The downsized plans for a modular 29-story tower to rise up to 350 feet in height on the corner of Franklin and 21st Street in Uptown Oakland have just received a favorable environmental review, qualifying as an urban infill project per the California Environmental Quality Act and having been found that it “would not have a significant effect on the environment” as proposed.

Assuming the 2044 Franklin Street project is approved by the city and survives any appeals, the development team is estimating that the ground could be broken in mid-2018 and construction would take two years to complete.

And including the tower’s three-story appendage on the corner, the development’s 184 residential units, 58,000 square feet of office space and 5,400 square feet of ground floor restaurant/retail space could be ready for occupancy by mid-2020.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by oakland lover

    nice looking hi rise…i hope this gets and the several other approved or nearly approved towers in DTO get started soon.

    Even if the SF cycle is starting too cool, its concieveable the spillover to Oakland could keep the oakland boom going a bit longer, longer enough to see 10+ new towers in DTO, which would be pretty significant, for DTO

    Lets cross our fingers.

    • Posted by PanhandlePro

      10+ new towers? I would love to see it too, but I don’t see it happening. Getting five would be a big win for Oakland. Given that the cost of construction between SF and Oakland is essentially the same, but SF condos go for close to double the price, it feels to me like SF is going to continue to get the most attention from developers. There’s still a lot of really nice infill projects to go in SF, from towers to the Nopa / Shell station project discussed yesterday.

      • Posted by oakland lover

        There are 2 large cranes up already in DTO up and I believe 2-3 breaking ground soon / ineveitable.

        I am pretty sure there are around 10 total approved to go,with another 10 in various stages. This was in a SF business times article a while back.

        Also does anyone know the status of the ~25 story residential tower at Macarthur station….I noticed thery are building more there now, but I was never clear if the city approved the larger tower. Either way it looks like Macarthur transit villiage is also well into its next phase of building.

        • Posted by shawn

          Small clarification, there are currently 3 cranes in DT Oakland (1700 Webster, 601 City Center, 1640 Broadway), with 1100 Broadway set to start soon. Also, not in downtown, but the Lake Merritt Tower on E 12th is set to start shortly.

        • Posted by Notcom

          It looks like it was approved although I didn’t go thru all the docs; and that having been said, there’s a curious – ominous? – lack of info about it out there.

          • Posted by Oaklandlover

            Thanks for that link. I thought it was caught up in an appeal or something. That link seems to imply it’s a go. I’m pretty sure the rest of the lot is getting built out at once (or the majority) so we’ll know soon enough either way. MacArthur station is looking good

            Oh also on Oakland, the 8ish story residential at telegraph and 51st looks like it’s getting started.

        • Posted by Dandywhatsoever

          The tower at the MacArthur station was approved. There is activity at the site, but it’s hard to tell if it is the tower underway, or just staging for the other construction going on there. I was told that the money is committed and it is definitely moving forward.

  2. Posted by Notcom

    After we all disagreed yesterday about the appropriateness of “iconic”, perhaps we can have better luck today with “modular”: I’m assuming it has something to do with the way the building will be erected – prefabricated sections perhaps? – rather than the way it’s designed, since any building that makes use of repetitive elements – which is to say probably any building over three stories, anywhere – can be said to be “modular”.

    (And, yes, I’m aware of the technical definition of a “module” in Classical Architecture, but I don’t think it applies here: Vitruvius wouldn’t approve of this…at least not in public.)

    • Posted by macarthur

      Yes, the building will be erected by stacking prefabricated modules that were built offsite in Lathrop.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Thanks! I would think the transport costs for that would negate whatever the savings might be by “doing it that way”, but apparently not.

        • Posted by macarthur

          The transport costs are not substantial. The factory isn’t very far away and there are no bridges to cross.

  3. Posted by Kento

    Not to hate on Oakland but I always get excited to see posts about new towers only to turn sad panda when I see it’s across the bay.

    • Posted by scott f

      One Oak will likely be next to break ground in San Francisco and renderings look great. Welcome addition to the skyline.

      • Posted by SF Urbanist

        scott f… are you secretly Michael Yarne?!?

        One Oak is a disaster… Snohetta fired after they created a wreck of a intervention in the plaza… wow.

        • Posted by scott f

          No relation to the project team, no. It just happens to be my second favorite forthcoming high-rise (after the Jeanne Gang twisty tower). I wish it could switch places with the SF Honda project so it’d be the one I would see from the Mission.

          • Posted by Oaklandlover

            I love one oak and the greater hub plan quite a bit also.

      • Posted by E.Gonsalves

        The next ground breaking will be tomorrow in Downtown Oakland for a 40 story residential tower. This will be the tallest residential tower in Oakland.

        [Editor’s Note: Which shouldn’t catch any plugged-in readers by surprise.]

        • Posted by E.Gonsalves

          I think the ground breaking of this 40 story residential highrise will catch many of your readers by surprise. In fact, many will be shocked. This took just 2 years from proposal to groundbreaking. Not much written about it for months until just recently.

