Oakland: Next phase of Brooklyn Basin project OK’d.

OAKLAND — The next phase of the Brooklyn Basin project, a 241-apartment building, has been given the go-ahead by the city Planning Commission.

Called Parcel C, the 86-foot-tall building also will include 3,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. It was given preliminary approval earlier as part of the Brooklyn Basin development, a 3,100 apartment project along the city’s waterfront.

“What you’re seeing is moving from a conceptual design to a schematic design at this point,” city planner Catherine Payne told the Planning Commission at its meeting earlier this month.

Brooklyn Basin covers 64 acres along the Oakland Estuary south of Jack London Square and west of Interstate 880. The project — a mix of residential, retail and commercial, civic, and parks and open space being built in phases — was given preliminary approval in 2006. After a legal challenge, it was approved again in 2009.

Parcel B, a 241 market-rate apartment project, is under construction, as is Shoreline Park, Payne told commissioners.

The apartments in the eight-story Parcel C building will be one and two bedrooms, according to the staff report. The U-shaped building faces south with views of the water.

“What we’re seeing at Brooklyn Basin is, fortunately, not a cookie-cutter development that all looks the same,” Payne said.

No one opposed the project at the public hearing Aug. 2.

The parking at Parcel C would be hidden from view except on Eighth Avenue, she said. Parking will be unbundled, which means tenants would pay for it separately from their apartment rent.

The building’s design takes a cue from the nearby future Ninth Street Terminal and its roofline, architect Douglas Oliver of Studio T Squared told commissioners.

“Also notice it’s a nautical-themed building. It’s on the water, part of Brooklyn Basin Way,” Oliver said. It combines aspects of both a sailboat in its color and use of teak wood, and a typical larger yacht, with a black and white color scheme, he said. Zarsion America plans to use metal rather than teak to get the effect, he said.

The city’s new development impact fees do not apply to the project because they were not in force when it was approved in 2009. Developers who do not include affordable housing are assessed a fee per unit. The City Council approved the impact fees last year, which are being phased in and vary according to where the project is.

However, the total Brooklyn Basin project will provide 465 affordable apartments, Payne noted.

Commissioners generally liked the project, and agreed with staff that the metal accents need to stay.

“We really don’t want an overwhelming stucco building,” Commissioner Clark Manus said.

But there was concern about the color of the metal. In some of the renderings attached to the staff report, the color hues to gold, but the developer is proposing a rusted patina with more red, like rusted iron, Oliver said.

“Actually, I really love the yellow metal look,” Commissioner Emily Weinstein said.

“When I first saw the renderings, I really liked the sort-of gold yellow pop,” she said later in the meeting.

The planning staff and developer will work on the project’s details as it goes through the permitting process.

“We are open to continue working with staff on the colors,” Oliver said.