American and Chinese development companies announce plans to revitalize waterfront land along Oakland.

BEIJING — Signature Development Group of Oakland, CA and Zarsion Holdings Group Co. Ltd of Beijing have announced their agreement to co-develop 65 acres of waterfront property on the Oakland Estuary of San Francisco Bay.

The project, called Brooklyn Basin, will be an economic boom to the city and the region, representing an asset of more than $1.5 billion dollars at completion, with 3,100 residential units, approximately 200,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, and a marina with up to 200 boat slips. More than 30 acres have been set aside for waterfront parks and open space. An estimated 10,000 jobs will be created by its build-out.

Originally comprised of a mix of industrial buildings and warehouses, the vision for its revitalization is as an environmentally sustainable, mixed use urban master planned community, adjacent to the Jack London Square District, historically the heart of the East Bay waterfront.

Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland said, “One of the great, unique opportunities of my administration has been to introduce investors from China to the many amazing opportunities for them here in Oakland. Part of my job as Mayor is to bring investments to the city, and I am pleased to see that a large Chinese developer and investor is smartly putting his money into the Brooklyn Basin masterplanned community. It is the first of what we hope will be many major investments as the Chinese business community recognizes the wealth of opportunities here in Oakland.”

“I was pleased to introduce Signature Development Group to Zarsion Holdings Group, and I thank them both for their commitment to Oakland, Mayor Quan said. “This is an exciting time for Oakland and we are pleased to see the largest approved, mixed use masterplan in the city getting the financial backing it needs to move forward.”

Michael Ghielmetti, president of Signature Development Group, echoed Mayor Quan’s sentiments, saying, “Our entire team is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a well-respected developer as Beijing’s Zarsion Holdings Group.”

Oakland-based Signature Development Group is the managing member of Oakland Harbor Partners, the team selected by the Port of Oakland in a nationwide competition in 2001. The other members of the Oakland Harbor Partners team are Signature Harbor Partners LLC, owned by James and Michael Ghielmetti, and commercial development firm Reynolds & Brown.
Since 1983, Signature has built a track record for developing high-quality mixed use projects, residential master-planned communities, new home neighborhoods and commercial and retail properties. The Signature companies have entitled or built more than 20,000 homes and homesites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento region, as well as one million square feet of office and retail development. Signature Development Group is headed by Michael J. Ghielmetti. James Ghielmetti is the founder and CEO of Signature Homes.

Reynolds & Brown, co-founded in 1967 by Jon Reynolds and David Brown, is among the East Bay’s pre-eminent developers of industrial, office and retail properties. Dana Parry is its president and CEO. Both Reynolds & Brown and Signature have a long history of successful development in the Oakland area.
Mr. Weixun Shan is Chairman of Beijing-based Zarsion Holdings Group Co. Ltd, a company he formed in 1994. With offices in five cities in China, and a staff of 1,200 employees, Zarsion Holdings develops approximately one million meters of commercial and residential projects per year.

Signature Development Group president Michael Ghielmetti said, “We have enjoyed a strong partnership with both the Port of Oakland and the City of Oakland because we share in the belief that a community-driven, collaborative approach to development produces the best results. In the more than 10 years since we were awarded the rights to develop Brooklyn Basin, the City and the Port of Oakland have worked side by side with us to deliver on the vision of a thriving, dynamic waterside community—an asset to all of Oakland.”