Last week, the Board of Port Commissioners gave its initial approval to a $52 million plan to build a distribution center at a former West Oakland army base.
If the proposal moves forward, Oakland’s port would become the largest cargo handling facility on the West Coast, reports The East Bay Times.
Under terms of the agreement, developer CenterPoint Properties would build the complex near a $100 million railyard that opened near Outer Harbor last year. The 440,000-square-foot distribution center would serve transloading companies that move cargo between trains, trucks and container ships.
Today, products that arrive at the Port of Oakland are trucked to warehouses where they’re repackaged and dispersed throughout the country. The new logistics center would create hundreds of new jobs for workers who process shipments on site.
If the Board of Port Commissioners offers its final approval in a November 30th session, construction could start early next year.
Community labor advocates Oakland Works and Revive Oakland have spent nearly two years negotiating with CenterPoint and the Port to ensure that Oakland residents receive “special consideration” for new positions. As part of the deal, the developers will fund training programs at the West Oakland Job Resource Center.
According to the East Bay Times, people who are “chronically unemployed, single parents, formerly incarcerated and military veterans” are included in the local hiring preferences.
Employers at the new facility will not ask about past convictions and will notify applicants about which background checks will be performed.
Trade publication DC Velocity reports that the planned logistics center has been "in the works" since the former 364-acre Army supply base was decommissioned twenty years ago. If built, the new "Seaport Logistics Complex" could one day cover almost 180 acres at the Port of Oakland.