Land swap opens door for affordable housing at Oakland’s Brooklyn Basin.

An updated land deal between the City of Oakland and Brooklyn Basin master developer Zarsion-Oakland Harbor Partners has paved the way for planned affordable housing. The city, partnering with nonprofit developer MidPen Housing, would have needed to finance retail and parking at Parcel G, which is at the site’s entrance. This original plan would have made financing the project more difficult and costly, the East Bay Times reports.

Oakland would like to build 465 affordable apartments at the 65-acre site. A 254-unit project will now be built on Parcel A, which will be closer to the waterfront and a planned eight-acre park. The remaining units will be built on Parcel F, which is expected to include 110 apartments for seniors and 101 units for families.

MidPen will work with architect Hkit for its contribution to Brooklyn Basin. It will apply for federal low income equity tax credits in March 2018, which will be the final aspect of financing the project. Financing also is coming from a 2011 housing bond, commitments from the Housing Authority for Section 8 vouchers, $2M from Zarsion-Oakland Harbor Partners and construction and mortgage loans. The city previously negotiated $45M in state financing for these affordable units.

Brooklyn Basin is expected to have 3,100 housing units, 15% priced as affordable, and 32 acres of open space. Zarsion-Oakland Harbor Partners was formed as part of the partnership between Signature Development Group and Zarsion Holdings Group. The developer has been building infrastructure and broke ground on Parcel B in April for 241 market-rate units. These units are expected to deliver spring 2019.