Seaport Logistics Complex gets final ok, game-changer for trade and transport

Oakland, Calif. - A big chunk of this city’s decommissioned Army Base just got new life. Port of Oakland Commissioners last night gave final OK to a plan that re-invents the site as a Seaport Logistics Complex. Port officials called it a game-changer for global trade and transportation.

“There’s not anything like it on the U.S. West Coast,” said John Driscoll, the Port’s Maritime Director. “This Complex will make it faster and cheaper to import and export containerized goods internationally than ever before.”

The plan calls for Oak Brook, IL-based CenterPoint Properties to build a 440,000-square foot distribution center adjacent to the Port’s $100 million rail yard. It will be located across the street from marine terminals where container ships berth in Oakland. The new building and railyard are part of a plan to develop a 180-acre logistics campus on Port land. CenterPoint said work could begin in the first quarter of 2018.

CenterPoint officials said the project would distinguish Oakland on two counts:

  • The distribution center would be the largest warehouse-style building at any U.S. West Coast port.
  • It would be one of few nationally where cargo could be transloaded within a port’s footprint for transport by ship, truck or train. That’s how international shippers can expect to cut transportation costs while reducing shipment time.

“This is a unique opportunity,” said CenterPoint Chief Development Officer Michael Murphy. “There are very few places in North America where we can develop a logistics facility of this size which will effectively accommodate the efficient movement and delivery of goods that are critical to the economic health of a city and provide meaningful jobs for area residents.” The Port will lease property to CenterPoint, which will manage the facility. The land is the site of a former Army supply depot shuttered in 1999. The Port and City of Oakland each received 240-acre parcels from the closure.

The Port’s agreement with CenterPoint includes a jobs policy giving hiring priority to residents from the neighboring community. Disadvantaged residents would receive special employment consideration. Community activists have hailed the agreement as a national model for equitable development and job creation that strengthens local communities.

Long-range planning for future developments at the Seaport Logistics Complex is still underway, the Port said. It gave no timetable for additional projects.