City Walk, in case you’ve forgotten, is that big abandoned half-built condo building on 14th and Jefferson downtown, right behind the Federal Building. Construction started in March 2005, and was supposed to be completed by the end of 2007, but instead, just stopped in July 2007. The City extended the developer’s deadline to complete the project several times, and finally, Olson just gave up on ever getting it together to finish the damn building and started looking for someone else to buy the project.
Back then, Olson was supposed to sell the property to Simpson Housing Corporation, who would complete construction and then rent out the units as apartments. So that the sale could go through, Oakland amended the development agreement (PDF) to extend the deadline again last February. The new extension said construction must recommence by May of this year, and had a final completion deadline of the end of 2010.
So, of course, that sale didn’t pan out, just like everything else that anyone has tried to do with this damn lot forever. Now, Olson has found themselves a new developer to sell the project to, Wood Partners, and to facilitate that sale, we have to extend the agreement (PDF) again, with a new deadline to restart construction by the end of next May and complete the project by December 2011. The new buyer will also be renting the property as apartments rather than selling it as condos, which means we lose out on the $1.6 million in transfer tax we were expecting from the project. But on the plus side, we’ll get $75k in transfer tax for the building if Olson can ever successfully complete a sale. That’ll save like, half a job.
Let’s cross our fingers and hope the sale goes through this time. It looks promising. Last I heard, they were hoping to close on July 22nd, the day after the City Council gives the extension their stamp of approval.