The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners praised the California Transportation Commission (CTC) for their decision to commit $242 million in voter-approved Proposition 1B bond funding to the redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base.
The Oakland Army Base (OAB) project involves a transformation of the former base into a world-class trade and logistics center which will strengthen the Port’s position as the leading export gateway on the United States West Coast. The Port handles 99% of all containerized goods in Northern California, and agricultural products represent approximately 40% of the total value of exports.
Port of Oakland Commission President Gilda Gonzales said, “We thank the California Transportation Commission for recognizing the bold vision that the Port, the City and its development partners have planned. Ultimately, this state-of-the-art facility will enhance rail connections, increase global business opportunities, and support thousands of construction jobs.”
On July 9, 2012, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. visited the Port to announce $15 million in federal TIGER grant funding for the OAB project, affirming the project’s national and strategic significance.
“The unanimous vote by the California Transportation Commission approving the plan for the Oakland Army Base Project is a vote of confidence in our vision for the Oakland working waterfront,” said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. “Upon becoming Mayor, I made this a high priority and took bold action to put key staff and Port Commissioners in place to ensure that this $242 million stayed in Oakland. I am extremely pleased and thank the CTC. This will create thousands of jobs and ensure Oakland will remain a key global economic engine in the future.”
The affirmation of these funds follows the June 19, 2012 Oakland City Council approval of development agreements with international firm Prologis and the Oakland-based California Capital Investment Group, for the City’s portion of the 360-acres of former Oakland Army Base that it shares with the Port of Oakland.
“We thank the California Transportation Commission, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Northern California Trade Corridor Coalition, the City and all of our business and labor partners for their support,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin. “This former Oakland Army Base redevelopment project will allow us to continue creating jobs in the region.
The Port supports more than 70,000 jobs in the region and over 800,000 jobs across the United States through Port operations and those of its tenants and users. The OAB project is scheduled to break ground by the end of 2013.
Dredging Today Staff, August 26, 2012; Image: workingeastbay