A sailing team hoping to win the America's Cup on San Francisco Bay next year will construct a floating dock and install a temporary crane capable of lifting a 72-foot catamaran as part of setting up its base at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.
Artemis Racing, which represents the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, secured permission for the dock and crane from Alameda's Planning Board on Monday, less than a week after a fire swept through a pier on the San Francisco waterfront that was slated to be refurbished for the sailing race.
Along with the dock and mobile crane, the board unanimously approved allowing Artemis Racing a 1-year extension on its use permit if the team decides to stay in Alameda longer, which could happen depending on how well it performs in the race.
The 60-meter dock will be installed in an area known as the Seaplane Lagoon and near where the team will rent a 110,000 square foot warehouse in a deal announced last month with Alameda officials.
The 34th America's Cup is projected to pump $1 billion into the Bay Area economy next summer, when the Louis Vuitton Cup takes place and the race culminates with the Oracle Racing Team defending its trophy in the finals.
Artemis Racing will pay $20,000 a month for the warehouse at the former Navy base, which is now known as Alameda Point, according to city officials.
Along with Alameda, Oakland and Richmond are pitching to host teams, hoping crews and their sponsors
The sailors and crew of the 70-member Artemis team and their families will arrive in Alameda next month for the preliminary races and will stay through at least October.
Team representatives said they plan to remain in Alameda for the entire contest. But America's Cup officials could still require them to eventually move their catamarans and other equipment to San Francisco to help promote the race.
The 1-year extension on the use permit approved Monday allows the Artemis team to sidestep local bureaucratic hurdles to stay in Alameda, according to Andrew Thomas, planning services manager with the city.
The permit is valid from Sunday through March next year.
"I'd like to leave the option open," board member Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft said about including the extension. "I'm trusting the crew and team members will fall in love with our fair Island and not want to move to that big city in March."
The Planning Board's decision follows a fire June 20 at San Francisco's Pier 29, where shops, restaurants and viewing space are proposed for the sailing race.
Race officials said they do not expect the fire will impact their plans and they will go forward with the construction of the "America's Cup Village" at the pier, as well as at Piers 27 and 28.
San Francisco secured the rights to host the race in December 2010 after offering long-term development rights to several waterfront sites, including the piers along the Embarcadero.
Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty/.