By Andria Borba

ALAMEDA (KPIX) – The views of the bay from Robert W. Crown Memorial Beach in Alameda are worth a million bucks and are currently enjoyed by a car wash.

The owner of South Shore Center, Jamestown, L.P. would like to change that with a plan to add up to 1200 housing units to this part of Alameda.

Part of the reason why? The Amazon effect.

“These days brick and mortar businesses are challenged,” said Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.

The plans are still early on. There is still no Environmental Impact Report. It hasn’t gone before the planning commission or the City Council.

According to Alameda city law, at least 15 percent of the units would have to be set aside for affordable housing. Mayor Ezzy Ashcraft would like to see even more.

“The other category that I’m interested in is what we call that ‘missing middle’ – you have an income that doesn’t qualify you for affordable housing, but yet, you can’t afford the market rate rents either,” said Ezzy Ashcraft.

This is not a swift moving project. First, potential apartments wouldn’t be going up until 2025, with full completion slated for 2045. The retail shops are part of the reason why.

“There are leases on all the various businesses, so Jamestown, I’m told, doesn’t want to go in and break leases because that’s very costly to do,” said the mayor. “They will wait until leases are coming up for renewal and just choose not to renew them.”

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