Port of Oakland extends rent-free lease for sailors’ get-away
International Maritime Center helps with shopping, calls home...even golf
Oakland, Calif. – December 5, 2017: Nearly 5,000 sailors arrive here each year on container ships. The Port of Oakland has ensured that they’ll continue to find temporary respite from the sea.
Port Commissioners last week extended for five years a rent-free lease with Oakland’s International Maritime Center. The center provides everything from shopping sprees to billiards for visiting mariners whose stays last 24 hours or less. It even offers spiritual care through the Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate, Apostleship of the Sea, Korean Presbyterian, and others.
The Port agreement keeps the doors open at the center’s 20-year-old office module in Outer Harbor. It also extends a 50-year tradition of providing sailors a landside Oakland get-away.
“Our role is to recognize and appreciate the contributions of seafarers and shipping to the Bay Area,” International Maritime Center Director John Claassen told Port Commissioners. “We provide a safe space for the seafarers and the Port community to just take a break.”
Mr. Claassen said the center’s 2017 Oakland report card includes:
- 387 visits by clergy or volunteers to ships berthed at Port;
- 1,500 visiting sailors at the center; and
- shopping excursions to East Bay retailers for 766 seafarers.
“We even took a sea captain to Sequoyah Country Club for a round of golf,” said Mr. Claassen. He said many sailors, lonely after months at sea, use the center’s facilities to call loved ones back home.
The Port’s lease covers 0.2 acres of land near Ben E. Nutter marine terminal. The building is owned by the operators of the International Maritime Center. For more information, contact the center at http://imcbayarea.org/.
About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.