From left to right: Jeremy Liu (EBALDC Executive Director), District 7 Councilmember Larry Reid, Janny Castillo (OHA Commissioner), Bill Witte (President of Related California), Gabriel Speyer (Vice President Community Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch), Eric Johnson (OHA Executive Director), Mayor Jean Quan, Moses Mayne (Chair, OHA Board of Commissioners), Lion Creek Crossings residents Aaliyah Carney and Marilyn Lawson, and District 4 BART Director Robert Raburn. Photo by Gene Hazzard.
District 7 Councilmember Larry Reid and Mayor Jean Quan kicked off groundbreaking celebrations at Lion Creek Crossings Phase IV in E. Oakland, next to the Coliseum BART station, on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m. Developers and finance partners, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), Oakland Housing Authority (OHA), Related California, and Bank of America held the event, although construction has already been in full swing for a couple months. Next door, construction workers with Nibbi Brothers were hard at work, and the sounds of hammering could be heard in the background throughout the speaking program.
In addition to speeches from elected officials and execs of OHA, Related CA, EBALDC, and Bank of America, Ms. Marilyn Lawson, a five-year resident of Lion Creek Crossings and community activist, spoke about what inspires her to organize an annual community health fair and reach out to youth. She was joined on the stage by two local youth leaders, Aaliyah Carney and Jamilla Lawson, who also spoke about civic engagement and contributing to their community.
Larry Reid commended the work of Ms. Lawson and the youth, saying, “[it] motivates you to continue the struggle- the struggle to change one of the areas that those who have any history about East East Oakland of being known as the ‘killing fields’ of this city. Well, that name does not fit this part of Oakland because it is going through some incredible change….I always say that God is good.
Today, God is truly good to break ground on the fourth phase, looking for the fifth phase…” With the fifth and final phase remaining, the transformative Lion Creek Crossings is strengthening the neighborhood connection to BART and making way for future investment and development in the Coliseum BART area.