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Mary Alexander Featured on Fox 2 Discussing Torn Down Oakland Ghost Ship Warehouse, Nonprofit Set to Build Affordable Housing

Mary Alexander was recently featured on Fox 2 discussing the demolished Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse in which 36 people tragically died in a fire, a community development nonprofit purchased the building and plans to build affordable housing. 

The Unity Council, based in Fruitvale District purchased the warehouse lot, an adjoining lot, and a commercial building earlier this month for more than $2.5 million as part of their building plan. The CEO of Unity Council, Chris Iglesias, discussed that the decision was not taken lightly and something that was well thought out, as they hope to give the site great care. 

The nonprofit’s plan is to develop 40 to 85 affordable housing units as the property had sat since the fire took place in December 2016. The fire was caused by an electronic music party killing 36 people and leading to many lawsuits, criminal conviction, and a bankruptcy filing by the previous owners. 

The warehouse was recently torn down just weeks ago and now only a large concrete slab remains. 

Mary Alexander, founding principle of Mary Alexander & Associates, represented families affected by the fire in a lawsuit, as most of them are supportive of the demolition. They are fully understanding of the decision, knowing the site will benefit individuals as a safe space.   

The property sold by the owners will help pay a settlement following a lawsuit filed by families of the fire victims. 

A settlement was reached by Ms. Alexander in which the city of Oakland agreed to pay $32.7 million to families of the deceased in July 2020 after a 3 ½ year long fight, as well as to one survivor, during the first portion of the case.

Ms. Alexander discussed enthusiasm for the beneficial use of the site as it will supply many low income families and individuals with affordable housing. She believes that it will also provide the opportunity for a chance to heal as it has weighed heavily on all involved.

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