Friday, March 11, 2011

'Minor' Modifications Made To South Hayward BART Project

By Steven Tavares

Plans to revitalize the area surrounding the South Hayward BART stationcould be greatly downsized as the developer team, including 49ers great Joe Montana, cited the potential loss of state funding and a down economy as the impetus.

Once a 788-unit housing development featuring a 60,000 sq. ft retail component on Dixon Road near Mission Boulevard when it was approved two years ago, may now look different than initially proposed. The developers Wittek Development and Montana Properties is asking the city for approval to make what it called “minor” changes to its plans by reducing the number of housing units to 346 without retail once envisioned to feature a grocery store.

Kurt Wittek told the city council Tuesday the group is worried a $47 million loan approval from Proposition 1C funding could be in jeopardy or lowered to $32 million by the state Housing and Community Development. “We made it absolutely clear [two years ago] that the project hinges on Prop 1C dollars,” said Wittek.

Safeway was identified as the potential tenant for the South Hayward BART project. Wittek characterized the retailers interest as non-existent to the extent it rebuffed offers for an initial period of free rental at the location. If the modification is approved by the city, Wittek said, groundbreaking for the project could be begin in Sept. 2012.

Although a majority of councilmembers agreed with the developer’s proposal, some disagreed with calling it “minor.” “This is not what the public wanted,” said Councilman Marvin Peixoto. “This is not what the community wanted. It is not what we envisioned and it is not a transit-oriented development project.” Peixoto has experience with the South Hayward BART project. Before election to the council last November, he sat on the planning commission for six years.

“This is not what the planning commission envisioned for this project,” he said. “I see this, as it is, that is to replace market place rate housing with rentals.” Peixoto says the housing function of the project is its simplest aspect. “Everybody wants to just build the housing. I want the whole enchilada,” he said, including various types of housing, retail and an urban experience. Mayor Michael Sweeney agreed the plan’s revision is not minor, reasoning the matter would not have come before the council if they were not significantly different than the original.

Others were more amendable to moving the project forward. “I think this is a good plan,” said Councilman Jim Quirk. “We have so many who are poor and homeless. We need this housing.”

Similar to other cities, uncertainty over redevelopment is also putting the South Hayward plan in jeopardy. According to City Manager Fran David, $7.1 million in funding is obligated by the city’s redevelopment agency. “The state giveth and the state taketh away,” added Councilwoman Barbara Halliday. “The project is in jeopardy because of the state taking away redevelopment.”

Until the city can find a mechanism to secure the funding, the lack of those dollars could easily halt the deal, said David. Quirk and others made it clear they would not support using the general fund to keep the deal afloat.

Councilman Mark Salinas says regardless of the more robust original plan, the city is in a very different economic climate than even two years ago. "We’re in a unique time right now,” he said. “If we need to tweak projects like this, I think we need to do it.”

NOTES: Peixoto asked the city’s public works director about rumors an Indian burial site lies beneath some areas of the downtown. Bob Bauman said they had expected to uncover artifacts at other downtown sites, but found none…Mayor Sweeney continued his tough talk aimed at the State Legislature. At the conclusion of Tuesday’s work session, he urged lawmakers to remember local cities, telling them, “Get out of Sacramento for awhile and breathe some fresh air and make decisions that are good for the people of this state and not just good for Sacramento.”


  1. As I said in a Citizens Advisory meeting and to a member of the council...this is a bad move that will get flipped...the council was warned.

  2. All bulls*&^! These developers should put their own money up, and not worry about getting taxpayer backed loans. Because when it falls through, which this will surely do, and become an empty hull of retail locations and welfare residential tenants, the developers will have gotten their money and are soaking it up in Maui. While Hayward remains a sad, sad joke.

  3. Who is writing all these stupid tweets about Joe Montana and Castlewood Country Club? Prevailing wage etc?

  4. You love Joe Montana, huh? I would gloss over his political beliefs, too, if I were a 49ers fans and he won me four Super Bowls. I do the same for Jose Canseco. He cheated, but the A's won the World Series.

  5. Tavares, you forget to mention that those Castlewood employees are tipped workers. So they're getting a very good base pay plus tips. Not very good journalism their Skippy's buddy.

  6. Don't forget Dennis Eckersley and Mark McGwire. They are Republicans who won World Series. My point; Montana is a conservative. Whats that got to do with the price of rice?

    I hardly think Montana is the key player behind this move...then again, I could be wrong but nothing really suggests that he is.

  7. Tipped workers? I think you’re assuming rich folks are big tippers. Ok, instead of the services employees making $10/hr, now they make $12. What’s the difference, when the country club wants them to pay a vast majority of their wages on health care?

    Also, Joe Montana is a very big player in the South Hayward BART project. He’s the developer. His partner, Kurt Wittek, by the way, was convicted of bank fraud in 1992, according to the SF Chron.

  8. Tavares, have you investigated what the tips are for these people? Could it be $200 or $300 a night in addition to their base pay? Did you or didn't you find that out? Or are you just mouthing off as usual?

  9. My God, what hateful people we have who attack Castlewood County Club workers who are courageously fighting a greedy, greedy employer.

    The Club made plenty of money when they provided decent health care for their workers. In fact, they're probably making less money now because many organizations who held yearly tournaments and events at the club are taking their business elsewhere. They want to patronize a Club which treats its workers with respect. These workers never struck; they were locked out by the employer.

    Most of these workers are not direct wait staff. Anonymous' wouldn't have any idea what those who serve tables at the Club are tipped, and also doesn't know that waiters usually tip out to others who help them, like busers and bartenders. So why do Anonymous' pull a doller number out of their asses? So they can feel justified in not giving a damn for others?

    Why don't you take these jobs with a "very good base pay" if they're so great?

  10. Does anonymous above have an idea what the tips are for the wait staff? Do they KNOW how tips are dispersed? No, then either put up or shut up. Mr. High and Mighty up there saying how much he cares for others, is probably a cheap SOB who stiffs the waiters and busboys and figures; "oh I paid for my bill, the owner should pay more". Typical head in the ass liberal. So, Mr. Tavares, let's go find out how the tips are dispersed there and then give us some real reporting and not one-sided slants.

  11. Not all Castlewood workers who have been locked out get tips. When you get 10-12 dollars/hour, you can't afford $700 or more for your health care. It's better that Castlewood pay like they did before, or the taxpayers will pay when they end up in the emergency room. It's like Wal-Mart not paying for most of their workers health care--we taxpayers end up paying for it.

  12. Talking to one of the waitress' at Hickry Pit today she said that the Hotel and Restaurant Unions Health and Welfare is $600 for single and $900 for Family

  13. Any updates?????

  14. It would be better for society if restaurant workers were able to reasonably afford health care insurance for themselves and their families. I don't want sick people handling my food.

    The Affordable Care Act will help ensure that that waitress, the workers at the Country Club, and their employers will more easily afford to gain or provide good health insurance. Many aspects of the Act will be kicking in between now and 2014, and these important reforms will reduce the deficit. This will happen unless the Republicans are successful in their goal of repealing an Act which is already helping people and small businesses.

  15. Sarah, once again.... you're an idiot. I don't want some Government Bureaucrat handling my health care. We can only hope that the GOP repeals ObamaCare.