Oakland: 5100 Telegraph - Which Design Will See the Light of Day at 51st and Telegraph in Temescal?

(Image: Google Streetview).
There have been a few attempts at developing the vacant lot at the corner of 51st and Telegraph in Oakland's Temescal neighborhood but none of these plans have come to fruition so far. Back in January 2014, the SF Business Times reported that local developer Nautilus Group had acquired the parcel and was planning to start construction on this previously approved mixed-use project in the Fall of 2015. The article included a rendering with a distinct early 2000s look:

Image Nautilus Group/SF Business Times
While a nicely designed building like this would be a huge improvement over the empty lot that is currently there, a building with an even more unique design would certainly help make this busy intersection feel like more of a destination. This is why I was very excited when I came across a development called "Lake Village" on the Natoma Architects (Stanley Saitowitz's firm) website a few months ago. I couldn't immediately place the rendering in a specific location thinking it must be near Lake Merritt but, a few days ago, it finally occurred to me that this was the corner of 51st and Telegraph:

Rendering: Natoma Architects
Now, this is a beautifully-designed building that would absolutely transform the look and feel of this area. Though Saitowitz is not known for creating the most pedestrian-friendly buildings, it looks like this project would include a nicely designed ground floor with attractive retail spaces and even a courtyard. But to complicate matters, once I discovered where the Lake Village building was located, I started doing research on this location and realized that another prominent Bay Area firm, Fougeron Architecture, has designs on their website for that same corner:

Rendering: Fougeron Architecture
This design emphasizes and takes cues from the project's ecological surroundings and would also make quite a statement. Though it looks like this version would include less prominent retail spaces, the lush landscaping seems to be in line with another project by the Nautilus Group, the Garden Village project in Berkeley, which was ironically designed by Natoma Architects who are behind the other version of this project. 

So now the questions is: Which design will go up in the fall? Will it be one of these three designs or some other design that is hidden in the vaults of the Nautilus Group? Whichever design they choose, I am looking forward to seeing yet another vacant lot in Oakland disappear!

Next Post »