OBOT elects to continue development of West Gateway terminal

Late this afternoon, on January 8, 2024, Judge Noël Wise published her Proposed Judgment in OBOT v Oakland. Parties may file objections or comments by Friday January 12, 2024 at 4:00 pm, at which point Judge Wise will determine whether to schedule a hearing for oral argument prior to finalizing her judgment.

As reported on December 25, the Judge’s final decision on remedies (published on December 22nd) directed that “Tagami now has a choice between walking away from the project with a mere $317,683 or resuming efforts to build the terminal with a new deadline to get construction underway by July 2026. Phil Tagami’s team has until January 5 to draft a proposed judgment electing one of these two remedies. If he takes the money, he must relinquish any right to develop the West Oakland site.

Judge Wise’s Proposed Judgment confirms that the plaintiffs in the case have, on January 5, 2024, elected the “equitable remedy” in which the West Gateway terminal project will continue to move forward, with an initial construction milestone deadline extended to July 2026. OBOT (Tagami and his partners), OBOT’s sublessee ITS (owned by hedge fund billionaire Jonathan M. Brooks, and led by Vikas Tandon), and/or parties to whom rights under Tagami’s lease may be subleased or sold, will continue to move the project forward.

Tagami thus elected to leave the much-reduced monetary damages award on the table.

Further analysis will be forthcoming as filings are made public for review by NCIO. Once final judgment is entered, both parties have sixty days to file an appeal of any part of Judge Wise’s decisions. As reported on December 25, “the City could challenge the determination that its termination of the lease was unlawful and invalid and OBOT could challenge the court’s rejection of its claim for lost profits.

Additionally, in the coming weeks OBOT will file a motion for reimbursement (by the City) of millions of dollars in attorney’s fees.

However the remainder of this case unfolds, the No Coal in Oakland community will continue to fight construction and operation of a coal terminal on the City’s waterfront.