Author: Mark Hedin
Published: East Bay Times, September 15, 2016
The Oakland Planning Commission has unanimously approved the first project for the 64-acre Brooklyn Basin Development Site — 64 acres of land along the estuary south of Jack London Square that will eventually include a mix of more than 3,000 residential units.
The Brooklyn Basin Terraces Apartments will take up less than two acres of the project and feature 241 market-rate apartment units with a parking spot for each and 2,800 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
“We’re excited to have gotten unanimous approval,” said Deborah Tu of Signature Development, master developer of the project. Signature is working with BAR architects, a 50-year-old, green-certified San Francisco firm.
Brooklyn Basin, between 10th and Fallon streets, the Embarcadero and the estuary, has been in the planning stages for 10 years. Entitlements granted in 2009 call for 3,100 housing units, 200,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, at least 3,950 parking spaces and two marinas.
Tu said the project is to some extent subject to the whims of the market, but that she expects it to be fully built out within six to eight years. “You can’t just build 3,100 units all at once,” she said.
Almost half of the site, 29.9 acres, is reserved for parks and public open space, and the project includes restoration of estuary wetlands.
Eventually, there will be affordable housing on other Brooklyn Basin parcels, but these first apartments, at Parcel B, will be market-rate.
Of those 241 apartments, 108 are projected to be one-bedroom, 59 to be two-bedroom and four to be three-bedroom units; plus, there will be 26 studios, 26 loft spaces and 18 townhouses.
The building will be between Eighth and Ninth avenues, with Clinton Lane to the east. To the west, a planned footpath will lead to Shoreline Park 100 feet away and the estuary 300 feet away.
The retail space will feature 21-foot-high ceilings. The building, including enclosed parking spaces, will be 308,270 square feet and seven stories tall with a mezzanine, according to planning department documents.
There will be space for 190 bicycles, and 5,500 square feet of amenities — common areas, a gym, lounges, a “flex space” for working on the first four floors, and a roof deck. Also in the works are outdoor cooking spaces, spas and seating areas.
The planning commission approved the Brooklyn Basin Terraces Apartments on Sept. 7 after the city’s design review committee held public hearings June 22 and July 27.
Following the first review, developers were asked to revise some cosmetic aspects of the project, including varying the appearance of the apartment decks, BAR’s Bradley Sugarman said.
The committee also asked developers for more landscaping details, to break up the balcony pattern and create a stronger retail entry.
In the second review committee members suggested raising the entry level for retail spaces facing Clinton Lane, adopting a lighter color scheme, recessing the windows and further addressing the balcony pattern.
The revised color scheme, submitted Aug. 19, will be “star sapphire” and “frost gray.”
Tu expects construction to start at the end of the first quarter of next year, although a general contractor has not been hired.
Occupants may be able to move into the rental units in mid-2018, she said. As for the retail space, she said, Signature has yet to begin soliciting any prospective tenants, but has been approached by some.
Signature Development is working on infrastructure improvements along the Embarcadero. As part of the overall project, work is already under way at the Ninth Avenue Oakland Terminal, which will be partially demolished.
Sep 16, 2016