OAKLAND (KCBS) – The businesses that make up the Oakland Film Center must leave the Oakland Army Base by January to keep an expansion project at the Port of Oakland on schedule, Mayor Quan said Wednesday.

“There’s $242 million at stake,” Quan said. “In order to keep that money, I have to be in construction in 15 months.”

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KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

When plans to include the film companies in the port expansion project fell through, many assumed they would not be forced out in the middle of next year rather than at the beginning of the year.

At the beginning of November, the city sent out eviction notices to 32 film-related companies that, for several years, have leased warehouses at the Army Base.

Tim Ranahan said the eviction letter left him “totally blindsided.” Ranahan Production Services has been providing equipment and services for shoots out of facilities at the Army Base since 2004.

“We contribute taxes, business licenses, local employees. We shop and buy. All our vendors are in Oakland, pretty much,” Ranahan said.

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Commercials shot in Oakland depend on the Oakland Film Center, as did recent films such as “Moneyball” and “Hemingway and Gelhorn”.

The 303-acre Army base, not far from where the Bay Bridge touches down in the East Bay, will house logistical facilities for the adjacent Port of Oakland.

Ranahan said he would like to stay in West Oakland, but relocating would probably be easier since Oakland last year closed its Film Office to trim a $58 million deficit.

“The climate for film isn’t what it used to be. San Francisco has only gotten better, making it easy for a company to shoot there,” he said.

So far, he’s looked at sites on Treasure Island and in Emeryville.

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