By Nancy Amdur
San Francisco-based Bay Development is looking to add a mixed-use high-rise containing more than 125 residential units to downtown Oakland.[contextly_sidebar id=”it2Kh96P2gSlKVyPxQSWamX6pWkvyrmT”]Oakland’s Planning Commission on Feb. 3 will discuss and review plans for the proposed 16-story, 126-unit building. The project would replace surface parking on 0.44 acres at 250 14th and 1429 Alice streets. Also included in the property would be 3,200 square feet of ground-floor retail and 91 parking stalls.
The 14th Street parcel is identified as an “opportunity site” for a mixed-use development in the city’s Lake Merritt Station Area Plan, a long-range land-use outline for about 286 acres surrounding the Lake Merritt BART station.
The site is designated for a building with an 85-foot-tall height limit, but city plans will allow some projects in the district to exceed that limit to 175 or 275 feet, said Peterson Vollman, a senior planner for the city. Bay Development is requesting a 175-foot-height limit and, if approved, it would be the first project in the plan area to receive a height increase, he said. The project is consistent with development density and land use characteristics set for the area in the city’s General Plan, according to a California Environmental Quality Act analysis for the project.
Residential units in the project would be rental but mapped with the ability to become condominiums in the future, said Maria Poncel, principal with Bay Development. Units would include mostly studio and one-bedroom units along with a smaller number of two- and three-bedroom options. Among the amenities would be a fitness area and third-floor landscaped terrace, according to the CEQA report. Also, some units would include private patios.
Poncel said the company likes the neighborhood’s convenient location. It is within a half-mile of two BART stations and close to downtown amenities, Chinatown and Lake Merritt, and easily accessible to Interstates 980 and 880.
“Where we are at 14th and Alice is very centrally located,” Poncel said, adding that the project would add residents and services in the area “and help connect Lake Merritt to downtown.”
Architecture firm IBI Group in Vancouver worked on the project. Plans call for a modern design that “respects the historic buildings” nearby, such as the Oakland Hotel, located across the street, and the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts on Alice Street, Poncel said. It will aim for a LEED Silver designation, according to the CEQA report.
Bay Development also is in the early stages on several other projects in the area. Construction on the 14th Street project could begin this year, with completion expected in 2018, Poncel said.