Berkeley-Albany YMCA/Central Branch Expansion
When a 30,000-square-foot parcel adjacent to the Central Branch of the Berkeley YMCA was foreclosed on by the Bank of America, the YMCA recognized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand. I advised the YMCA on negotiation of the acquisition from the bank’s REO department, assisted the YMCA in defining its long-term facility needs, and aided in soliciting and selecting a developer/joint venture partner. This effort included preparing a Request for Proposal, evaluating four developer proposals, and negotiating the transaction with the selected developer. This transaction was very complex in that it included a sale of land, a sale of air rights, and a joint design and development agreement between the parties. I managed the project through the city approvals and environmental review process (securing 9-0 vote); and wrote the market and financial feasibility study that was included in the Prospectus for a $10 million tax exempt bond which financed the new Downtown YMCA.
Bay Area Rapid Transit District/Pleasant Hill Specific Plan
The Pleasant Hill BART station lies in an urbanized but unincorporated area of central Contra Costa County between the cities of Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill. Despite several years of county efforts to promote higher-density development around the station, the area remained one dominated by modest low-density single-family homes. The county decided to employ a combination of planning and fiscal tools in an effort to make the station area (about 125 acres) a major new development node. These tools included a Specific Plan, a redevelopment area, and an assessment district. I was involved in all aspects of this innovative and nationally acclaimed planning effort, including the negotiation of a long-term development agreement with the County which provided 1.3 million SF of development rights on BART properties. The financing plan made possible by the redevelopment area and the assessment district allowed the county to build nearly $30 million of public infrastructure improvements prior to any new development. Innovative aspects of this plan included heavy concentration of density near transit; extensive use of development agreements between the county and owners, including BART; transferable development rights; plan amendment and zoning provisions that allow substantial flexibility in responding to market conditions; strong Transportation Systems Management and childcare ordinances; and transit impact fees financed through a special assessment district.
Bay Area Rapid Transit District/Station Area Plans
In the early 1980s, BART decided to encourage higher density development at and around its stations. This was accomplished principally by two means: more active involvement in local land use planning around stations, and establishment of a program to explore the potential for joint development on BART’s surface parking lots at stations. As manager of BART’s joint development program, Terry Margerum directed station area planning and development feasibility studies at over a dozen existing and planned BART stations in as many different jurisdictions. In addition to the general impact of higher density zoning at the stations, these efforts created planning entitlements for BART worth well in excess of $30 million. In roughly half of these jurisdictions, both the city and the redevelopment agency were involved. At some stations, the development program was in excess of a million square feet.