OAKLAND (KCBS) – After years of deliberations, the Oakland City Council voted Tuesday night to approve development of the old Oakland Army Base.

The deal paves the way for developers Prologis and California Capital and Investment Group to lease the land and transform it into a state-of-the-art center and shipping, packaging and distribution facility, which would streamline efforts with the adjacent Port of Oakland.

The nearly $500 million first phase of the project will create a massive warehouse and distribution center supporting the port, creating thousands of jobs.

KCBS’ Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

Jill Broadhurst with the East Bay Rental Housing Association supports the council’s decision.

“Something positive like this that is going to move development and bring revenue, we as property owners are very excited about that prospect,” said Broadhurst.

But many are on the other side of the debate, calling for the council to not waver on “ban the box,” a ban on the box on employment applications that applicants would have to check if they have a criminal background.

They argued that Oakland’s unemployment rate is already high, especially for people who were previously incarcerated, and allowing companies to ask about a job applicant’s criminal background would severely hurt their chances.

Shippers at the port want to know if applicants have a criminal record for security reasons.

The deal agreed upon by the city council will set aside 50 percent of all construction jobs for Oakland residents.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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