A century-old foundry site in Oakland has been bought by an Amazon-linked real estate firm that plans a major industrial project on the big property.
AB&I Foundry, a scrap metal foundry that began operations in Oakland in 1906, is shutting down in stages and will be completely closed by sometime in early 2023, according to foundry owner McWane Inc. The final pipe-fitting operation is scheduled for this June.
Now, Duke Realty, acting through an affiliate, has bought the 15.1-acre site in East Oakland, according to documents filed on April 28 and April 29 with the Alameda County Recorder’s Office.
The developer paid $62.8 million in transactions that were completed on the two dates at the end of April, the county documents show. The plant is located at 7825 San Leandro St. in Oakland.
The sellers were McWane Inc. and Bosley Investments. The transactions were all-cash deals, according to the property records.
Separately, Duke Realty has filed a proposal for a wide-ranging development of the property, documents filed with Oakland city planners show.
“The proposed project represents an opportunity to develop a best-in-class modern industrial building representing a significant investment in East Oakland,” Duke Realty said in its filing with the city’s planning department.
The building would total 325,000 square feet and include 25,000 square feet of office space, the planning documents show.
“The proposal creates a thriving employment center and is designed to conform to the industrial nature of the area,” Duke Realty said in its filing with the city.
All of the foundry’s operations are slated to be shifted to Texas, according to McWane executives.
“After much deliberation, we came to the difficult decision that relocation of our operations from Oakland was the only course of action to ensure we can continue to serve our customers with high-quality pipe and pipe fittings,” said Michael Lowe, AB&I president.
Multiple rounds of employment cutbacks, along with the full-scale shutdown, were expected to ultimately erase 200 jobs in Oakland.
In April 2021, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District ruled that emissions from the AB&I plant posed an elevated health risk and that the plant must slash emissions.