The city and port of Oakland have applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation for a $40 million grant as part of a negotiated plan with an industrial developer to transform the former Oakland Army Base adjacent to the port into an international logistics center.
Under the third round of the TIGER discretionary grant program, the DOT is distributing $527 million to multi-modal or multi-jurisdictional projects that will have a significant impact on a metropolitan area, region or the nation and are difficult to fund through regular formula-based aid to states. The department received more than 1,000 applications for the merit-based, competitive grant program. The TIGER I ($1.5 billion) and TIGER II ($600 million) funding programs proved extremely popular and were oversubscribed far beyond the available dollar amounts. In 2009, for example, the DOT received 1,400 applications requesting a total of $60 billion and awarded money to 51 projects. The DOT does not always fund winning applications to the full amount requested.
In Oakland’s case, the money would go towards the $438 million first phase of the Oakland Army Base redevelopment, with the balance of the money provided by the city, port, state of California and private investors ProLogis and California Capital & Investment Group.
AMB Property Corp. was the original developer, but merged last summer with ProLogis to create one of the largest providers of industrial real estate in the world. The company specializes in building logistics facilities.
The project includes the construction of a near-dock intermodal facility on 40 acres of port property, which would be utilized by marine terminal operator Ports America to move ocean containers to inland destinations by rail.
Development plans also call for the construction of warehouse facilities, the restoration of Oakland’s only deep water breakbulk terminal capable of handling heavy export loads, road improvements, and the relocation of export-oriented recycling and trucking operations from local neighborhoods to the port area.
“The transformation of the former Oakland Army Base into a world-class trade and logistics center with superior rail facilities is one of the Port’s top strategic initiatives and critical to our future,” Port of Oakland Commission President Pamela Calloway said in a written statement.
Officials say it will create 5,000 construction jobs and thousands more long-term jobs in logistics, manufacturing and agriculture.
The DOT is expected to announce the results of the TIGER competition by the end of the year. – Eric Kulisch