The Board of Port Commissioners voted initial approval of the agreement on 9 November. If Commissioners say yes in a second vote on 30 November, the deal becomes official in January. Port officials said that the agreement includes unprecedented commitments to hire local workers.
The agreement calls for industrial real estate giant CenterPoint Properties to develop a $52 million logistics facility on Port property that once served as an Army supply depot. Construction would culminate 20 months of negotiations between CenterPoint, the Port, and two other coalitions of community groups, Revive Oakland and Oakland Works.
The project would be the first phase of a planned Seaport Logistics Complex that could eventually encompass nearly 180 acres and will be located off Maritime Street, near Oakland’s Outer Harbor. The vision for the Complex: modern distribution centers, including a railyard, close by marine terminals in the heart of the Port.
Work on CenterPoint’s 440,000-square-foot building could begin as early as the first quarter of 2018, the Port said, noting that no other US port has the land to duplicate Oakland’s marriage of transportation and logistics capabilities.
The policy is envisioned as an economic driver and job generator. Among the stipulations are:
- Preferences for hiring local residents, particularly those in neighborhoods nearest the Port;
- Special consideration for disadvantaged residents including the chronically unemployed, single parents, formerly incarcerated and military veterans;
- Funding for a local, community-based workforce development partner, the West Oakland Job Resource Center, to train work force candidates and provide the opportunity to refer job applicants.
“We’ll provide the most efficient and most cost-effective means of delivering cargo,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “That will be a major driver of our growth in the years ahead.”