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Alameda's Business Costs Lowest of Five Cities Analyzed

Comparison of Annual Cost of Doing Business

The City of Alameda has completed its annual cost of doing business study for the East Bay, and Alameda has once again come out on top.  In a hypothetical comparison of five cities (Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and Pleasanton), for a 20,000 SF office user, Alameda’s cost of doing business is nearly 30% less than the average cost of the four other cities surveyed. A combination of factors helps Alameda remain a Bay Area bargain, including: free and ample parking; low business license taxes; and affordable rents. Contributing to low rents (which are about 25% less than the average of comparison cities) is Alameda’s municipally-owned electric utility, Alameda Municipal Power (AMP). AMP provides clean and reliable energy to the City at around 15% less than PG&E (the primary electric source for other Bay Area cities). If you are interested in taking advantage of Alameda's low business costs, central Bay Area location, highly educated work force, and specialized economic clusters, the Economic Development Division staff is here to help. For customized assistance, contact us at econdev@alamedaca.gov or (510) 747-6890.

Nation's Largest Contact Lens Distributor Doubles Size in Alameda

ABB Logo

ABB Concise, a subsidiary of ABB Optical Group, is the nation’s largest distributor of soft contact lenses, with its west coast manufacturing and distribution center located at Harbor Bay Business Park in Alameda.  ABB occupies 50,000 SF at Harbor Bay, and is expanding into adjacent space for an additional 45,000 SF, bringing their total Alameda presence to 95,000 SF.   The City’s Community Development Department is facilitating ABB's expansion by expediting its building permits and approvals to enable ABB to deliver its new facility on-time and on-budget. ABB also manufactures gas permeable “hard” contact lenses and custom specialty soft lenses, and will soon enter the frame distribution business at Harbor Bay.  Lynda Baker, ABB's Executive Vice President of Marketing, said Alameda is “an ideal location” to do business with its close proximity to the Federal Express hub at Oakland International Airport and central West Coast distribution location.

City Launches “Spirits Alley” at Alameda Point

Spirits Alley Launch

The half-mile stretch of Monarch Street at Alameda Point, unofficially referred to as “Spirits Alley,” is finally official. On October 17th, PM Realty Group and the City of Alameda held a Spirits Alley launch event, complete with a ribbon cutting by Mayor Marie Gilmore, to put Alameda's growing cluster of artisan distilleries, vintners, and tasting rooms on the map. Spirits Alley has grown to six specialty beverage companies since the opening of St. George Spirits in 2002. Building 43 Winery, which will open this month, is the newest addition to the group, which also includes: Brix Beverage; Faction Brewing Company; Hangar 1 Vodka; and Rock Wall Wine Company. Spirits Alley has been instrumental in attracting visitors and residents to the former naval base, receiving high marks on Yelp and TripAdvisor. For information about leasing and development opportunities at Alameda Point, contact the Economic Development Division econdev@alamedaca.gov or (510) 747-6890.

City Connects Employers with Job Seekers

Job Seekers and Employers at Job Fair

The City of Alameda's Community Development Department partnered with the College of Alameda’s One Stop Career Center to host a Job Fair on October 15th. Following the success of last year’s City Job Fair for newly opened Target at Alameda Landing, the City and College continued their efforts to connect new Alameda Landing businesses with Alameda residents seeking employment. The Job Fair also included additional employers throughout Alameda and nearby cities. Turnout was high, with 24 businesses and more than 220 job seekers attending.  To get prospective employees ready for the big day, by honing their resumes and interview skills, the City hosted a Job Readiness Workshop on October 11th.  “Workforce retention and attraction are big issues for any business.  Our goal is to connect Alameda employers with qualified employees in a highly targeted and customizable way,” said Economic Development Manager Darrell Doan.

$210M “One VA” Hospital and National Cemetery Project Taking Shape

VA site rendering

With this month's Veteran’s Day as the backdrop, Mayor Marie Gilmore, current Armed Forces servicemembers, and veterans participated in a ceremony to mark the official transfer of a 624-acre portion of Alameda’s former Naval Air Station from the U.S. Department of the Navy to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The event took place at a packed Alameda Theatre auditorium on November 3rd, marking a major step forward in developing the One VA project.  One VA will include a 158,000 SF full-service outpatient clinic and a badly needed National Cemetery and Columbarium honoring 300,000 veterans at full build-out. With nearly 30,000 veterans in Northern Alameda County alone, One VA will act as a vital hub for comprehensive services for veterans, and represents a major investment in Alameda which will provide hundreds of new jobs. For further information about the project, visit www.alamedapointinfo.com/va-clinic.

Luxury Real Estate Firm Opens at South Shore Center

APC Receiving Check from Alain Pinel

Mayor Marie Gilmore welcomed the country’s fifth largest real estate firm, Alain Pinel Realtors, to Alameda at its grand opening on October 23rd.  Alain Pinel opened its new 2,300 SF Alameda office at South Shore Center based on Alameda's strong residential market as well as convenience of location in the greater Bay Area. At its opening, Alain Pinel presented a $5,000 check to Alameda Point Collaborative, an Alameda-based nonprofit supportive housing and workforce provider-the largest in Alameda County. APC works to help families and individuals break the cycle of violence and poverty by giving residents tools for long-term success in the housing and job markets. The City is excited to add Alain Pinel to its roster of new businesses, and is extremely grateful for companies like them who give back to their community.

Michael's Opens at Alameda Landing

Michael's Ribbon Cutting

More than 100 people lined up for Michael’s  grand opening at Alameda Landing on November 2nd. Throughout the day, the arts and crafts specialty retailer gave away gift cards and prizes to customers, welcoming them to the new store. Michael’s is the junior anchor (behind Target) at Alameda Landing, and the second business to open at the center.  Stay tuned for additional ribbon cuttings in the coming months as construction continues ahead of schedule.

Alameda Business In the Press