Alameda Landing

Residents and business owners in the new Alameda Landing development may pay thousands of dollars more in taxes for roads, sewers and police protection than their other Island neighbors.

The City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday to move forward on a pair of proposed special districts encompassing the Alameda Landing development that, if approved, would allow the city to levy additional taxes to pay for the facilities and services; Councilwoman Lena Tam was absent. A public hearing and potential city approval of the proposed districts is set for January 7.

Alamedans have been known to be less than enthusiastic about the idea of chain stores on the Island. But people who stopped and shopped at Alameda’s new Target store Tuesday night were quick to declare their excitement that the discount retailer had opened an outlet in town.

“I love it,” said Meka Brown, who was strolling the toy aisle during the store’s VIP opening Tuesday evening. “I like that I don’t have to drive to Richmond or San Rafael.”

Monday’s Planning Board hearing on the design of new buildings that will house an In-N-Out Burger, Chase bank branch and Safeway gas station near the foot of the Webster Tube didn’t pack City Hall with residents who lined up to air concerns about crime and traffic the way an earlier discussion about drive-through lanes for the restaurant and bank branch did.

But while the cast of characters who participated in Monday’s discussion may have been smaller, the nearly two-hour conversation about the buildings’ design and other issues was wide-ranging.

For years, Alameda has served as a destination for onetime city dwellers who prize its vintage homes, tree-lined streets and not-too-suburban feel. But almost as often as not, Alamedans leave the Island to buy the things they need.

The in-progress development of the long-awaited Alameda Landing project near the Webster Tube – a project that includes a 291,000-square-foot Target-anchored shopping center – has stirred hopes at City Hall and citywide that long-desired retailers offering clothing, high-end grocery, paper goods and more will finally come to the Island. But retail experts and city staffers who have been working to bring stores to town said drawing them requires a carefully crafted admixture of demographics, relationships, timing, space – along with a little luck.

Alameda’s Planning Board unanimously approved a drive-through and late-night hours for an In-N-Out Burger near the foot of the Webster Tube on Monday – provided the city can win Caltrans’ approval for a crosswalk intended to protect pedestrians who might otherwise jaywalk into traffic exiting the tube.

The board also okayed a drive-through for a proposed Chase bank branch on the 2.3-acre “gateway” parcel and a new, 24-hour Safeway gas station that staffers have said is a prerequisite for the Pleasanton-based grocery chain planting a new store in the Alameda Landing development.

Alameda’s Planning Board approved the design of the remainder of a Target-anchored shopping center that’s being built near the Webster Tube – the final administrative approval the project needed before construction could start.

The Target store is under construction and slated to open in October, and developer Catellus is hoping the remainder of the shopping center will be open for business in the summer of 2014.

“We’ve been working on this for many years,” Catellus’s Sean Whiskeman said.

Catellus Corporation is proposing to bring an In-N-Out Burger, Safeway gas station and Chase bank branch to this 2.3 acre site near the Webster Tube.

Alameda’s Planning Board will weigh in Monday on a proposal to place a 24-hour Safeway gas station and convenience mart, a Chase Bank branch and an In-N-Out Burger fast food restaurant at the mouth of the Webster Tube.

The historic Alameda Point deal slated to close on June 4 isn't the only big news the City Council addressed on Tuesday. Mayor Marie Gilmore announced a short list of new retail outlets that are planning to join Target and Safeway at the Alameda Landing shopping center near the Posey Tube.

A new Safeway grocery store and gas station could become part of a Target-anchored shopping center being constructed next to the Posey Tube.

The Pleasanton-based grocery chain has signed a letter of intent to build a 45,000-square-foot “lifestyle” store at Alameda Landing and a gas station, similar to what the company build at Alameda South Shore Center. The store would accompany a Target that is under construction now and slated to open in October.

To a casual observer, the scene that played out during at the Alameda City Council’s January 2 discussion about the Marina Cove housing development may have held some surprises. The city’s top planner, Andrew Thomas, was detailing his efforts to prod developer Trident Partners to build more homes on the 7.14 acre Marina Cove II site, which now holds a warehouse. The developer’s representative had insisted that the company only wanted to build the 69 homes originally approved for the site.

“This is very unusual when the planner for the city is telling a developer, ‘We want more units,’” Thomas told the council. “But it’s something that’s going to be happening much more often.”