Alameda Marina is located on the Northern Waterfront, along Clement Avenue between Union Street and Willow Street. The Marina has three major functions that are important to Alameda’s future.
- The Marina is the home of 84 businesses employing approximately 250 middle class workers. There are many maritime related businesses that serve commercial, governmental and the general boating community, plus software companies, architects, attorneys, a golf-related shop, a martial arts school etc.
- Alameda has the second largest number of marina slips in California. The Alameda Marina provides services that pleasure and commercial boaters need. The boatyard allows for boat owners to do the work on their boats themselves, keeping access to the water affordable for middle class families. Alameda is also home to 40 house boats and many boat owners “live aboard”.
- Alameda’s Marina is the present day version of the Barnes and Tibbitts Shipyard which made parts for vessels that saw action during WWII. Because the buildings are intact, they are eligible for designation on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the buildings at the Marina were built before 1942 so they are available for the National Registry of Historic Places.
The Alameda Marina is open to the public during daytime hours. Visit. Plan an outing on the waterfront.
The Alameda Marina is approximately 43 acres. 26 acres are privately owned by Pacific Shops and the remaining 17.04 acres are Tide Land Trust (TLT) that the City manages for the State of California. TLT land can only be used for maritime and recreational purposes and is currently leased from the city by Pacific Shops. In 2012, the city of Alameda identified locations for housing units including the Alameda Marina. Like the Alameda Marina, not all that land was vacant and underutilized. Now, the Marina businesses, and their employees are in danger of being forced to leave.
The businesses at Alameda Marina provide services to clients beyond the Alameda community. These services are invaluable to Bay Area boaters, commercial and pleasure. The Svendsen’s Boatyard is the only full service boatyard in the Central and South Bay. Svendsens Boatyard, recently purchased by Bay Ship and Yacht and located in the marina, provides “Do It Yourself” repair areas as well as full service repairs, commissions new boats, and maintains municipal boats. There are 1, 2, & 3 ton hoists to haul boats in/out of the water. There is dry dock storage for boats and RV’s, 530 berths in the water, a chandlery shop, a floating dock for house boat repair, and a wash down area.
The city of Alameda requires Pacific Shops to maintain the land it leases to ensure a marina will be located there in the future. Pacific Shops has been replacing docks and has undertaken several projects to properly maintain the facilities for the marina using its current operating funds. At issue is a $20 million upgrade to the seawall which Pacific Shops claims that building 670 housing units is required to fund the project. Their lease does not stipulate that Pacific Shops is expected to bear this expense or complete this project.
Bay Ship and Yacht has said they will not change operations of Svendsens Boatworks at Alameda Marina for the foreseeable future. The proposed plan that Bay West has submitted to the city does not show any area for Svendsens Boatworks and a vastly reduced area for dry storage of boats. Obviously, Bay Ship and Yacht will need to relocate the boatyard, perhaps to its Alameda location or possibly to its Richmond facility. The loss of these services will mean the loss of maritime services at Alameda Marina which currently work as its own ecosystem. If we lose the maritime services, the boating communities will relocate away from Alameda.
The boating community and local neighbors have created Save Alameda’s Working Waterfront (SAWW) to oppose the demolition of 30 historic structures and displacing the existing businesses that operate within these buildings. SAWW proposes expansion of the businesses to include additional incubator space including light industrial, maritime related retail and commercial enterprises and creation of live/work space and affordable housing.