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Council Approves Agreement to Develop Performing Arts Center

On December 19, City Council approved a 12-month Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with Little Opera House, Inc. (LOH), doing business as RADIUM, to develop a performing arts center at Alameda Point. During this period, the City Manager will execute a 12-month license allowing LOH to continue their temporary outdoor performance and exhibition space known as RADIUM Runway.

Alameda Post - a render of what the performing arts center at Alameda Point could look like
Concept image for performing arts center. Image from Request for Proposal, discussed at City Council meeting December 19, 2023.

Performing arts center

The property proposed for a new performing arts center is on Pan Am Way between Seaplane Lagoon Promenade and the Alameda Naval Air Museum. Currently, five painted shipping containers, arranged in a circle, occupy the site, creating a temporary performance venue called RADIUM Runway. Its purpose is to test the viability and community interest in attending regular events at this location.

The property is in the Site A Development Plan area, wherein the Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) specifies that the master developer, Alameda Point Partners, will prepare the site and infrastructure to support the theater. The City will retain the land and negotiate long-term agreements with a sub-developer for the facility’s construction, operation, and ownership.



In response to its Request for Proposal to develop the site, the City received only one proposal from LOH; however, it met the City’s qualifications. LOH envisions an adaptable theater environment accommodating a variety of performance types with an immersive connection to the outdoors, such as through large window walls and a design that complements the district’s historic architecture.

RADIUM Runway, a temporary performance venue. Photo presented at City Council meeting December 19, 2023, Agenda # 7-B, Exhibit 7.

Public comment and Council vote

Public comment was overwhelmingly positive, with representatives from Alameda Civic Ballet, Rhythmix Cultural Works, the Public Arts Commission, the Chamber of Commerce, Alameda Point Collaborative, the Anchor Alameda Association for Art and Film, and a local realtor all voicing strong support and citing the contribution of the arts to improving well-being and a sense of humanity, reducing crime, and increasing property values. Andrew Thomas, Special Advisor to the Base Reuse and Economic Development Director, noted that the art center’s location next to the Alameda Naval Air Museum will benefit both organizations.

One speaker voiced California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) concerns. Thomas noted that the City has completed an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the redevelopment of Alameda Point, which was updated in 2022 as part of the General Plan update. The report anticipates 9,000 more jobs and 1,500 more housing units at Alameda Point in the next ten years.

However, Thomas also noted that the ENA is simply an agreement to develop documents and plans. It will not result in construction. If Council approves the documents and plans in 2024, the City will need to make another CEQA determination. City Attorney Yibin Shen confirmed this analysis.

The motion to approve the ENA and execute a 12-month license allowing LOH to continue operating RADIUM Runway passed unanimously.

Next steps

Alameda Post - two dancers at Fiesta Alameda 2023, November 4, 2023 at Radium Runway, produced by West End Arts District. Photo ©2023 Maurice Ramirez
Two dancers perform at Fiesta Alameda 2023, held November 4, 2023 at RADIUM Runway, and produced by West End Arts District. Photo ©2023 Maurice Ramirez.

The ENA establishes a formal relationship between the City and LOH for 12 months. During this time, the parties will seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable ground lease with a purchase option for City Council consideration in late 2024.

There will be ample opportunities for the public and City Council to inform negotiations, including, but not limited to:

  • A public hearing to consider a proposed term sheet for the lease/purchase option.
  • A Planning Board hearing to consider the proposed Development Plan and architectural design.
  • An Historic Advisory Board hearing to consider the architectural design.
  • A final City Council public hearing to consider a ground lease with purchase option with LOH.
Alameda Post - a young child pushing the spinning rock, the large metal Beken scultpure, and the Afore Alameda metal sculptures in the shape of multiple X's
Love Elementary student McKenna Noonan, age 7, was one of the first to play with Zachary Coffin’s Rockspinners at Jean Sweeney Open Space Park (left). Beken, by DeWitt Godfrey, is a 32-foot corten steel sculpture located at the Alameda Point Waterfront Park (top right). Alameda Afore, by Rodrigo Nava, anchors the intersection of West Atlantic Avenue and Main Street (bottom right). Photos Adam Gillitt.

Other decisions

In other matters, City Council:

  • Unanimously approved the Public Art Commission’s Public Art Master Plan (link will automatically download the plan). The plan will provide continuity for board members who can serve only two terms, a five-year action plan for funding grants and conservation, plans for siting physical art, and resources for developers, artists, and the Commission to ensure diverse arts programming and physical art for Alamedans throughout the city. Locate public art pieces throughout Alameda on this interactive map.
  • Accepted the presentation (link will automatically download presentation) of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Belonging (DEIB) Plan recommendations from the City Staff-led Equity Working Group. The plan aims to foster and ensure a safe and inclusive workplace for employees and to develop a race and equity lens to inform the City’s policies and programs. Staff will now develop specific strategies for implementation.
  • Unanimously adopted a resolution revising existing and new Recreation and Park Fees (link will automatically download the fees) for the calendar year 2024, with one change. Tournament fees for the Alameda Point Gyms will phase-in over two years, with a $15 increase in 2024 and potentially a $14 increase the following year.

Contributing writer Karin K. Jensen covers boards and commissions for the Alameda Post. Contact her via [email protected]. Her writing is collected at https://linktr.ee/karinkjensen and https://alamedapost.com/Karin-K-Jensen.

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