In 2007, the City of Oakland certified the Courthouse Condominiums mixed-use project at 2935 Telegraph Ave., but the project was put on hold in 2008 during the economic downturn. The principals involved are now bringing the residential-and-retail project back to life with new financing and design elements.[contextly_sidebar id=”L5wUPI76K5U1cb8wmA6hHlqQsUPYLC2I”]With many of the previous entitlements kept active, including an environmental impact report, the project is moving from the public-notice stage to final planning and building department approvals, according to Maurice Brenyah-Addow, a planner III at the City of Oakland.
Planning approval is expected within the next few weeks and construction is expected to start in late summer, said Charmaine Curtis of Curtis Development & Consulting of San Francisco, which is sharing the development duties with Rafanelli & Nahas of Lafayette. The development team is called 2935 Telegraph LLC. Completion is set for 2017.
According to a California Environmental Quality Act analysis released this month, the project site is located in the Central/Chinatown planning area, six blocks north of the Central Business District. The site occupies two-thirds of the block bounded by 29th Street, Telegraph Avenue, 30th Street and Interstate 980.
The five-story project will comprise 162 residential units on the top four floors, 4,045 square feet of ground-floor retail and on-site parking for 163 cars. Residential units will include 53 studios (each approximately 610 square feet, according to the CEQA report), 52 one-bedroom flats (716 square feet) and 57 two-bedroom flats (1,080 square feet). The building’s design will be contemporary, using stucco, wood siding, metal railings and aluminum-framed window units, the CEQA report said.
The originally approved project included 142 residential units and 2,900 square feet of retail along with 205 on-site parking spaces in a five-story building.
Similar to the original design, the residential lobby fronting Telegraph Avenue will provide elevator access to a series of internal hallways. The residential units will be grouped into a series of wings separated by U-shaped courtyards on the 29th and 30th streets’ elevations. Six landscaped courtyards will be on the second/podium level totaling around 18,000 square feet.
MBH Architects of Alameda is the architect on the project, and JS Builders of San Ramon is the contractor.
Before certification of the final EIR in 2007, the site was occupied by the Courthouse Athletic Club and a parking lot and carried mature redwood trees. The 100-year-old club building was a designated historic resource, but the structural integrity of the building was deemed unsafe. Trammel Crow Residential and the Oakland Housing Authority teamed up on the first development effort. The club was demolished and the trees removed prior to the 2008 halt. The site is zoned CC-2, RU-1 and RU-2 and is designated Community Commercial and Urban Residential.
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is nearby at 30th Street and Telegraph Avenue, and the historic St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church is at 29th Street and Telegraph Avenue.
The project is located near, but is not part of, one of Oakland’s three long-term area plans to add more apartment units and retail development—the 95-acre Broadway-Valdez District Specific Plan—which is organized along a stretch of Broadway between the Central Business District to the south and Interstate 580 to the north. The other two area plans are the West Oakland Specific Plan and the Lake Merritt Station Area Plan. In all, the city aims to construct 14,600 new housing units in the three specific plans to meet the city’s “fair share” of the regional housing needs allocation, according to the recent CEQA report. The city recently extended its housing unit goals deadline from the period 2008 to 2014 to the current period of 2015 to 2023.