Located at the eastern apporach to the Bay Bridge, Oakland Army Base offers easy access to San Francisco and the East Bay. In June 1995 the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) recommended the Oakland Army Base for closure, which was then approved by President Clinton. The base closed in September 1999. The Army Reserve Enclave utilizes approximately 20 acres, including six acres in the Garrison District and thirteen acres of Baldwin Yard, north of West Grand Avenue.
The day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 8, 1941, Oakland Army Base emerged from the marshlands of San Francisco Bay. Construction of the base began in June of 1941 to augment the cargo handling facilities at Fort Mason. The base was completed in 1946. Prior to closure in 1999, Oakland responsibilities included management of freight movements originating in 20 western states. Other responsibilities include managing the movement and storage of personal property and privately owned vehicles.
In 1940 the Board of Officers of the San Francisco Port of Embarkation recommended the expansion of the Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason, California, and recommended that waterfront areas in the partially developed Oakland Outer Harbor be acquired to meet expansion needs. The Integrated Terminal Facility was completed in 1943 at a cost of $35 million. All waterfront areas of the base including the piers, wharves, and warehouses received the name "Oakland Army Base" to become effective January 1944. During World War II, the installation moved 8.5 million tons of cargo during the four most active years. During the three active years of the Korean War, 7.2 million tons of cargo passed through the terminal.
In July 1966, Oakland Army Terminal was renamed as Oakland Army Base. Oakland Army Base was home to the largest military port complex in the world during the Vietnam era. Operations were handled by the Military Ocean Terminal Bay Area (MOTBA), a subordinate command of MTMCWA. Over 37 million tons of cargo passed through MOTBA and its associated commercial piers during the 8 years of the Vietnam conflict. During this time period the trend toward containerization changed the marine terminal and ocean shipping industry. A decision was made not to make a military investment in the extensive equipment necessary for container operations, as a result the traffic manager responsibilities of MTMCWA expanded to include extensive coordination with carriers for the placement and scheduling of container traffic container traffic. Over 70 percent of the DoD cargo moving through the Bay Area, moves under MTMCWA and MOTBA management through commercial container piers in Oakland and San Francisco.
Oakland Army Base is located on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay within the city limits of Oakland, California. It is immediately south of the tollgates of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge where U.S. I-80 (Eastshore Freeway), I-580 (MacArthur Freeway) and I-880 (Nimitz Freeway) converge. The base is just seven miles from San Francisco across the Bay Bridge.
Existing Port of Oakland facilities at the site will continue to be used by the Port, and a reuse plan for the other portions of the site is in process. This waterfront site features warehouse as well as office space, conference/event facilities, lodging, maritime facilities, gym, and state-of-the-art childcare center. The base covers a 422-acre terminal (368 land acres and 54 submerged land acres). The City of Oakland has reversionary rights to 189 acres, which includes the 54 acres of submerged land. The City has the first option to buy the property, or it can vacate this right and come under BRAC. This leaves approximately 203 acres for reuse planning.
The Navy is closing several bases in the San Francisco Bay area, including Mare Island, NSY Hunters Point, NAVSTA Treasure Island, NAVMEDCEN Oakland, NAS Alameda, FISC Oakland, and further south, NCEL Port Hueneme.
The Oakland Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC) was located on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay, within the Port of Oakland. The facility opened in 1941 and began support operations for World War II. In September 1995, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission of 1995recommended closure of FISC. A Base Closure Plan (BCP) was completed in October 1996. The Navy has leased parcels to the Port of Oakland, under a special legislation, Public Law 102-484. A balance-of-the-base lease signed in August of 1997 completed long term leasing all parcels comprising FISC Oakland to the Port of Oakland. The installation closed in September 1998.
For a number of years, the Port of Oakland had been working to obtain additional waterfront property to expand its port terminal operations. The port's "Vision 2000" planning process indicated that construction of a Joint Intermodal Terminal (JIT) railroad facility would allow them to double their throughput of cargo to and from the largest container ships. Negotiations continued for several years but were hampered by such factors as lack of port funding and failure to agree on what form of payment (fair market value, in kind, etc.) the Navy would receive for any land transferred. It was not until August 1993, when President Clinton signed special legislation to allow the Navy to transfer excess real estate to the port for nominal consideration, that progress on the PPV finally began. Following this legislation, the Navy leased vacant portions of FISCO property in 1994, 1995, and 1996 as the land became available due to tenant relocation or closures. In August of 1997, the Navy executed a master lease with the Port of Oakland for all remaining property, with a Navy reservation for FISCO occupied areas until its closure. Reuse will be in accordance with the Port of Oakland's "Vision 2000" plan.
The hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived at her new home at the Naval Submarine Base, San Diego, 02 July 1997, after participating in Exercise Kernel Blitz. Mercy had been homeported in Oakland since 1987.
