End Game for Base Tenants

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor

The fate of three port-related businesses facing imminent eviction from the City of Oakland portion of the old Army Base went into an end-game this week, with PCC Logistics and Impact Transportation waiting on Army Base developers to approve a

Gilda Gonzalez

Gilda Gonzalez

city-port land-transfer deal, and City Council scheduling a closed-door legal and economic briefing on Friday of this week before making a final decision on a lease for Oakland Maritime Support Services.

The three companies—representing hundreds of jobs and providing critical Port of Oakland services—are being forced to move from the Oakland portion of the Army Base to make way for the city’s massive Gateway Development Project, scheduled to begin breaking ground on the Army Base this fall. The companies are hoping to move to property on the Port of Oakland portion of the old Army Base.

The latest extended deadline for the evictions expired last Sunday, but the Oakland City Council let its regular Tuesday meeting pass this week without authorizing city staff to move forward with the evictions.

Last week, with no debate, the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners unanimously approved two alternative deals with the City to move PCC Logistics and Impact Transportation to warehouses on the port Army Base property. The proposed warehouse leases with PCC and Impact and two other companies currently on port property is projected to provide the port with $3.7 million in net revenue over a 30 month period.

Because part of the terms involve financial considerations by the Army Base developers, the deal cannot be finalized until approval given by Prologis Corporation, the San Francisco-based international financial partners in the development to Phil Tagami’s Oakland-based California Capital Investment Group. The Prologis Board of Directors is scheduled to consider the PCC-Impact Transportation transfer deal on June 24.

Following port commissioner approval of the deal at last week’s meeting, Commission President Gilda Gonzalez told a representative of CCIG to tell Tagami that “it is imperative” that the developers “do what they have to do” to make the deal “a reality.”

Once Prologis makes its decision, the Port Board of Commissioners will return on June 27 to take a final vote on the lease proposal.

The OMSS situation is somewhat more complicated.

While the PCC and Impact Transportation move to the Port portion of the Army Base will cost neither the Port or the City any money—the two companies will foot the bill for renovating the warehouses they are moving into—the proposed deal with OMSS would require the City to foot the bill if that company were to default on a 30 month lease of 11.7 acres of port land OMSS wants to move to.

In addition, some Councilmembers have expressed concerns about a $964,000 judgment issued earlier this month by an Alameda County Superior Court judge against AB Trucking, a company owned by OMSS owner Bill Aboudi in a lawsuit charging Aboudi with wage and labor condition violations.

Council President Pat Kernighan said that she had “some concerns about the issue that the city is taking on the responsibility to the liability to the Port for the lease payments should OMSS default, and I am worried about these judgments and what it’s going to do to Mr. Aboudi’s financial ability.”

The Council eventually gave tentative approval to the OMSS Port property lease agreement with the understanding that Councilmembers reserved the right to reverse their votes when a vote for final approval comes up in two weeks after this week’s closed session briefing on the matter.

The fate of three port-related businesses facing imminent eviction from the City of Oakland portion of the old Army Base went into an end-game this week, with PCC Logistics and Impact Transportation waiting on Army Base developers to approve a city-port land-transfer deal, and City Council scheduling a closed-door legal and economic briefing on Friday of this week before making a final decision on a lease for Oakland Maritime Support Services.

The three companies—representing hundreds of jobs and providing critical Port of Oakland services—are being forced to move from the Oakland portion of the Army Base to make way for the city’s massive Gateway Development Project, scheduled to begin breaking ground on the Army Base this fall. The companies are hoping to move to property on the Port of Oakland portion of the old Army Base.

The latest extended deadline for the evictions expired last Sunday, but the Oakland City Council let its regular Tuesday meeting pass this week without authorizing city staff to move forward with the evictions.

Last week, with no debate, the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners unanimously approved two alternative deals with the City to move PCC Logistics and Impact Transportation to warehouses on the port Army Base property. The proposed warehouse leases with PCC and Impact and two other companies currently on port property is projected to provide the port with $3.7 million in net revenue over a 30 month period.

Because part of the terms involve financial considerations by the Army Base developers, the deal cannot be finalized until approval given by Prologis Corporation, the San Francisco-based international financial partners in the development to Phil Tagami’s Oakland-based California Capital Investment Group. The Prologis Board of Directors is scheduled to consider the PCC-Impact Transportation transfer deal on June 24.

Following port commissioner approval of the deal at last week’s meeting, Commission President Gilda Gonzalez told a representative of CCIG to tell Tagami that “it is imperative” that the developers “do what they have to do” to make the deal “a reality.”

Once Prologis makes its decision, the Port Board of Commissioners will return on June 27 to take a final vote on the lease proposal.

The OMSS situation is somewhat more complicated.

While the PCC and Impact Transportation move to the Port portion of the Army Base will cost neither the Port or the City any money—the two companies will foot the bill for renovating the warehouses they are moving into—the proposed deal with OMSS would require the City to foot the bill if that company were to default on a 30 month lease of 11.7 acres of port land OMSS wants to move to.

In addition, some Councilmembers have expressed concerns about a $964,000 judgment issued earlier this month by an Alameda County Superior Court judge against AB Trucking, a company owned by OMSS owner Bill Aboudi in a lawsuit charging Aboudi with wage and labor condition violations.

Council President Pat Kernighan said that she had “some concerns about the issue that the city is taking on the responsibility to the liability to the Port for the lease payments should OMSS default, and I am worried about these judgments and what it’s going to do to Mr. Aboudi’s financial ability.”

The Council eventually gave tentative approval to the OMSS Port property lease agreement with the understanding that Councilmembers reserved the right to reverse their votes when a vote for final approval comes up in two weeks after this week’s closed session briefing on the matter.

  Courtesy of the Oakland Post, June 21, 2013 (www.postnewsgroup.com)