Wednesday’s Briefing: Developer Proposes 580 Housing Units at Kaiser Center; Wiener Scales Back SB 827 Housing Bill


Stories you shouldn’t miss for April 11, 2018:

1. Developer Swig is proposing to build a 400-foot high-rise with 580 units of housing at Oakland’s Kaiser Center next to Lake Merritt, reports Roland Li of the San Francisco Business Times$. Swig’s plan also would include a second, 400-foot tower for commercial office space. The new plan represents a second proposal by the developer for the site. The other plan would be an-all commercial project. Swig wants the flexibility to build either one depending on market conditions.

2. State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, has scaled back his proposal — Senate Bill 827 — to allow dense housing near transit, reports Melody Gutierrez of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The new version of the bill would bar cities from blocking housing that is up to five stories in height — rather than eight stories — next to transit. Wiener’s proposal has generated opposition from wealthy cities that don’t want more housing and from anti-gentrification activists who are convinced that new housing causes displacement.

3. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward on a plan to sell its share of the Coliseum property to the city of Oakland, reports Michael Cabanatuan of the San Francisco Chronicle. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has called for exclusive negotiations with the Oakland A’s, who want to buy the Coliseum property from the city.

4. The Oakland A’s, meanwhile, have floated a plan to build an aerial tram from the downtown Oakland BART to Jack London Square should the team decide to build a new ballpark there at Howard Terminal, the San Francisco Chronicle$ reports. The A’s have long been concerned about access to the waterfront if they build a ballpark there.

5. The Metropolitan Water District, which represents most of Southern California, voted to earmark $11 billion for Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant water tunnels underneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, reports Bettina Boxall of the LA Times$. The tunnels, which still must overcome numerous lawsuits by Delta residents and environmental groups, would send Northern California river water to Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.

6. Electric scooter companies have been distributing e-scooters for people to rent throughout Oakland and other Bay Area cities, reports Julia Prodis Sulek of the Mercury News$. The e-scooters, however, have also created a backlash from people who say they’re blocking sidewalks.

7. And GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he’s retiring at the end of this year — in yet another sign that Democrats have a good chance of regaining control of Congress in November thanks to President Trump’s scandal-plagued tenure and his low approval ratings.

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