Aerial renderings have been provided for the West Oakland Mandela BART Station development, spanning 5.58 acres around 1451 7th Street. The development hopes to create new homes, a life science laboratory, thriving retail, and a network of public open spaces to reshape former surface parking into a new urban heart for the burgeoning area. The project is a joint development dubbed CHEC-SUDA-Hensel Phelps.
The development team is a collaboration between Oakland-based Strategic Urban Development Alliance LLC (SUDA), Hensel Phelps Construction/Development, and China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC). The team is assuming the combined name of CHEC-SUDA-Hensel Phelps. BART is the property owner. Construction is expected to cost as much as $700 million.
1451 7th Street will replace the 440-car parking lots with three new buildings and 1.7 acres of open space with plazas and paseos. Housing capacity was increased by 35% above base zoning, thanks to the State Affordable Housing Bonus.
The proposed T1 building is to raise 30 floors up to be 320 feet tall, among the tallest buildings in the City of Oakland. The facility will create 522 market-rate homes with over 14,000 square feet of ground-level retail and parking for 125 vehicles. Parking will also be included for bicycles.
The T2 area will be the surface plaza and open space that will connect the surrounding area through the property to the BART Station. Spanning 1.7 acres, the public realm will include spaces for food trucks, restaurants, arts, and gatherings. According to the project website, its design is “filled with activity that highlights what makes West Oakland unique.”
As previously reported, the 30,030 square foot Mandela Plaza will provide a civic community gathering place compared to a shared living room with circular nodes of seating around artificial turf grass. The 15,950 square foot Center Square will offer a landscaped pedestrian artery connecting 5th Street with the BART entrance.
The narrow 20,900 square foot decorated Art Alley pedestrian walkway performs a similar task, uniting Chester Street and Mandela Parkway to BART. Lastly, the Undertrack Plaza, so named for being under the raised train tracks, will make space for food kiosks, pop-up events, art fairs, and even live music.
The T3 building will be the project’s affordable mixed-income residential structure. The property will rise seven floors to be 80 feet tall and include 240 affordable family units and 16,000 square feet of retail.
The T4 building will become an office and life sciences building, spanning over 300,000 square feet across ten floors. The 156-foot tall structure will also include 23,000 square feet of retail and parking space. Initial plans called for a 100-foot conventional office building.
Oakland-based JRDV Urban International is responsible for the design. According to the firm, “the overarching design strategy focused on creating greater flexibility and the need for variety and choices in the workplace.”
Around Mandela Station, other developers are helping to cultivate the urban fabric. Several other proposals have surfaced in the area. 500 Kirkham by Panoramic Interests is expected to create 1,032 new units and a 32-story apartment tower. 533 Kirkham Street by Tidewater Capital will build 289 units across 1.17 acres. 1396 5th Street will create 222 new apartments. The former Black Panther Party chairwoman, Elaine Brown, is planning a 79-unit affordable housing development at 1666 7th Street, dubbed 7th & Campbell.