Oakland: Phase 2 of Transit-Oriented Fruitvale Village Development Moving Forward

Rendering: The Unity Council/Pyatok
I will admit that I don't spend much time around the Fruitvale BART station but I do remember during my last visit a few years ago that I was impressed by the adjacent mixed-use development as I was expecting the usual suburban BART station surface lot nothingness. Little did I know that even more transit-oriented goodness was planned for this area and now that the economy (and the housing market) has recovered significantly, it looks like the second phase of Fruitvale Village could finally become a reality. Non-profit community development organization The Unity Council has filed plans with the city to move forward with 94 mixed income units which will rise on a surface parking lot located southeast of the existing Fruitvale Village buildings. The entire second phase of the project will ultimately include 275 units, most of which will be market rate. Unlike the existing part of the Fruitvale Village development, no retail or commercial space is proposed for the second phase. The 4-story structure is being designed by Oakland-based architects Pyatok. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find better renderings of the project.

Though the project already received approvals back in 2010, some modifications are being proposed. Most significantly is the change in parking spaces. Originally, the project was to include about 1 spot per unit while the current version, if approved, would include only 0.5 spaces per unit. This is a very smart move, I believe, considering that this development will be literally next to the BART station. Another notable change is that initial plans also called for all 275 units to be constructed at the same time. The current proposal would only see the lot south of 36th Ave developed in the immediate future. Though I would rather see the entire project built at once, this phased approach will allow for a mid-block passage to be constructed between the two stages of phase 2. At the end of the day, I'm very excited to see another BART-adjacent parking lot disappear especially when it's in a development starved area like this. Here's hoping there will be more proposals for sensible housing projects near BART stops in East Oakland in the next couple of years.

Rendering: The Unity Council/Pyatok

Image: The Unity Council/Pyatok

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