The total price of the entire project is $1.9 billion.
The second most expensive element is the parking garage. With 6,000 spaces, that means $1.6 billion’s worth of parking is being leased. It is estimated that the city will receive about $200 million in tax revenue from the redevelopment, but the value of the parking is a mere $200 million.
The city’s contribution is largely in the form of a $5 million tax break from the Port of Oakland. The city has set aside $5 million for a fund for economic development.
What about environmental concerns? There are many objections to the project, the most pressing being the amount of water needed to construct all of the infrastructure. The entire project will need at least 18 million gallons of water to irrigate roughly 6,000 square feet of parking. However, according to estimates released by the Oakland Regional Water Compact, if the city were to build the project without the new water infrastructure, the water usage would be at a rate of 16 million gallons per day, or about 6.9 million gallons a day.
Other critics say that a more sustainable solution to the parking issue could be to build a dedicated bike lane and put in a dedicated ferry. They would also build a path behind the new parking garages.
Are the developers trying to solve an environmental problem or are they trying to build a billion-dollar parking development? Or are they just trying to solve an environmental problem that they do not care about?
The problem facing urbanists is that parking is becoming increasingly important and affordable in the city. The number of parking spots has increased from about 11 million in 1991 to nearly 20 million today. More and more, the cost of parking means urban living can no longer afford it any more.
The developers are attempting to solve that problem at the expense of another. Is there any value to the developer if the city loses its parking garages and the new development cannot afford its water and sewer system?
As the housing costs continue to escalate, cities will need to do everything they can to make their residents’ daily lives easier. San Francisco is taking advantage of our abundance of water and land to put hundreds of thousands of new houses throughout the city. Meanwhile, other cities, including New York City, are being forced to accept hundreds of thousands of new apartments for free.
Some people will say that parking is a natural and “natural” part of an urban environment like any other. However, we do
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