The formerly developed Caltrans site between lower Pine Street and Frontage Road, on the western edge of West Oakland and its Prescott neighborhood, is slated to hit the auction block on September 7.

In addition to the potential for housing to rise along Pine Street, the approved West Oakland Specific Plan envisions the western portion of the 4.7-acre site, which is knows as “Sub-Area 2C” within the plan’s 7th Street Opportunity Area, to be developed with a mix of light industrial and commercial space, “serving as a buffer between the residential uses and the I-880 freeway.”

The opening bid for the leveled parcel, the majority of which is currently covered with a concrete slab, has been set at $4.2 million.  And the transfer of the State’s surplus land is expected to be approved by the California Transportation Commission by end of the year.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Sassy

    I’ve always wondered when things would start happening on this large vacant lot.

  2. Posted by Occupied in Oakland

    “a mix of light industrial and commercial space, “serving as a buffer between the residential uses and the I-880 freeway.”

    Oh please – it was placed there to pander to the those holding the false hope that light industrial jobs will suddenly be plentiful again and to stave off gentrification by making the housing planned there less desirable. 880 should be the buffer for light industrial – it shouldn’t be mixed in with housing.

  3. Posted by Notcom

    And what was it that was “formerly developed” there? I believe it was the plant of the Independent (later Phoenix) Iron Works. Long-time BART riders might recall seeing the massive fabricating building – with its emblem at the south end – from the train just before it dipped down into the tube.

  4. Posted by jwb

    The Specific Plan also calls for enclosing BART in a big glass tube. It is an exercise in hallucination.

    • Posted by MKP

      that is actually a brilliant idea. the noise BART creates on 7th street has destroyed the area. 7th street will always be terrible until the BART noise is dealt with, somehow

      • Posted by Tia

        I sat outside of the Pupuseria for about 20 minutes the other day, and I think the bart is quieter there on 7th than being at the businesses next the the N at Carl and Cole. I would not put a music venue there, but retail, restaurants, and shops should be just fine.

      • Posted by Sassy

        One person’s noise is another person’s music: I live next to BART and find trains passing sounds hauntingly pleasant, especially when it’s foggy.

        The glass tube will quickly become grimy. Check out the railings at Embarcadero Station for example.

      • Posted by jwb

        Yeah well that’s not really how sound works. Putting a tube around it will just make it reverberate slightly differently.

        The real fix for BART noise is for them to deploy the new trains with the “new” i.e. 19th-century-standard conical wheels, and grind all the wheels one more time. Or they can deploy a track mounting system like this one that has been used to very good effect in the UK.

  5. Posted by MKP

    considering how well station house is selling, and the green light for station house west, this could be a great spot for more new housing. wondering how much toxic cleanup needs to happen first though…

  6. Posted by Some Guy

    Two words: liquefaction hazard.

    • Posted by Don

      Two words: how unusual.

      (I mean, why stop building or planning to build in areas at “very high risk” (per USGS) of liquefaction now? We’ve already got most of the Financial District and SOMA, two airports, both approaches to the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, the Marina, Brooklyn Basin, Foster City (and another bridge approach), the entire Port of Oakland and half of Alameda. In the event, this slice of territory will be the least of our worries. Unless we live there, of course.)

      • Posted by Some Guy

        Sure. Feel free to buy one of those units. I hope you believe in god because you may need prayers to collect insurance money from CEA (calif earthquake authority) funds after the next Big One. Suckers are born every minute, why be one if it’s avoidable?

        • Posted by E. Gonsalves

          Should people buy in San Francisco instead?

          • Posted by Some Guy

            Seriously, Eddie. Are you implying, sardonically, that buying property in a known very high risk liquefaction zone is a good idea?

            They can buy in SF, or Oakland, or Shanghai, so long as its not a dead-obvious liquefaction zone. In fact the majority of the land area of all three these august cities are NOT in liq. zones. Caveat emptor.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            How about anywhere near an earthquake fault? Isn’t a good portion of downtown SF in a liquification zone? Aren’t AT&T Park, the Marina, SFO, parts of Alameda, all in liqification zones? If you buy in the Bay Area you will either be within a few miles of an active fault line, near a liqification zone, a flood zone, a landslide zone, etc. That’s life in the Bay Area and in much of California.

          • Posted by Some Guy

            Building near an active fault can typically be mitigated with adequate seismic engineering, i.e. simply anchoring the building well enough to the ground, and making it stiff enough to absorb and/or resist shaking & overturning forces.

            Building over a liquefaction zone typically cannot be mitigated with stronger construction, only *deep footings* that penetrate all the way through the quicksand-like layers down to bedrock — like the new Bay Bridge footings do, and like any sanely-constructed >25 story building ought to. (Don’t bother me about the Millenium tower & other similar examples — NOT MY PROBLEM.)

            Any structure located in a known high-risk liquefaction zone whose footings do not touch bedrock has a very good chance of simply slipping downwards into the muck when it takes on, momentarily, the character of quicksand during a major earthquake. This would include every building in the proposed development for the lot in question.

  7. Posted by Travis Gall

    Zoom into the upper left corner and you will see the “Lower Bob’s” DIY skatepark. It will be a shame if this is destroyed as it has become an asset to the community.

  8. Posted by Sleepless Not In Seattle

    Absolutely Travis. I would totally miss the hours long illegal “death metal” concerts hosted at the skatepark that occur after midnight in the middle of the week, that reverberate in my house as if I were an attendee in the front row, but perhaps closer, like maybe lying on the subwoofer. Guess I’m gonna have to just reside in the fact that I’ll have to sleep if the park gets destroyed…..

    • Posted by lasertag

      Wow sorry to hear about a few misbehaving people. I have only been there in the day where the vibe was positive.

    • Posted by lasertag

      So why not use the same tactic if someone was having a loud house party next door? Wouldn’t it be easy to make a noise complaint and have the police handle? Bad behavior continues unless someone steps up. Make sense?

    • Posted by music for the people

      there seems to be a lack of appreciation for the arts in the community. all of the sf money coming in to buy property should understand there was a culture in west oakland that existed before they decided to come and build build build. maybe a couple ear plugs and an ambien would help and let the people rock on.

    • Posted by Some Guy

      The concept of entitlement to live in a certain area and for a certain style of culture to continue in said area has no validity whatsoever. The law of the land ( the state of CA, plus local municipalities as well) is that legal residents, whether owners or renters, have a right to peaceful enjoyment of their property.

      Period.

      No sympathy whatsoever for self-indulgent artist types who seem to think lthat just because no one complained about 2am death metal jams for the last 5 or 10 years, somehow that now trumps the law of the land and entitles them to continue.

      Move to Antioch, Tracy, Stockton, or Guam.

    • Posted by Skates Is High

      IDK, illegal death metal shows at a skate park in the wee hours of the night sound pretty whimsical. Now if only there were trash barrels aflame.

      • Posted by Brian M

        Except for a few outlier bands like Body Count, how is “Death Meta” an expression of the West Oakland culture? Aren’t the death metal kids invaders? Especially given the politics of many (not all) extreme metal bands?

  9. Posted by Notcom

    Maybe there will be some leftover parts from the “big glass tube” around BART that they can use to enclose the skatepark …a win-win .
    🙂

  10. Posted by jay

    This property has already gone to auction last month..no bids. Maybe they should drop the price this time, would be nice if this would help shut down the chop shop/illegal wrecking yard next to lower bob’s.

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