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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Emeryville Hyatt Hotel Proposal Missed Deadline Puts Project in Jeopardy

Madison Marquette, the developer of Emeryville's Bay Street Mall has missed an important deadline as part of an 'implementation agreement' with the City of Emeryville that would have necessarily extended rights to sell property to Hyatt Hotels Inc for a planned 169 room hotel on land it owns adjacent to the mall the Tattler has learned.  The implementation agreement, the 15th such agreement controlling the development of the proposed Hyatt Place hotel expired on September 30th 2012.

The suite of implementation agreements are meant to extend development rights for Madison Marquette and are part of a larger contract called a Disposition & Development Agreement  established in 1999.  The missed deadline now puts Madison Marquette in violation for the entire development deal to take place.

Madison Marquette has been proceeding as if the project is still moving forward, making community presentations and committee reports it should be noted.  For the City to start up implement agreement #16 as if #15 had not expired would be a violation of law on the part of the City.  The project is effectively dead as of now, a City Hall insider who wished to remain anonymous told the Tattler.

The expiration of the agreement is the second time this developer has let a time extension request expire in Emeryville as it turns out.

Tattler readers may remember Madison Marquette requested many similar time extension agreements with the City for development of the last parcel of land located to the north of the proposed Hyatt Place hotel called "site B".  Those time extension requests, collectively called an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ENR) were granted to the developer several times totaling some eight years.  Those time extension requests enabled Madison Marquette the luxury of keeping the development site, a planned expansion of the Bay Street Mall,  locked in their exclusive reserve while they decided whether to develop the site.
  Many residents at the time complained that the time extensions only helped Madison and that the residents got nothing in the trade.   The last ENR request for Site B, a two year extension coming in 2010 was highly controversial after residents rallied for compensation from Madison but the City Council rebuffed them, granting Madison Marquette a clean two more years.  After the 2010 time extension was granted, Madison allowed it to expire in 2012 without making their development proposal, leaving Emeryville with nothing but fallow land and no tax proceeds, the gamble having not paid off with a project.  Many residents were furious with the Council especially since other developers (with more resident friendly proposals) had expressed interest in the site but they were cast aside by the Council as they placed all their faith in Madison Marquette.

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