A City of Oakland real estate official told city councilmembers this week that a company providing major assistance to the Port of Oakland could face eviction proceedings in court as early as next week if negotiations for the company to leave the old Oakland Army Base property are not concluded by then.
Pacific Coast Container Logistics is one of four companies that must vacate the city's portion of the East Gateway section of the old Army Base by May 31 to make way for the beginning of construction of new development. Oakland stands to lose $174 million in federal funds for the development project if it does not clear the companies out to make way for the first phase of construction beginning later this year.
But holding up the Pacific Coast Container Logistics (PCC) move from the City of Oakland side of the old Army Base is the company’s inability to secure a relocation site on the Port of Oakland side of the base. "There's no other place to look into except the Port property," a company representative told committee members. "We've looked everywhere else."
PCC, which has more than one hundred permanent employees and four hundred workers onsite overall, must be near the Port of Oakland in order to continue its current port-related activities, including the inspection of incoming port cargo.
Because any disruption of such inspection might impact Homeland Security, CEDA Committee Chair Larry Reid said he has asked Congresswoman Barbara Lee to intervene in the negotiations. The Port of Oakland has offered several warehouse bays for the companies to relocate to, but negotiations to move to those spaces have been held up over space and access issues.
CEDA Committee member Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who was elected last November to represent the old Oakland Army Base as part of District Three, urged port and city staff members to work together to resolve the problem, stating that "it doesn't make sense to Oakland voters that the city and the port can't come together and work out a plan for business retention."
Meanwhile, Councilman Reid continued to voice his disaffection with California Capital & Investment Group (CCIG), the company led by Oakland developer Phil Tagami. CCIG serves as the general contractor for the Army Base development. Reid has been critical of CCIG's development of the base in recent weeks.
Expressing his displeasure that city staff members had left it up to CCIG to conduct the last round of discussions with the vacating Army Base property businesses, Reid told a PCC representative that "you should have been contacted by the city as well. Is Tagami running this project or are we running it?"
Reid said that "if you leave it to CCIG to look after [Oakland's] best interests, I don't think that will be the case. It will be more of [CCIG's] best interests." Reid added that he "won't be a rubber stamp for CCIG."