Education in Oakland

Evolution of a Deal

Posted by novometro on August 15, 2006

David Kakishiba, a member of Oakland Unified’s powerless school board, said he was briefed Friday on a revised plan to sell nearly 10 acres of school district property near Lake Merritt to an East Coast developer. Here’s part of the plan, according to Kakishiba: La Escuelita, a K-5 school, and MetWest, an alternative high school, will be rebuilt in a multi-story building on the property, which the developer will lease to the school district for something like $1 a year, says Mr. Kakishiba. Dewey, the continuation high school, will look for a new home.

That sounds like the solution Paul Bucha, the CEO of TerraMark – the Connecticut developer looking to develop the property – says he put forward after last month’s hearing uncorked a well-spring of parental anxiety over the fate of La Escuelita and MetWest. Mr. Kakishiba says school district officials will present the plan to the public at a hearing planned for Wednesday at the school district headquarters.

New schools not far from the old ones may appease some parents and teachers, but TerraMark will still have to secure the approval of City Hall if it will build the complex of residential high rises it has blueprints for. Mr. Kakishiba said no officials from City Hall were in on Friday’s briefing. Of course, buying some of the most valuable urban acreage  in the country is rarely a bad idea. And with developers all over the country halting new construction as they wait to see where the housing market bottoms out, TerraMark may be only in a hurry to buy, not to build.


One Response to “Evolution of a Deal”

  1. That was very infomative and keeps me up to date. Thanks! Did you interview Kakishiba and the developer yourself?

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