The Mandela Hotel Project – Community Benefits

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West Oakland’s Mandela Hotels Project
Tulsee Nathu

After decades of failed proj­ects in West Oakland, the Oak­land City Council, under the guidance of District 3 Coun­cilmember Lynette Gibson- McElhaney, is considering wel­coming another West Oakland project that creates much need­ed jobs, community benefits, and new business opportunities.

The Mandela Hotels project is being developed by Oakland Native Tulsee Nathu, a MILLE­NIAL MINORITY WOMAN. This 222 room hotel is a limited services hotel, to be located at Mandela Parkway and Beach Street. The Mandela Hotels project features substantial ben­efits to the West Oakland com­munity.

The project will benefit and engage the West Oakland com­munity in many areas including:

1) THE CARPENTER’S UNION WILL BE RESPONSI­BLE FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE HOTEL. Accord­ing to the Regional Carpenter Council, the project is esti­mated to create approximately 100 – 125 construction jobs during the construction phase -short-term; generating close to $38,000,000.00 in local union wages.

Mandela Hotel project is also estimated to produce approxi­mately 40 long-term sustain­able, living wage – NOT LESS THAN 15.00 per hour – opera­tional positions when the hotel opens for business.

2) The Mandela Hotels proj­ect has established a partner­ship with the Oakland Private Industry Council (PIC) to assist with it local hire goals. The PIC will conduct multiple job fairs and outreach campaigns among West Oakland community re­sources to maximize opportuni­ties to engage, solicit and recruit qualified applicants prior to the opening of hotels. OPIC will make it best efforts to ensure its local hire efforts result in hiring 50% of the hotels’ operational staff from West Oakland resi­dents.

3) Mandela Hotel Project has partnered with the Oakland Uni­fied School District, to act as cor­porate sponsor of Ralph Bunch Academy and McClymond’s High School students eligible for Laney Colleges’ Pathway Program. The hotel will support intern and externships, training and hiring students for the hos­pitality and tourism programs, including the culinary arts.

4) Mandela Hotels Project will donate $10,000 per year to the proposed est Oakland Go- Round (WOGO) free shuttle, to travel along the Mandela Parkway when the hotel is open for business; it will serve West Oakland Seniors, residents, ho­tel guest and employees.

5) Mandela Hotels Project will pay a living wage for all po­sitions.

6) Mandela Hotels Project has adopted a local hire policy. PIC has been engaged to con­duct job fairs and recruiting campaigns to solicit and recruit qualified West Oakland resident applicants. Considerations will be given to West Oakland resi­dents with prior criminal histo­ry, veterans, homeless and other barriers to employment, e.g., we ban the box.

7) Mandela Hotels Project will create multiple revenue streams into the City of Oakland:

  • Fees, Permits and relat­ed services are estimated at $1,600,000.00 during construc­tion phases
  • Property, Sales, and Em­ployment Taxes are estimated at $350,000.00 per year
  • Transit Occupancy Taxes are estimated at $1,200,000.00 per year

8) Oakland’s population is growing; TOT taxes will help hire more Teachers, Fire Fight­ers, Police Officer, support art districts, etc.

9) Being a limited service hotel, with banquet and meeting rooms, the hotel will allow local restaurants and event planners to provide catering service at the hotel.

10) The Mandela Hotel’s ap­proval and related infrastructure improvements will serve as a catalyst for West Oakland’s new business development.

11) The Mandela Hotels Proj­ect will partner with Biz-Alert-est Oakland orks (BA-WOW) to support its “Under Maze” proj­ect for purposes of giving the West Oakland community new and improved infrastructure, will beautify the surrounding areas and stimulate local busi­nesses and neighborhoods with new vibrant lighting packages, landscaping, and clean safer en­vironments.

12) Mandela Hotels Project will allow est Oakland Com­merce Association (WOCA) to conduct their once per month meetings at the hotel free of charge.

Payal Nathu

This project is a win win for West Oakland and a win win for Oakland. The project’s Appeal will be heard by Oakland’s City Council in September, 2019. In­dividuals and organizations are encouraged to support the proj­ect; the date will be published as soon as it is determined – stay posted and save the date.

Editor’s note: Maurice Ar­nold, the author of this article, is a supporter of the Mandela Ho­tels Project.

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