By Jacob Bourne
Four land parcels within the Broadway Valdez District Specific Plan in Oakland are currently being used for a restaurant, auto shop, two single family homes and a vacant structure. The five existing buildings could be demolished to make way for a six-story, 183,267 square foot, mixed-use residential building. Developer Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group is working with BDE Architecture to bring housing and retail to a stretch of Oakland’s Auto Row, just south of Interstate 580 at 3000 Broadway.[contextly_sidebar id=”wTZoeS2nOxn7y6y4MPChmsG4FIjHKCOd”]“We are approved and through planning,” said Alan Chamorro, senior vice president, Lowe Enterprises, Northern California. “Building permits are in and we’re waiting on approval. Estimated groundbreaking is in spring and I expect it to be a couple years until completion.”
Plans call for 127 market-rate rental units ranging from studios to three-bedrooms. The ground level will offer 7,923 square feet of commercial retail and amenities such as a fitness room, club room, leasing office and bike storage. A semi-subterranean garage will accommodate 97 parking spaces and 80 bicycle spaces. According to Chamorro, the retail will be geared towards residents of the building as well as the surrounding neighborhood. A rooftop deck, podium courtyard, private podium decks and private decks will total 14,725 square feet of open space.
“We have some really beautiful examples of Auto Row, which allows us to retain the existing facade,” said Ian Murphy, design project manager, BDE Architecture. “We added a brick veneer facade to mimic what’s already there. The primary residential access is an extended street-front lobby tucked away on 30th Street. It has a rather urban front on Broadway with more of the big moves and massing. As the building turns onto 30th, it drops down two, almost three stories and you get an articulated residential facade that responds to the neighborhood more.”
The project site is on a slope running downhill from Broadway to Brook Street. Several of the existing buildings’ facades at 3000, 3012 and 3020 Broadway will be incorporated into the new structure with the goal of preserving the look and feel of the historic Auto Row. The surrounding area has several medical centers, schools and an active commercial district, including Sprouts Farmers Market directly across on the western side of Broadway. Alameda-Contra Costa County Transit District routes are accessible to the project’s location, while the MacArthur and 19th Street BART Stations are both within walking distance less than a mile away.
“We’ve been looking into Oakland for some time. I’m an Oakland resident and excited to see the changes going on in the city,” offered Chamorro. “I’m excited to see the retail and housing coming in and it should help to alleviate some of the housing pressures in the area. We’re very hopeful about what’s happening in Oakland and thrilled to be a part of the momentum.”
Under the General Plan the project site is designated as Community Commercial. The Broadway Valdez District Specific Plan was adopted in 2014 and encompasses a 95-acre area along the Broadway corridor. The plan aims to build 1,800 new housing units and 1.12 million square feet of retail over a 25-year period. Though the total number of units in this and other projects exceed the housing buildout goal by 773 units for the plan area, the amount of commercial space underway is significantly less than outlined by the plan.