Southern California Developer Proposes 487-Unit Multifamily Project in San Leandro’s Bay Fair TOD

San Leandro East Bay AO Architects Bayfair Center AMG & Associates Bay Fair TOD

By Vladimir Bosanac

San Leandro wants to add more housing and with the help of Encino, Calif.-based AMG & Associates the East Bay city just south of Oakland may get a massive residential development that would transform a shopping center parking lot into a 487-unit apartment complex. 

The proposed housing project is located at a site adjacent to the city’s Bayfair Center, located at the corner of Fairmont Drive and E 14th Street. The development itself is part of the city’s Bay Fair Transit-Oriented Development and is located at multiple addresses: 15693, 15739 and 15741 East 14th Street in San Leandro. The Bay Fair TOD Specific Plan was adopted by the San Leandro City Council in 2018, following an extensive community engagement and planning process, according to the city’s website. The Specific Plan sets a vision for the Bay Fair area to become a walkable, transit-oriented community hub, with public gathering spaces and a mix of retail, neighborhood services, housing and office space, the city stated on its site.

“It’s a $150-$200 million project. We want to propose minimum 10 percent affordability, and we also want to potentially propose a for-sale product,” said Alexis Gevorgian, managing member of AMG & Associates in a phone conversation with The Registry. “We’re hoping to raise the capital after we get the entitlements.”

The land use designation for this development does not have maximum FARs or densities within the Plan Area, according to the city’s zoning code.

“The project will consist of 487 units, of which will be 482 one-bedroom units and 5 three-bedroom manager’s units. Of those units, 15 percent will be affordable for very low-income families and the rest will be market-rate,” said Kimberly Calica of AMG & Associates in a letter to San Leandro’s planning team.

The project will feature contemporary modern architectural language that will respect the design guidelines and intent of the Bay Fair TOD Specific Plan, Calica added in the letter. The proposal is looking to add two 5-story buildings. Building A will house 180 units and is planned to be T-shaped, mostly engaging East 14th Street. Building B, which contains 307 units, is a 4-sided building forming an enclosed courtyard space, Calica stated. These two buildings interact with each other to create an otherwise contiguous form on the site and reinforce the natural flow of the open public open spaces and pathways run parallel along the North / South perimeter of the project and Bayfair Center. 

The pedestrian entry to the public plaza from East 14th Street will be marked by a proposed mural depicting San Leandro’s “Cherry City” legacy, which started in 1909 to celebrate the bumper crop of cherries. Cherry festivals have been held off and on ever since. 

The development team, which includes Orange, Calif.-based AO Architects, is hoping to finalize the entitlements within an 18-month period, Gevorgian stated. At that point, it would look to raise the equity and debt to complete the project and determine if it would be a for-sale or rental community.

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