The City of Oakland’s Design Review Commission is scheduled today to review plans for a substantial twin-block development surrounding the Lake Merritt BART Station in Downtown Oakland. The two blocks at 51 9th Street and 107 8th Street will create half a million square feet of new office space, retail, community amenities and contribute hundreds of new apartments to the Oakland housing market. Strada Investment Group and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation are jointly responsible for the development.
Strada and EBALDC are proposing to build four structures on the two blocks, with two towers extending to the 275-foot height limit. Both blocks pair a taller and shorter building. There will be a total of 557 apartments, of which 233 will be affordable housing. Pedestrians will find between the artistically decorated public space 16,500 square feet of commercial retail, a community education civic activity daycare, and a larger commercial kitchen. Even with an on-site BART Station, the development will include garage space for 404 vehicles.
Building A at 51 9th Street is a 360-unit residential tower with 36 units set to be moderate-income households. The ground level will open up a 4,500 square foot retail area and parking for 105 vehicles. The structure will stand 275 feet above street level.
Building B will create 97 affordable apartments within an 83-foot envelope, 2,030 square feet for a custom manufacturing commercial kitchen, and 960 square feet for a limited-service cafe or restaurant.
Between Buildings A and B in Block One, the public paseo and BART plaza will be a central public amenity where pedestrians will find access to the BART station entrances. The area will provide an opportunity for landscaping and greenery in a welcoming environment to gather and play.
Building C at 107 8th Street will rise 275 feet to create 500,000 square feet of office space on top of 11,000 square feet of retail. Parking for 254 vehicles will serve the building employees and staff. The 83-foot tall Building D, a final 100 affordable family-oriented residences are expected beside a 6,200 square foot daycare center and tenant parking for 49 vehicles.
Construction will start with block one, replacing the downtown surface parking with buildings A and B along with the midblock pedestrian thoroughfare and plaza. Phase two of development will require the demolition of the existing Metro Center office building and subsequent construction of the high-rise office and affordable senior housing.
The latest designs submitted come from Oakland-based PYATOK and Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architects. While illustrations from the firm are preliminary, they indicate a conservative contemporary design wrapped by curtain wall systems punctuated with residential balconies. The office building features a large loggia balcony mid-structure. EinwillerKuehl will be responsible for the landscape architecture.
The preliminary development plan (PDP) will be presented to the Design Review Commission today in a meeting scheduled for 3 PM. The PDP still requires review and approval from the Planning Commission. Learn how to join the event here.