By Jacob Bourne
Ten parcels at the southeast corner of 105th Avenue and International Boulevard in Oakland could be combined into a 3.9-acre development site for an affordable housing project by Riverside Charitable Corporation. According to Pete Vollmann, planning project manager, a CEQA analysis was prepared for the project and is currently out for a public notice period, which ends on June 5. Architects Orange worked on the drawings for the CEQA analysis document, however a project architect has yet to be determined.
The plans propose 529 dwelling units geared for seniors in a 448,833 square foot structure reaching 75 feet with ground level parking and five stories of residential above. The residences will be a mix of one and two-bedrooms units with varying sizes and floor plans. Residents would be able to access four courtyards, a fitness center and clubhouse. At least 30-percent of the units would be affordable for those earning 60-percent of the area’s median income. Common space areas total 23,200 square feet and include publicly accessible outdoor open space and a leasing office. The ground level parking will provide 334 spaces for residents and another 50 for those patronizing nearby commercial entities.
“It will be 100-percent affordable housing for seniors aged 65 and over and will feature first-class architecture,” commented Cameron Johnson, consultant for Riverside Charitable Corporation. “Oakland has a crisis from the lack of affordable housing and the Mayor supports the development of affordable housing. We’re a 501(c)(3) public-purpose organization and we still don’t have financing for the project but are hoping to secure financing over the next couple of years.”
“The 30 percent is a minimum requirement based upon the density bonus and concessions granted,” explained Vollmann. “If the applicant wants to provide more affordable units the City has no issues with that. The City’s General Plan identifies sites that are suitable for housing opportunity sites and not specifically as affordable housing sites, but encourages efforts to include affordable housing opportunities in any development.”
The development site is currently occupied by an auto body shop that would be demolished to make way for the residential building. A Dollar Green, Rockforth Pharmacy and Borderline Automotive Center, which front International Boulevard would be retained and remodeled to match the project’s design. The site is located within the International Boulevard Transit-Oriented Development and Elmhurst South District. It carries a General Plan designation of Community Commercial allowing up to 125 residential units per acre. The stretch of International Boulevard is just north of the San Leandro border and is surrounded by a mix of commercial, residential and industrial uses. There are bus routes nearby but the Coliseum BART station is nearly 2.5 miles away. The nearby Durant Marketplace on International Boulevard features two grocery outlets, furniture stores and entertainment options.
The design will be a contemporary architectural style to match the surrounding neighborhood as well as the Durant Marketplace. Neutral, subdued tones will be emphasized and utilize several colors. Architectural interest will be achieved through alternating the size and placement of windows and by incorporating an undulating roofline.
The project is deemed to be an urban infill development and is exempt from CEQA review. It is also found to be consistent with General Plan policies and zoning code regulations. The CEQA analysis document prepared by Stantec Consulting Services Inc. states that construction will begin in June 2017 and entail two, 18-month phases. Full buildout could be achieved by May 2020.
Riverside Charitable Corporation, based in Tustin, California, was founded in 1988 and has over 90 affordable and senior living communities in California and Nevada.