development.

However, Alameda merchants say that large retailers like the ones that a Catellus center would attract would be a threat to smaller merchants in the area. Proponents of the project argue that the residents of Alameda spend about $200 million per year outside of Alameda because of the lack of resources in the city. The Planning Commission says that it will not make a decision at the meeting. It will just hear the proposal.

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