ALAMEDA -- Walking and bicycle paths, spots for boaters and kayakers and a ferry terminal helping anchor a neighborhood that would serve as a gateway to Webster Street is how city officials envision the future "Town Center" of Alameda Point.

A public plaza, restaurants and maritime businesses are also proposed for the neighborhood near what's known as the Seaplane Lagoon at the former Alameda Naval Air Station. But before anyone can break ground and begin construction, city officials are hoping the public will weigh in on draft recommendations that they've crafted to help guide the project.

The recommendations, which the Planning Board will review Monday, range from building heights and the size of city blocks to where the new ferry terminal should be located.

Along with plans for the center, the board will consider proposals for zoning "sub-districts" at Alameda Point, including areas for light industrial use and places that will be for parks and open space.

Efforts to finalize plans for the town center are considered a key step toward transforming the former Navy base, especially since it will be among the first redeveloped and so will help jumpstart change in other areas, according to city officials.

The town center neighborhood is generally bordered by Main Street, the waterfront near the Seaplane Lagoon, and the former aircraft taxiways near the Alameda Naval Air Museum and the Bladium Sports & Fitness Club.


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Among the recommendations is to realign West Atlantic Avenue west of its intersection with Main Street so that it offers a direct connection between the waterfront and the Wesbter Street business district, and for the new ferry terminal to be located at the Seaplane Lagoon's eastern edge.

West Atlantic also would be redesigned to "de-emphasize the automobile," including limiting access to the waterfront to just cyclists and pedestrians, as a way to make the area more attractive, City Planner Andrew Thomas said.

The recommendations also include creating a public plaza near the Seaplane Lagoon with possibly a building that would serve as a neighborhood landmark, Thomas said.

Urban design consultants Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP helped craft the recommendations, which are expected to be revised as city officials gather public input.

Monday's Planning Board meeting is among a series of sessions scheduled through next year as city officials consider documents related to transit, transportation and zoning for redeveloping the former base.

In June, the city took ownership of about 1,400 acres of the site through a no-cost conveyance agreement with the U.S. Navy. The agreement, the first phase of the base's overall transfer, provided the city with about 500 acres of land and nearly 900 acres beneath San Francisco Bay.

The complete transfer of Alameda Point is projected to be completed by 2019.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.

If you go
The Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.

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