    • Posted by E.Gonsalves

      You won’t recognize DTO in 5 years. There are more than 20 approved highrises for downtown Oakland in the pipeline.

      • Posted by Frank C.

        This is an incredible structure, and will cement this amazing city’s place in the forefront of human evolution. The greatness of Oakland is only beginning – soon the entire world will drop to its knees to acknowledge its beauty and power. It will become a beacon to civilizations beyond our galaxy.

        • Posted by E.Gonsalves

          Yes, it’s already nicer than San Francisco.

        • Posted by Brian M

          After the first sentence, I thought you were serious, Then I realized you were merely Gonsalvesurbating about the bestest city in the whole world in all of history.

        • Posted by David S

          Sorry to hate on E. Gonsalves and his Oaklanditude, but this made me guffaw pretty darn good.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Most people don’t recognize the one you’ve been describing for the LAST 5 years: that “Paris on the Pacific” that’s poised to eclipse SF any…day…now.

        But nevertheless, with that thought in mind – e.g. the near term future – rumor has it Uptown Station has a buyer which if true represents a hefty +$50M on the apples-to-applepie…the boom lives!

        • Posted by E.Gonsalves

          Most people should drive around and get to know Oakland’s amazing neighborhoods. I suggest Rockridge, Upper Rockridge, Temescal, Piedmont Avenue, Montclair, Lakeshore, Lake Merritt, Uptown, Old Oakland, & Jack London Square for starters. It’s a beautiful green city with amazing views.

          • Posted by Brian M

            Jack London Square and its 2/3 empty storefronts?

            Temescal and its collection of boarded up retail spaces?

            Upper Rockridge is a nice suburb, despite the lost-fire Museum of Architectural Oddities and Egos.

            I will grant you Rockridge (lots of vacancies now, though), but most of the blocks below College are not all that exciting, unless paying $850,000 for a shabby 1100 square foot bungalow on a tiny lot is “amazing”.

            Montclair? Another suburb. Narrow twisty (fire-prone) streets that are dangerous for pedestrians because there are few sidewalks,

          • Posted by E.Gonsalves

            I forgot to mention lovely Crocker Highlands, Trestle Glen, Redwood Heights, Ridgemont etc. Also, Rockridge and Montclair are not “suburbs.” These are two lovely Oakland neighborhoods completely within the City of Oakland. Just took a guest from the east coast on a tour of Oakland. Mountain View Cemetery, Mormon Temple, Rockridge, Trestle Glen, Lake Merritt, Uptown etc. She was amazed at the neighborhoods and the beautiful views on a gorgeous day. She fretted about going back to her SF hotel after dark and having to step around the homeless sleeping at the Powell Street BART station.

        • Posted by E.Gonsalves

          Uptown Station had over 30 interested parties a long time ago. The SF media likes to downplay the Oakland market.

          • Posted by garrett

            @E.Gonsalves: let the haters hate. frankly, oakland is better without those people. i’d rather SF lovers stay on their side of the bay. i don’t want ’em, we don’t need ’em and arguing with them is a waste of time. ok, brain m, oakland is an empty sh*t hole. you’re right, we’re wrong. sf is amazing. you should stay there and enjoy it. 🙂

  4. Posted by g

    thanks for the update. i walk by this lot every day and have been wondering when something was going to start. looking forward to this one.

  5. Posted by BigTPopo

    Brian M: don’t act like a hating fool. Lakeshore, Piedmont Ave, Montclair, Rockridge, Temescal, Grand Ave have always been great for shooping and eating and everyone knows it. And now Uptown is booming. Oakland is getting it’s fair share..
    Deal with it!

    • Posted by Anon123

      It is good that Oakland is getting some new projects going, it is needed – it is still smaller than Fresno and Sacramento and will soon be overtaken by Bakersfield as well…

      • Posted by Notcom

        Yet SF was overtaken by first San Diego and then San Jose – and who knows, maybe one day will be by Sacto, Fresno and Manteca as well – and seems to be doing OK.

        So now back to the topic: a prefabricated building with nice views and bordered by real sidewalks.

        • Posted by Anon123

          Yes indeed – each city has to stand on it’s own merits and try to make it a great place to live for its citizens, and not worry so much about it neighbors.

          The modular prefab makes the building look a bit like Legos – not my favorite look, but for a modular building they did pretty well.

  6. Posted by Sassy

    I wish the low rise portion held the corner and was 2-3 stories higher than the building next door rather than be in it’s shadow both actually and figuratively.

    • Posted by Kevin Perera

      Totally agree – A little more height in the low-rise section would be welcome. The low-rise section looks more richly detailed and much more handsome than the high rise tower.

    • Posted by Notcom

      There was some discussion in the earlier thread on this project that it would be nice if the low-rise portion tied-in to the adjacent Kaiser Roof Garden – given that it’s apparently landscaped and of similar height (tho on the opposite side) – but it doesn’t appear that’s planned. (Perhaps it’s wrong to imply too much from renderings, and any bridge would probably be hidden on what’s shown, but at any rate there’s nothing indicating it.)

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