Oakland, CA- In a public hearing, an astonishing number of speakers took the podium to voice their opinion on the future of MacArthur. A group of Northern California Carpenters Regional Carpenters attended that night in support of the project. The MacArthur project, 402 units is expected to provide 45 affordable units. The project sponsors, McGrath properties and Boston properties presented a five-minute presentation.
In an opening line, “Whom ever said that Rome wasn’t built in a day, or good things take a lot of time was very prophetic” said Terrence McGrath owner of McGrath Properties. He continues explaining his commitment to make it his mission to solve Bay Area wide housing crisis and solving market rate. In terms of the project planning, both property owners addressed their involvement with Oakland residents, “including hosted four community meetings with council member Dan Kalb.” A job category was also included in their presentation, considering a median income to affordable units ranging in between $22,000 to $77, 000.
Two members of the NCCRC spoke on behalf of the property owner’s and carpenters of Northern California. “Having project like this would gave me the ability to work right here in my own community, work in my community and spend those dollars in this community and even have a chance to live in those units,” said Carlos Duran a NCCRC member. Those opposing of the project were Deidre Snyder, a Teacher from Oakland Technical High School, expressing her concerns, “This is a loss here, loss of the environment and loss of the community. I know you’re not going to hear me, I know you’re going to be bought out.” Snyder urged District Members to not overlook the Environmental Impact Report.
A young man, Kyle McCoy, spoke passionately on gentrification, “Oakland is not SF, so we don’t need no skyscraper. But we do need affordable housing, so with this plan going forward I will just say don’t take away culture of Oakland of what MacArthur Park means to the city and residents of Oakland.” After much consideration, listening to opposing sides concerns of environment, jobs, housing, and economy for its community. Oakland District Members took a vote, 8 ayes agreeing in amending the resolution, including President Reid. Cheers and claps were overheard in the crowd, it was winning victory for NCCRC and property owners. “Ecstatic about the project,” said Timiza Joseph, NCCRC member, as she joined the rest of the carpenters in celebration.
Oakland resident, Snyder who has been living in Oakland for 42 years and working for the OUSD since 1983. She was not impressed by the chart presented by McGrath Properties, a salary of a school teacher at seventy-two-thousand a year, “it’s a joke, average median income in Oakland is ninety-three-thousand.” The next scheduled meeting, on March 21, 2017 at 5:30 p.m., McArthur project for Final Passage.