Ever since the Oakland Naval Supply Depot was established in December 1941, the commanding officer was not only the head of the Supply Center operation but also the base landlord for tenants. In September 1995, when the BRAC decision to close FISCO became final, there were more than 40 tenant activities. Most of these were federal tenants and were eligible to use BRAC funding for their relocation or disestablishment costs. Our largest tenant was the Defense Distribution Depot Oakland (DDOC), but a BRAC '93 decision had directed its closure.
In July 1995, the BRAC Commission recommended the complete closure of Oakland Army Base (OARB) by July 2001 and relocation of the mission of the Military Traffic Management Command, Western Area (MTMCWA) and the 1302nd Major Port Command, which operated the Military Ocean Terminal Bay Area (MOTBA). The Oakland Base Reuse Authority is redeveloping the site for the City of Oakland. Their plans for the 422-acre base include having the Port of Oakland taking over about half the acreage, so the maritime area can be expanded. Also, negotiating is ongoing to build a light industrial/business park on the rest of the site. The Army's 63rd Reserve Support Command will use a medical clinic, an administration building and 20 acres for training and storage of vehicles. An Army and Air Force Exchange Service Distribution Center is still at Oakland, but is moving to Lathrop, CA. The former child development center was leased to the reuse authority and then sub-leased to the city's Head Start program, Clark said. Also, the Alameda County Food Bank has sub-leased the old commissary space, she said, and have begun renovations to move their operations there. The food bank currently provides more than 500,000 meals a month through 300 agencies in Alameda County.
Naval Air Station (NAS) Alameda is located on Alameda Island, which lies at the western end of the city of Alameda in Alameda County CA. NAS Alameda was listed for closure by the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission and was closed 30 April 1997.
Since the Naval Medical Center Oakland, CA, which is also known as Oak Knoll Naval Hospital. was designated for closure in 1993, the Department of the Navy, through the Naval Facilities Engineering Command's Engineering Field Activity West (EFA West) in San Bruno, has worked with the city of Oakland and the Oakland Base Reuse Authority (OBRA) to inform the city and OBRA about the various statutory authorities that govern conveyance of the Oak Knoll property.
Explorers first entered the Oakland Area March 27, 1772, settling here in 1820. The city was incorporated in 1854. Oakland was the hub of Alameda County for years, with a vibrant downtown and a large manufacturing base. It boasts a large and vibrant Chinatown. The downtown retail base declined with growth of the suburbs and the accompanying major malls, but the city has flourished as a shipping hub with its modern container port and easy access rail lines. A number of major downtown projects also have been promoted by the city through redevelopment to try to revitalize the area. Oakland is a city of contrasts ranging from affluent people living in the hills to those living in the poverty in other areas. San Francisco is but a ferry ride away from Jack London Square, Oakland's Bay waterfront. The tourist or browser will find an array of shops to delight young and old alike. Lake Merritt, one of the nation's largest lakes, adds to the diversity of Oakland. While it acts as buffer between downtown and the opulent hills, it affords its citizens a chance to come together for picnic lunches, jobs, or get out on the lake to try the paddleboats and sailboats. Children can visit the Bird Refuge to pet and feed various birds, including storks, Canada geese and California brown pelicans. At night, the lake shows off with its "Necklace of Lights.
The City of Oakland has a rich history dating back to its original inhabitants, the Ohlone Indians, a hunting and gathering culture that disappeared after the Spanish and Mexican settlements in the early 1800's. The city was incorporated in 1852 and has served as the county seat of Alameda County since 1873.
Oakland is ranked as the sixth largest city in California with the fourth largest container port in the United States. Pacific Rim countries are the principal origination and destination points for international cargo. The 2,500 acre Metropolitan Oakland International Airport leads the Bay Area in small package shipping and ranks 10th in the nation in air cargo as measured by land weight.
In the area of commerce, Oakland is home to many high profile businesses including the nation's largest grocery chain, Safeway Stores Inc., and its largest health plan, Kaiser Permanente. Also based in Oakland are The Clorox Co., American President Companies Ltd., and Golden West Financial Corp. to name a few. Oakland is ranked fourth in the highest percentage of its work force in skilled occupations such as executives, managers or technicians.
Oakland is the most ethnically diverse city in the nation, with at least 81 languages and dialects spoken. Topping a list of Oakland's many strengths is its many distinctive neighborhoods, each with its own history and ambiance.
Jack London's Square, Oakland's bay waterfront, offers the tourist or browser an array of shops to delight young and old alike. Beautiful Lake Merritt offers outstanding picnic sites, jogging trails, and boating opportunities. Children can visit North America's oldest bird refuge where hundreds of species migrate along the Pacific Flatway.
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