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Condos Grow at Alameda Marina — Boatyard TBD

On a recent visit to Alameda, we stopped by the Alameda Marina condo development in search of the proposed boatyard. The once-thriving maritime trade center is heading full-tilt toward relieving Alameda’s housing shortage while also, apparently, relieving Alameda of its maritime heritage. There’s a long way to go on this project and we’ll hope the planned and city-approved commercial maritime center emerges in the midst of the housing complex. Though it’s hard to imagine true, maritime industry happily coexisting alongside family housing and latte shops.

Alameda Marina Condos
Alameda Marina condos rise from the former maritime trades center.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Alameda-Marina---Clement-St
The five- to six-story wall of condos along Clement Avenue in Alameda.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Alameda Marina Boatyard
The artist rendering in the developer’s proposal shows a busy maritime commercial center near what appears to be the now-missing Island Yacht Club building. This shows six rigs on the ground and two cranes in the maritime trade area in the midst of the surrounding residential development currently under construction.
© 2022 Alameda Marina
Waterfront views
An artist rendering from the Alameda Marina development plan. Will condo developments remove the working waterfront that supports boating and leave people with bike paths, and seating from which to gaze out on the empty Bay’s once-active sailing scene?
© 2022 Alameda Marina
Alameda Condos
Are bike paths and condos the type of Bay/Estuary access wanted by the citizens of Alameda?
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Waterfront property is cherished by developers who can sell or rent the finished product at higher prices than the exact same condo structure just a few blocks inland. However, this steady erosion of space along the waterfront is increasingly depriving all Bay Area residents of the space for Bay access and maritime trades and services. The maritime trades provide the essential support for everyone’s enjoyment of the region’s best feature — the Bay.

Cities need tax revenue and a plan to alleviate the region’s housing shortage, but there are many land options for housing that are simply not options for the maritime businesses. Watching our waterfront transition from waterfront activities to waterfront “lifestyle” is sadly too heavy on “style” and short on “life,” once again reminding us of Joni Mitchell singing, “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot … They took all the trees, Put ’em in a tree museum …

Kettenburg Boatyard San Diego
The famed Kettenburg Boat Works in San Diego was replaced by condos and this commemorative plaque in the back corner, near the leasing office and a brewpub.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The Alameda Marina is a long way from finished, so sailors can still hope to see the promised return of sail lofts, riggers, boatyard, metal shops, paint shops, chandlers, maritime electronics and many other maritime services and jobs that kept Alameda at the hub of a thriving Bay Area sailing scene. Our imagination may be limited, but we struggle to envision the happy marriage of commercial maritime businesses in the midst of this shiny, new housing development. Consider the following video posted by the Sausalito Working Waterfront Coalition, a group dedicated to ensuring that Sausalito’s housing solutions don’t displace critical maritime infrastructure in Sausalito. Who wants to buy a brand-new waterfront condo and listen to this?:

It’s easier to see nautical gift shops with anchor and lighthouse pillows or potholders and sailing notecards for sale, rather than welding and metal-grinding shops.

We hope we’re wrong, but only time will tell.

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4 Comments

  1. David Schurr 2 years ago

    While I’m not a fan of 6 story condos blocking my view of the estuary, Alameda Marina was in disrepair with derelict docks and vessels collecting moss. We just can’t have it all. Let’s hope the new residents have an urgent need to take up sailing!

  2. Jeff Hoffman 2 years ago

    There is no housing shortage in the Bay Area. There is an affordable housing shortage, and like everywhere else on the planet, gross human overpopulation. These developments are just scam money-making ventures for developers. They don’t provide affordable housing, which could be immediately provided by using all the vacant housing in the Bay Area, and they don’t prevent urban sprawl. All they do is make developers rich and destroy communities with overdevelopment, just like they’re destroying maritime communities as you point out here.

  3. Ken ,call me skeptical,Brinkley 2 years ago

    Greed will always win out ! “Money doesn’t talk ,it swears“ Bob Dylan .

  4. yan rong huang 2 years ago

    Hi I am interested the apartment how and when can I get applications for affordable housing thanks.

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