Emeryville: Large Development Proposed for Sherwin Williams Paint Factory Site

Proposed development - Option A. Rendering: Lennar. 
At some point while passing through Emeryville, you may have noticed that there is a large empty lot in the heart of the city just east of the railroad tracks. As it turns out, despite its high rents and position as the East Bay chain store retail hub, Emeryville still has quite a bit of prime development land up its sleeve. This particular lot in question used to be home to a Sherwin Williams paint factory which shut down a little less than a decade ago. Ever since site remediation was completed in 2012, a major housing and commercial development has been in the works but only recently have more detailed plans emerged. The effort to develop this 8.5 acre site is now being led by giant housing developer Lennar which is currently proposing a major mixed-use development that will include 540 residential units and 94,600 square feet of commercial space (about 15,000 square feet of which will be for retail and restaurant use). Almost 1,000 parking spots will be provided. Yes, Emeryville's building code requires lots of parking.
Though still in the early planning phase, there are currently two schematic approaches proposed. Both plans would include five new buildings that range in height from 75-100 feet as well as a complete renovation of the existing Sherwin Williams factory building on the corner of Sherwin Ave and Horton St. Both designs would also include a small park in the middle of the development, modeled after San Francisco's South Park as well as a new 1.5 acre city park. In fact, the only major difference between the two proposals is the location of the latter park. Option A assumes that an adjacent city-owned lot (a former redevelopment agency asset) will become available before the development begins thus allowing the park to be moved toward the center of the project. Option B assumes that the park will be developed separately and the location of a proposed new park will remain adjacent to the railroad tracks. If everything goes according to plan, a development agreement could be finalized in early 2016 which would then allow Lennar to seek construction permits for this development.
Though plans are still in flux, I'm happy to see that there is a real effort to create inviting spaces by including new public streets and lots of green space. Hopefully final plans will include a little more variation in building height and perhaps a reduction in parking spaces but it's nice to see that an effort is being made to improve the pedestrian and biking experience by adding a bike and pedestrian trail along the railroad tracks. It'll be exciting to see how these plans are fine-tuned and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing more detailed renderings of this development.

Option B. Rendering: Lennar


Site Plan for Option A. Rendering Lennar. 


Site Plan for Option B. Rendering: Lennar.

Site today. Image: City of Emeryville.

Sherwin Williams factory building to be renovated. 


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