The Oakland Landmark Preservation Board is scheduled to review plans today for a seven-story mixed-use complex at 707 Washington Street in Downtown Oakland, Alameda County. The in-person meeting will review the plans to construct 38 new homes on a vacant parcel in the historic Old Oakland district. Turner Development Resource Group is the project applicant.
The application uses the State Density Bonus to increase the allowable residential capacity by half, from 25 to 38 units. The developer must include a certain number of affordable housing to use the bonus, so eleven units will be deed-restricted as moderate-income housing.
The 80-foot tall structure will yield around 51,500 square feet with 46,780 square feet for housing, 1,600 square feet for retail, and 1,700 square feet for parking. Unit sizes will vary with seven one-bedrooms, 25 two-bedrooms, and six three-bedrooms. Parking will be included for 16 bicycles and five cars.
Schaub Li Architects is responsible for the design. New renderings shared by the city show significant changes to the exterior, removing private balconies and reducing the cornice’s prominence. The updated plans show an unusual wood lattice feature on the top corner of the building facing Washington Street. By removing the balconies, the six-floor bay windows, a storied architectural feature, are more notable. Facade materials will include stucco, horizontal plank siding, and porcelain tiles.
Page & Turnbull, a historic preservation and architecture firm, has drafted the project compliance memorandum. The application is located within the Old Oakland Historic District, also known as the Victorian Road. The district served as Oakland’s commercial center between the 1870s and 1880s. P&T’s historic review describes that “ Ninth Street, between Broadway and Washington Street – “Victorian Row” – represents an unbroken succession of Victorian structures fronting both sides of the street. These structures comprise one of the most distinguished compositions of late-Victorian commercial architecture in the western United States.” The neighborhood was deemed eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
In conclusion, P&T writes that while 707 Washington “is not compatible with the Old Oakland Historic District, multiple gestures are included in the design to reference the materiality, rhythm, and features represented in the historic district. In those respects, the proposed project appears to comply with the intent provided by Standard 9 of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and the criteria outlined in the Planning Code…”
The meeting will be held tonight, Monday, December 4th, starting at 6 PM. The event will be held in person only in the Oakland City Hall Council Chambers. For more information about how to attend and participate, visit the meeting agenda here.