TMG Partners is expected to request an extension of the city’s approval for Telegraph Tower at 2201 Valley Street in Downtown Oakland. The developer had received approval for a 450-foot office tower in 2019.
While the developer worked on permitting and city approval from 2017 to 2019, San Francisco was experiencing record-low office vacancy rates. Oakland was an attractive alternative for companies looking for office space in the Bay Area. In October 2019, TMG’s David Cropper told the San Francisco Business Times that the developer sought a single tenant to occupy the 875,000-square-foot tower, and construction was expected to start in mid-2020.
Over two years after approval, Matt Field, now to co-CEO of TMG, told the Business Times in 2021 that the firm was still ‘very optimistic’ about building Telegraph Tower. Field emphasized that most office workers in the Bay Area workforce live in the East Bay, so Oakland is a closer commute than San Francisco. He declined to project an expected start for construction at the time.
TMG Partners has yet to reply to a request for comment by YIMBY.
The approved plan calls for a 450-foot structure with 740,000 square feet of office space, 1,600 square feet for an arts or maker space along West Grand Avenue, and 2,800 square feet of commercial space for arts, a maker space, or a performance arts space.
Solomon Cordwell Buenz is responsible for the architectural design. Illustrations show the glass-wrapped structure carved by a string of balconies that separate volumes for an articulated facade. The curtainwall skin will be adorned with perforated patinaed metal panels. SCB writes that each portion of the “glass façade contains a unique pattern of pleated curtain wall modules with exterior vertical fins optimized to reduce solar loads and glare.”
The property is on a lot bound by Telegraph Avenue, West Grand Avenue, 22nd Street, and Valley Street. The site is close to the recently opened Moxy Hotel and a block away from 2016 Telegraph Avenue. The 19th Street BART Station is two blocks away, where transit riders exit next to the 39-story 1900 Broadway apartment tower. The Behring Company is expecting to open the housing complex next year.
The Oakland Planning Commission is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, December 6th, at 3 PM. The meeting will be held in person only. For more information about how to attend and participate, visit the meeting agenda here.