Hotel Mandela Looks to Bring 220 Rooms to Oakland

Emeryville, Oakland City Planning Commission, Hotel Mandela, Mandela Parkway, Target, Extended Stay America hotel, Architectural Dimensions, Ram Hotels

By Michele Chandler

A proposal to build a six-story hotel with 220 rooms near Oakland’s border with downtown Emeryville is set to be the subject of a public hearing followed by a vote by the Oakland City Planning Commission at its meeting on Jan. 10.

The proposed hotel—to be called Hotel Mandela—is proposed for a now-vacant, one-acre Caltrans lot bounded by Mandela Parkway, I-80 and Beach Street. The triangular site is adjacent to the Target store at 3650 Mandela Parkway and is across the street from an Extended Stay America hotel.

“Oakland needs another hotel because it’s short [of] rooms, according to all the economic analysts, for the demand [that’s] here,” said James Heilbronner, president of Oakland architecture firm Architectural Dimensions and the lead architect on the project.

“There’s not much else, land use-wise, that you can put there and it has good visibility from the highway. It’s a good spot,” Heilbronner said. City documents list Architectural Dimensions as the project’s applicant.

Texas-based Ram Hotels, whose portfolio includes Hampton, Holiday Inn Express and Courtyard hotels, would operate the proposed development. In city documents, Tulsee Nathu and Payal Nathu are identified as the operators of the proposed hotel. Both individuals are with Ram Hotels, said Heilbronner, who added that his company is representing them in the application process.

In city documents, Tulsee Nathu and Payal Mathu are identified the proposed hotel’s operators as well as the project’s sponsors.

The proposed project requires a Major Conditional Use Permit for a development over 100,000 square feet of new construction. The proposed hotel also requires a Regular Design Review for new commercial construction.

The hotel project includes the development of two levels of underground parking to include 166 vehicle spaces and about 22 bicycle parking spots. In total, the hotel portion of the project would cover approximately 142,813 square feet.

The first floor of the proposed hotel would be at grade level and would include the main lobby and registration, elevator access to the parking garage and guest rooms, a fitness center, indoor pool, guest laundry, meeting facilities and breakfast areas in addition to space for hotel operations and mechanical equipment. The hotel will stand about 83 feet high.

The development is deemed to have met requirements spelled out by the California Environmental Quality Act analysis, according to a letter filed with the city on Nov. 30 by Darin Ranelleti, the city’s environmental compliance officer.

The project is the latest hotel proposed for the Emeryville-West Oakland corridor, where various groups are aiming to convert a section of Broadway along the former Auto Row into a mixed-use retail and residential district.

A 175-room Hyatt Place hotel opened in November 2016 as the first new Emeryville hotel in over a decade. That project, at 5700 Bay St. and developed by Ensemble Hotel Partners, is about a mile north of the proposed new hotel proposal.

In June, a 150-room boutique hotel was proposed for the East Bay city’s bustling Uptown district. The hotel would mark the entry into the Bay Area of West Elm Hospitality, a unit of retailer West Elm, a home goods retailer that has branched out into operating hotels and is a Brooklyn-based subsidiary of retailer Williams Sonoma.

The West Elm hotel will be built at 2401 Broadway near 24th Street and is expected to open by 2020. A venture of Signature Development Group and Jordan Real Estate Investments is developing that 160-room hotel, which will also include 70 apartments and 15,000 square feet of retail.

Minneapolis-based developer Graves Hospitality is proposing to tear down a gas station at 2225 Telegraph Ave. and replace it with a seven-story, 173-room Moxy Hotel, including a full-service restaurant on the ground floor. Oakland-based Lowney Architecture was listed in city documents as the applicant for the Moxy Hotel project.

A 276-room hotel at 1431 Jefferson St. was proposed by former Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff. Quality Choice Construction is proposing a 319-room hotel at 250 Hegenberger Rd., near the Oakland International Airport.

A new hotel hasn’t been built in downtown Oakland since the Courtyard by Marriott opened in 2002.

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