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Oakland officials celebrate grand opening

OAKLAND, Calif. – May 16, 2012: District 7 City Councilmember Larry Reid will be joined by Mayor Jean Quan and District 6 Councilmember Desley Brooks in a community celebration of the grand opening of Lion Creek Crossings Phase IV Apartments, along with the completion of a new public neighborhood park, and a restored natural creek. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 16th, from 11a.m. to 1 p.m., and will commemorate the completed construction of 72 additional units of high quality, affordable apartments adjacent to the Coliseum BART station. Development joint venture partners East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) and Related California, land owner Oakland Housing Authority (OHA), and finance partner Bank of America will also be participating.

Lion Creek Crossings is a multiphase development effort that has replaced a former 178-unit public housing development, Coliseum Gardens, with new high-quality, mixed-income family apartments. This grand opening event celebrates the completion and occupancy of the first four phases of residential development, which total nearly 440 new units. In addition, the development team and OHA have completed new neighborhood amenities and infrastructure, including a 5.7 acre public park, new streets that connect the neighborhood to the Coliseum BART Station, childcare and social service spaces, and a restored natural habitat for Lion Creek.

Phase IV of Lion Creek Crossings, located at 69th Ave. and Snell St., consists of 72 one, two, and three bedroom townhomes and flats designed for families. The development strengthens the neighborhood connection to regional transit via a new public street and direct pedestrian access to the Coliseum BART station. Bank of America Merrill Lynch provided $28.8 million in construction financing and direct equity investment for Phase IV.

Lion Creek Crossings represents a successful public-private partnership between OHA, the City of Oakland, and the development team of EBALDC and Related California. OHA Executive Director, Eric Johnson stated, “The success of the community revitalization of Lion Creek Crossings has been due to a remarkable partnership between the City of Oakland, community residents and stakeholders, and our development partners – EBALDC and Related California. We look forward to this strong partnership continuing through the fifth and final phase of this critical redevelopment effort in East Oakland.” Acknowledging the city and state's current economic challenges, he continued, "This redevelopment effort speaks to how critical funding for creation of new affordable housing is to the State. Not only does it provide quality affordable housing to families for decades to come, it can also revitalize an entire community, and provides employment opportunities both during and after construction.”

Planning for Lion Creek Crossings started in 2002, when the Master Plan was designed with input from neighbors, former residents, and OHA. “The Oakland Housing Authority has been reaching out to our neighborhoods and community partners for many years, and nowhere has the success of that approach been more apparent than in the community and neighborhood efforts at Lion Creek Crossings” said Moses Mayne, Chair of the OHA Board of Commissioners. When all five phases are complete, Lion Creek Crossings will have utilized a total of $34.5 million in HOPE VI funds to leverage more than $223 million in total debt and equity, transforming 22 acres of deteriorated public housing, unsafe parks, and industrial brownfields into a safer, more active community.

“From the development partnership, to EBALDC’s continued collaboration with Havenscourt schools, and leadership from the residents, the transformation at Lion Creek Crossings demonstrates that working together leads to community development success – and the neighborhood is healthier as a result,” said EBALDC Executive Director, Jeremy Liu.

A total of 15,000 sq. ft. of street-level commercial space is occupied by nonprofit service providers that bring resources to tenants and neighborhood residents. A newly created public park sits as the centerpiece of the development, and acts as an outdoor community gathering space for the surrounding residential buildings. The City of Oakland has further invested in the neighborhood by remediating and restoring a creek system that runs through the park. The creek had previously run through the neighborhood exclusively through a concrete culvert, but has been restored to provide a more natural riparian setting.

The planning of Lion Creek Crossings also included close coordination with BART, with the vision that this major effort be an initial step toward broader transit oriented, mixed use redevelopment of the area. Bill Witte, President of Related California states, “As a company driven by delivering top quality infill development that revitalizes neighborhoods we are particularly proud of LionCreek Crossings, which has not only been a transformative development in its own right but will also serve as a catalyst for future transit oriented development around the adjacent BART Station.”

For more information, please contact: EBALDC, Catherine Lim, 510-394-2934, clim@ebaldc.org Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Colleen Haggerty, 213-621-7414, colleen.haggerty@bankofamerica.com Oakland Housing Authority, Greer McVay, 510-874-1563, gmcvay@oakha.org Related California, Lydia Tan, 415-677-9000, ltan@related.com

### About EBALDC
With 37 years of experience, EBALDC has grown from a small nonprofit immigrant and refugee services organization with the vision of building a multi-service center for Asian American and Pacific Islander families in Oakland’s Chinatown, to become a leading community development corporation. Now serving populations reflective of one of the most diverse regions of the Bay Area, we contribute to vibrant, healthy, and just neighborhoods through our programs that build, preserve, and maintain high quality affordable housing and community and commercial facilities. We integrate services within our developments to increase economic opportunities for tenants, neighborhood residents, and small businesses. To date, EBALDC has developed 158 homes for sale, 1,467 homes for rent, and over 370,000 sq. ft. of commercial space housing over 70 nonprofits and small businesses across Oakland and the East Bay. For more information, please visit www.ebaldc.org or call 510-287-5353. About Oakland Housing Authority Oakland Housing Authority is the largest provider of affordable housing in the City of Oakland and proudly delivers diverse housing choices to over 15,000 households in a service-oriented environment, while improving and expanding the housing options for future generations. For more information about the Oakland Housing Authority, please contact us at info@oakha.org, visit our website at www.oakha.org, or call 510-874-1653. About Related California Related California is a fully integrated real estate firm that develops affordable and market rate multifamily and mixed-use residential properties in California. Since opening the west coast headquarters in 1989, the company has completed nearly 9,000 residential homes throughout California. Related has partnered with over 20 municipalities and over 25 non-profit organizations in Northern California (San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, San Jose) and Southern California (Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, San Diego and San Diego County). The Related California portfolio includes more than $2.5 billion worth of developments. This level of activity sets the company apart from most in the industry and creates substantial purchasing and negotiating leverage, allowing Related to develop and operate assets efficiently while maintaining its standards of high quality and service. Related has been active in Northern California for more than two decades and opened an office in San Francisco’s Financial District in 2011. For more information about Related California’s Northern California operations, call (415) 677-9000. About Bank of America Community Development Banking With more than 30 years of experience and expertise, Bank of America’s Community Development Banking team provides thoughtful advice and innovative financial solutions to developers of affordable housing and community development projects that revitalize communities through community development lending, tax credit equity investments and real estate development. Bank of America is recognized by the industry as one of the largest, most active affordable housing lenders in the U.S. In addition, we are the only bank with a Real Estate Development group whose mission is to proactively develop affordable housing. In 2011, Community Development Banking invested more than $1.6 billion to help create more than 11,000 affordable housing units including those for families, seniors, veterans and people with special needs. This activity is part of Bank of America’s 10-year, 1.5 trillion community development lending and investment goal, announced in 2008, the largest community development commitment ever made by a U.S. financial institution.