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2014: The Year in Review

City Hall Year in Review

If 2014 is any indication of things to come, 2015 will be an exciting and successful year for economic development in Alameda. In May, Toronto-based Brookfield acquired the 1.1 million square foot Marina Village Business Park and is aggressively marketing and leasing the property. Alameda cemented its prospering cluster of artisan distilleries, vintners, and tasting rooms at Alameda Point, officially unveiling “Spirits Alley,” a popular dining and beverage regional entertainment destination that puts the “make” in Makers. Also in May, the City hosted a highly attended second annual brokers’ open house at Spirits Alley’s own Rock Wall Wine Company, at which the City unveiled its new full-service building permit program, “Alameda At Your Service.” In December, City Council approved two key deals, the Del Monte Warehouse adaptable reuse project, and selection of Alameda Point Partners to develop Site A at Alameda Point, laying the groundwork for continued growth in 2015 in the development and construction sectors. Construction of Alameda Landing moved forward quickly, with the grand opening of Michael’s in November following up on last year’s Target opening, and progress on the center’s second anchor, Safeway, is moving fast. In November, with Council approval, VF Outdoors announced it is moving forward with plans for its fifth building at Harbor Bay Business Park which will break ground in 2015. Once again, in 2014 Alameda proved to be a top competitor in the Bay Area’s office, lab, and R&D leasing segments, welcoming the relocation of battery tech company Sila Nanotechnologies from Atlanta, and the combined 130,000 square foot expansion of ABB Optical Group and Penumbra at Harbor Bay Business Park. As 2014 came to a close, the City was close to inking a deal to bring electric powertrain manufacturer Wrightspeed and its 300 new employees to Alameda Point from San Jose. In 2015, Alameda will remain a strong bet for Bay Area businesses, with low operating costs, strong consumer and business fundamentals, and thriving sectors in high-tech, bio-tech, healthcare, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing. If you are considering Alameda for your business, Economic Development staff is here to assist you every step of the way—contact us at (510) 747-6890. For the latest business news all year long, subscribe to this newsletter and follow us on Twitter.

Three Alameda Companies Vying for Prestigious Innovation Awards

DOER Submersible

The East Bay Economic Development Alliance has announced finalists for its 2015 Innovation Awards, to be held February 19, at the Fox Theater in Oakland. Medical device maker Abbott Diabetes Care (NYSE:ABT), remote operated vehicle builder Deep Ocean Exploration & Research (DOER), and hydro-power firm Natel Energy, landed three of the 16 finalist slots out of 175 nominees across the East Bay. The award recognizes businesses in the East Bay that most contribute to a culture of innovation. These finalist selections highlight just a few of the companies on the island making groundbreaking advancements in key economic sectors including medicine, advanced manufacturing, and green energy. Congratulations to our three finalists!

VF Outdoor Grows Operations at Harbor Bay

VF Outdoor Headquarters - Alameda

VF Outdoor (NYSE:VFC), parent company of brands like North Face, lucy, and Jansport, will be expanding its 160,000 square foot campus at Harbor Bay Business Park to add a new 55,300 square foot “Innovation, Warranty, and Digital Lab.” VF Outdoor opened its 14-acre LEED-certified campus in Alameda in 2012, to house its corporate headquarters. This expansion marks the first step in VF’s plans to double its size in the coming years, meaning even greater expansion is yet to come for this $11 billion company. The construction of VF’s fifth and newest building is expected to be completed by early 2016.  VF is in good company with other recent business expansions at Harbor Bay Business Park. As recently announced, medical device maker Penumbra and optical company ABB Optical Group (NYSE:ABB) are expanding by a combined 135,000 square feet.

City Approves ENA with Alameda Point Partners for Site A Development

Developer Open House

On November 18, the City Council approved an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Alameda Point Partners to acquire and develop a 68-acre portion of Alameda Point, known as “Site A,” as a mixed-use town center project. The selection of APP is the latest step in an extensive community planning process for Alameda Point. APP is a diverse team made up of four highly qualified firms, including: lead developer SRM Ernst (led by local resident and developer of VF Outdoor’s Harbor Bay campus, Joe Ernst); retail developer Madison Marquette; residential developer Thompson Dorfman Partners; and affordable housing specialist Eden Housing. Together, APP has extensive experience and expertise in urban mixed-use infill projects. Up to 800 housing units and 200,000 square feet of commercial uses (including 100,000 – 150,000 square feet of retail space) are planned for the site. Prior to development, APP is required to provide both transit and utility infrastructure that will serve the entirety of Alameda Point. Public waterfront parks and a multi-use sports facility are also features of the project’s conceptual plans. If negotiations are successful, the City Council will consider approval of a Disposition and Development Agreement with APP in May of this year. For more information about Alameda Point, visit or email

Bay Ship and Yacht Sets Course for New Working Waterfront Training Program

Ship repair at BS&Y

The College of Alameda and Bay Ship and Yacht, two of Alameda’s largest employers, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on January 8, outlining a new collaborative training program to prepare job seekers and prospective employees for careers in the maritime industrial field.  Bay Ship and Yacht, one of the top ship yards on the west coast, specializes in construction and repair of super yachts and commercial and military vessels. The “Working Waterfront Cohort Comprehensive Training Program” will combine in-depth classroom education provided through the College, with hands-on technical experience in the field at Bay Ship and Yacht. Program completion dates are set to align with the hiring seasons for Bay Ship, with graduates being given first consideration for open positions.  For more information, contact the College of Alameda at (510) 522-7221.

Pacific Pinball Museum Scores Historic Carnegie Library Building

Pinball Machines

On November 18, the Alameda City Council approved an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Pacific Pinball Museum for the historic Carnegie Library and adjacent Children’s Library building, at 2264 Santa Clara Ave. A move from 1510 Webster Street to the new location will expand the popular museum’s capacity and programming, and provide a perfect historic setting for the educational and preservation-focused nonprofit. The move will also complete work started by the City on needed structural updates and the renovation of the iconic 1902 building, vacant since 1998.

In the Press