Oakland: Is the West Oakland Wood Street Zoning District About to See a Wave of Development?

Rendering; City Ventures/Baran Studio
As rental prices are now rising faster in Oakland than pretty much anywhere else in the country, it's no surprise that all those vacant, abandoned lots in the other city by the bay have become irresistible to developers from across the country (and even the world).
While it doesn't have the cool factor of other areas like JLS or Downtown Oakland, West Oakland's 7-minute BART ride to Downtown SF makes it an increasingly appealing place for people who have been priced out of San Francisco. Recognizing the area's room for growth, the large abandoned lots on the western edge of the neighborhood, collectively called Wood Street Zoning District, have recently seen a lot of investor interest. The district is just west of Wood Street and stretches from 10th Street all the way to West Grand Ave. It was created by the city in 2005 with the goal of creating a new pedestrian-friendly residential area across several abandoned and underused lots. Nine different development areas were created that could each be developed separately.
Map: City of Oakland
Though created several years before the recession, only development areas 2 and 3 were completed while everything else was put on hold. Now, several lots are back in play.

Development Area 1
Currently in the approval process, Development Area 1, which is a long, narrow lot that faces the frontage road between 11th and 14th Street would see the construction of 47 townhouse-style apartments. Developed by City Ventures and designed by Baran Studio Architecture, this proposal will not include any commercial or retail spaces. A groundbreaking for the development is expected in early 2016. A small part of Development Area 1 is not included in this project and will be developed separately. Here are some low quality renderings for the development:


Rendering; City Ventures/Baran Studio

Rendering; City Ventures/Baran Studio

Rendering; City Ventures/Baran Studio


Development Area 1 proposal on the right with Area 4 proposal on the left. Rendering; City Ventures/Baran Studio

Development Area 4
The same team (City Ventures & Baran) that is proposing the 47 townhomes for Development Area 1 is also behind a larger development for Area 4. 171 townhomes are planned for this site along with 5 commercial condominiums. This proposal was approved back in August of 2014 and required an amendment to the previously approved zoning district to allow for a lower density development. It looks like City Ventures is targeting those city dwellers who don't want to give up all the perks of single-family living but still want to be near all the action. The development will include a pocket park as well as upgrades to 16th and Wood Streets. A groundbreaking was planned for the spring but it doesn't look like building permits have been issued yet. It's likely that we will see construction of the first few townhomes begin within the coming months. 

Rendering; City Ventures/Baran Studio

Rendering; City Ventures/Baran Studio

Rendering; City Ventures/Baran Studio

Rendering; City Ventures/Baran Studio

Development Area 8
Another development area that has an active proposal is Area 8 which is located on the northern edge of the zoning district. Unlike Areas 1 & 4, this proposal consists of a 6 story mixed-use building with 235 apartments above nearly 14,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space as well as a pocket park. Holliday Development which, coincidentally, has its main offices just a few blocks from the site, is developing this mixed-use building with designs coming from David Baker Architects. Approved by the city in December 2014, the current construction schedule anticipates a late 2016 groundbreaking for the first phase of the development with the second phase following in late 2017.  
Rendering: Holliday Development, David Baker Architects

Rendering: Holliday Development, David Baker Architects

Rendering: Holliday Development, David Baker Architects

It's really great to see all these proposals finally move forward. Though we don't currently know what's planned for Development Areas 5, 6, 7, 9 as well as part of 1, I'm sure it won't be long until those parcels will be developed as well. It will be interesting to see how the feel of this area changes as the vast empty lots start to disappear. I'm especially excited to see the old 16th Street train depot renovated, repurposed and reintegrated into the neighborhood.  
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Link Boutte
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June 3, 2015 at 3:30 PM delete

Looks like Lower Bottoms is finally coming into its own.

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Mattyt
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August 4, 2016 at 11:31 PM delete

Whitefolks want blacks out

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Mattyt
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August 4, 2016 at 11:32 PM delete

Whitefolks want blacks out

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