Port to Give Tagami $600 Million Exclusive

Phil Tagami

Phil Tagami

The Port of Oakland is scheduled next week to decide on signing a new exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) with Oakland developer Phil Tagami and his partners to develop 170 acres of the old Oakland Army Base that are owned by the port. Under the agreement, which is on the Port Commission’s agenda for Thursday, Feb. 13, the port would attempt for six months to negotiate a development agreement with Tagami’s California Capital & Investment Group (CCIG) and his partner Prologis, a global leader in developing industrial real estate.

So far, the port does not have the developers or the funding to go ahead with the development of its land – to build the facilities, including warehouses and a new railroad terminal, which would allow the seaport to grow and capture more business. Two previous ENAs awarded to Tagami failed to produce a written agreement, primarily because he could not produce the private funding or grants to finance the project, and the port was unwilling to take on the debt, according to observers who are familiar with port operations.

There is nothing to indicate, so far, that Tagami and his partners are now coming to the table with private sources of money, nor explain why the port is considering him for a sole source agreement. Though Tagami’s past development projects have been paid by the city, supplemented by state and federal grants, the port is not in a position to go into debt to foot the bill for the estimated $600 million for this project.

The port is already struggling to pay nearly $1.3 billion it owes as a result of past deals that resulted in multimillion dollar losses. The port is working with the City of Oakland on phase one of the development project, which broke ground late last year, for rail, road and utility infrastructure.

Tagami serves as the master developer for the city’s Army Base property. Tagami’s previous negotiations with the port expired, failing to produce a development contract, because he did not come up with the private money, according to West Oakland community and environmental activist Margaret Gordon, who served on the port commission from 2007 until 2012 and is familiar with Tagami’s past ENAs.

“His ENAs expired because he did not have the financing,” said Gordon. “He wanted the port to take on all liability for the financing and find all the grants. He never was able to produce what should have been a private-public joint venture.”

Gordon continued: “I was the first one (on the commission) who asked when he got the ENA, ‘Where is your money? Where is your check?

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  1. Carol

    The same stuff keeps happening and people expect different results? Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Stop giving the same people the opportunity to take things because all they’re going to do is continue this pally game of grab and dash, with the result being still no jobs for minorities, still no development of the port and still discussions about how Oakland continues to want to thrive but the crime and poverty continue to spin out of control. Stop the cycle and change the direction but removing the people who are the same thieves but are just wolfs in sheeps clothing, coming back as lambs, cows, goats, etc.

  2. Virian Bouze'

    This been a can of worms from the start, Phil, has the right idea, and has been very good at completing the projects he has taken on in the past, hence the rotunda, and the fox-oakland-theater, i say he did a good job, because he was able to complete the jobs. now with this port, issue it is time to start looking at the real issue. i would like to introduce the idea of including the ademdem to the master plan that Phil, has in place, and add motor sports to the plan. the L.A.longbeach grad prix, brings in a lot of money everytime it is put on, and there is enough room in this port and the city of Oakland to include such a project with disrupting the orginanal idea. i spoke with the president in the L.A. grand prix, group, and he said he would help, now, if i open the door to Nascar, and sports car club of america, and drag racing, we will fix a lot of problems. one these bring a lot of money, two i can get side shows organized, so they do not tie up the streets with this disorganized mess, third there will be a lot of jobs created just by some common sence thinking. heven knows the city of Oakland and the port need the money. contact me if you like to know no more about my plan to wake Oakland up, and make it a city it has the ablility to be, and a place people would like to live. thanks Virian

    • The discussion regarding a motorsports “park” has went on for over a decade. Investing in a real solution makes perfect sense. (made sense 14 years ago, too)

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