Monday, July 27, 2009

Partnership at the Army Base?

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 5:04 AM

A group of city employees is pushing for a partnership between the two competing development groups vying for the former Oakland Army Base. According to the Trib, members of Mayor Ron Dellums' staff commissioned a report — without Dellums' knowledge -- that recommended the two development groups led by Phil Tagami and Michael Johnson merge to make the most of the base. The report was then leaked to the Trib.

But Tagami and Johnson have very different visions for the base property. Tagami wants to turn it into an industrial area for green-tech businesses and support services for the Port of Oakland, while Johnson envisions a giant retail center. There also appears to be little support for a partnership. Dellums favors Tagami and so does Vice Mayor Ignacio De La Fuente and Councilwoman Nancy Nadel, whose district includes the former base.

In addition, Tagami, who won the right to develop the port's half of the base last week, doesn't appear to be warm to the idea of partnering up with Johnson. The city council is scheduled to select a master developer for the city's half of the base Tuesday night.

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