It's pretty rare to see actual good news about Oakland these days, so lets cherish it while we can.
Oakland Army Base plan OKd by City Council
The Oakland City Council late Tuesday approved a series of agreements with developers on the conversion of the former Oakland Army Base. It will be the city's largest development in decades.
The proposed project intends to remake the 366-acre base into a shipping, packaging and distribution facility, augmenting the adjacent Port of Oakland.
Though the $484 million first phase of the project had overcome a series of hurdles during the past four years, it became the center of a fight over how many of the project's jobs would go to Oakland residents. The council vote was critical to securing a $242 million grant from state officials, who, city staff said, had set a Tuesday deadline to show that the slow-moving project was moving forward.
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Activists are satisfied with the promises made by the master developer, California Capital and Investment Group of Oakland, to give 50 percent of the roughly 2,800 construction jobs to local residents. But activists are opposed to the proposed agreement awarding roughly 2,000 permanent jobs at the port, many of them overseen by San Francisco-based ProLogis.
Most of those long-term jobs would be at the warehouses that will serve as distribution facilities. The proposed agreement would require businesses to hire Oakland residents for 50 percent of the jobs only if the company has 40 or more workers on site, including part-time and temporary employees. In addition, a company would be allowed to ask about a job applicant's criminal background on job applications if it's the company's national practice to do such vetting.
For the construction jobs, the developer has agreed not to ask potential workers about criminal records on job applications.
"This project has more community benefits than any other project in Oakland history," said Phil Tagami, president of California Capital.
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