City Ponders Post-
New Chapter In Emeryville History
The California Supreme Court ruling posted today is definitive; all redevelopment agencies state-wide are dissolved. Emeryville, being more than 90% in a 'redevelopment zone' will feel the impacts of the decision more than most cities. Virtually every capital fund project and every large-scale development over the years including the Bay Street Mall, has been financed with redevelopment tax increment money and today's announcement will reverberate, its effects far reaching. Many projects still in the pipeline including the Center of Community Life, the Performing Arts Center, new proposed parks and the bike/pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks at 53rd Street are funded with redevelopment money and their future is now in limbo.
The ten year project, the Emeryville Center of Community Life, has already taken a massive hit on its funding earlier in the year when Emeryville's bonding capacity was more than cut in half; from $95 million to $40 million. The Redevelopment Agency was on tap to pitch in $25 million and if this funding dries up with today's Supreme Court ruling, the entire project will be put in jeopardy. School District officials are in holiday mode and could not be reached for comment.
City Manager Pat O'Keeffe, formerly Chairman of the California Redevelopment Association has been a stanch advocate for Emeryville's Redevelopment Agency citing the agency as the only option for developing the town and he has been sounding alarm bells over the possible elimination of the agency by Sacramento for months. Mr O'Keeffe is on holiday and could not be reached for comment. Deputy City Manager Delores Turner told the Tattler she expects Emeryville to experience "significant impacts" and expressed hope some "fix it legislation" could restore some of what has been lost with today's ruling. She called the redevelopment era a boon for the local economy and for job creation.