The Port of Oakland, City of Oakland, Oakland Base Reuse Authority, Oakland Redevelopment Agency and State Lands Commission closed escrow on the former Oakland Army Base property, August 7, 2006.
“We are pleased to see the culmination of over 3 years of collaboration between the City, the Port, and our stakeholders including the neighboring West Oakland community. The completion of this complex transaction means new opportunities in terms of both jobs and economic growth for Oakland and the region,” stated Ignacio De La Fuente, President of the Oakland City Council.
The close of escrow officially completes the title transfer process. According to Port Board President Anthony Batarse, ‘The Port of Oakland will be using its share of the former Oakland Army Base to construct facilities that will support the Port’s maritime operations. It will allow us to improve our overall efficiency, grow revenue and increase our role as a local and regional economic engine.’
Following the committed efforts of the Oakland Base Reuse Authority (OBRA), the West Oakland Community Advisory Group (WOCAG) and Port staff, on August 1, the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners authorized the opening of standard bidding procedures on demolition/deconstruction contracts for the former Oakland Army Base site.
The Port of Oakland has made numerous improvements to its seaport to handle the anticipated growth in international trade. Port Executive Director Jerry Bridges remarked, ‘By reconfiguring our seaport and constructing a new intermodal rail yard on the former army base site, we are taking much-needed additional steps to maintain our position as the nation’s 4th busiest containerport in the United States.’
The intermodal rail facility (Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal or OHIT) will allow for shorter container transfer times, increased throughput, and a reduction in truck traffic in and around the Port. “A rough estimate of the value of construction and other jobs related to the development of OHIT and other maritime support facilities is $50 million over the life of those projects.”
The Port of Oakland is also dedicated to fulfilling its environmental obligations. The organization is exploring alternative “green technology” solutions for the Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal and other associated maritime operations.
Port Deputy Executive Director of External Affairs Harold Jones talked about the importance of input from local stakeholders, ‘We will continue to consult with our community partners as we move forward with plans for this area. Our neighbors are an important part of helping us make choices that will deliver a rail facility that is not only more efficient for our operations but environmentally friendly as well.’