2100 Telegraph Site

From the Oakland Heritage Alliance, which echo the thoughts of the Oakland Landmark Preservation Advisory Board, with respect to the block-sized “Eastline” development that’s proposed to rise across the entire 3-acre Uptown Oakland block bounded by Telegraph, Broadway, 21st and 22nd Streets:

Overall, Oakland Heritage Alliance would like to express some dismay at the minimal consideration given to the historic context of the project, and at the inadequacy of the suggested mitigations to be required. We believe that the massing of this project is problematic in all proposed configurations. While we accept that the project proponent may eventually decide to build something at smaller size, such statements are too vague to mitigate what could be an enormous impact on several outstanding historic resources, such as the Paramount Theatre, the Breuner’s Building, the First Baptist Church, the former YMCA on Telegraph, nearby historic districts, and smaller-scaled buildings across Broadway and Telegraph.

From Oakland’s Planning Department in response:

This comment is noted; however, it pertains to the design of the project and not to the adequacy of the Draft [Environmental Impact Report for the project]. As further discussed…the project would not materially impair either directly or indirectly any of the immediately adjacent or nearby historic resources. The massing and scale of the project will be addressed in the design review process which includes public hearings and opportunities for the public to comment.

And with that in mind, the public hearing at which the Final Environmental Impact Report for the development at 2100 Telegraph could be approved, along with the project in general, has been scheduled for July 18.

Whether the project team plans to pursue a mixed-use development with 880,000 square feet of large-floor-plate office space (which could accommodate around 4,500 tech workers), a 397-foot tower with 395 residential units and 85,000 square feet of street-level retail with six levels of parking for 1,750 cars on the site, or an “all office” scenario rising up to 420 feet in height (which would yield 1.6 million square feet of office space over 72,000 square feet of ground floor retail and six levels of parking with 2,050 spaces for both public and private use), has yet to be revealed.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Occupied in Oakland

    Very disappointed in OLPA and OHA. They waste their time on these sisyphean challenges… like that by turning down the scale of this project the neighborhood will *regain* its historic character. No, this area has no potential to be a historic district. At this point all one can do is put restriction on the structures we want to retain. I really hope these two orgs start to focus on strategies for districts that allow growth but set aside space for history -like Preservation Park.

  2. Posted by Notcom

    Death to the narrow minded!

    Or something like that: unlike many here on SS, I think OHA does a lot of good, if not so much for their ideas outright, at least in mitigating some of the dumber ones from others that have come along. Then there are times that they miss the boat and the point; I think this is one of them.

    Sure it might be better if development could be more concentrated in the center of DO – I’ve made that point often enough – and in this case having it in those chronically underdeveloped blocks just to the SE would be preferable (both in terms of developing a symbiotic relationship to existing offices around Kaiser Center, as well as preserving the “scale” of the aforementioned buildings). But development is proposed where the developers own the property; which is here. And personally, I think few will – or even should – care if the YMCA has a tall neighbor across the street.

    Next case…

    • Posted by macarthur

      This is the center of Downtown Oakland.

      • Posted by Tony

        And as someone who spends a lot of time specifically in that area this project would be an extraordinary improvement. One side of this block is low-quality abandoned commercial space, and the other sides are just parking lots, pedestrian hazards, and wasted space. This project is the kind of good quality urbanism that Oakland deserves, and yes it will make the skyline look different. It might distract attention from some of the other blocky concrete towers from the 80s that currently dominate view.

  3. Posted by jwb

    NIMBYs or not, this proposal includes WAY too much parking. Consider that to fill and empty a parking garage of 2000 spaces would require the entire capacity of any of the bounding streets for four hours per day, and of course this is not the only destination in this area. Straight math is totally against this proposal. There’s a rail station in the basement and that should be good enough.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      The Senior Planner for BART has formally voiced similar concerns.

      That being said, keep in mind that the the proposed parking ratios are around 55 percent of the maximum allowable by code. And according to Planning’s analysis, the demand for parking created by either of the development scenarios outlined above would actually exceed the supply of new parking provided.

      • Posted by Notcom

        BART has expressed concern that the parking would exceed street capacity… What business is that of theirs ??
        Or do you mean that they’re concerned about a building on top of their tunnel …which would make some sense.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          “BART’s primary concern with…the impacts of this project is the excessive amount of parking associated with the project, and the vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the oversupply of parking. The project proposes 1,750 new parking spaces one block from a major BART station that is at the center of BART’s transit network. The project location is one of the most transit-accessible locations in the entire Bay Area; more accessible from much of the region than Downtown San Francisco, where most new office projects have minimal or no new parking. This is not an appropriate place for what would be, if built, one of the largest parking garages in Oakland.”

          • Posted by Notcom

            Thanks (and WOW!, that sounds just like one of EG’s posts).

            I don’t disagree with the point, but it still seems a little out of BART’s purview to comment on other people’s projects, except insofar as how it would impact them… and “greenhouse emissions” doesn’t seem to make the cut. But perhaps their opinion was solicited and they simply rambled on a bit; I guess we all do that at times.

          • Posted by jwb

            Reducing vehicle-miles travelled is a part of BART’s officially adopted strategic plan. “Work with Bay Area transportation and air quality agencies to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita in the Bay Area.”

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Also increased car traffic on streets that connect to a subway station tends to reduce the viability of that station by congesting connecting bus services. High traffic can also interfere with people walking across the street to the station.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Then does BART comment on every development – conceivably down to the level of a house – that isn’t near it, or that is near it but has “too much” parking, ‘cuz it will increase “vehicle miles traveled”? BART should achieve its plan by providing service efficiently, not by doubling up on observations that will inevitably be included (by others) in an EIR. And while redundancy is a nice feature in engineering, I’m not quite sure that’s as true in government…particularly with an agency that’s so constantly in need of money (read: poorly run) as BART.
            Again, I’m willing to concede that this seems to be so obvious a case that they felt a need to comment, but much beyond this it seems like a rationale for overreach.

          • Posted by Adam

            My gripe is when developers tout their development as “transit-oriented” while also constructing larger and deeper parking garages. It makes the building more attractive to tenants to have a private garage, but it does nothing to help mitigate the additional pollution or wear and tear on roads. Reducing parking is the right answer in this location.

        • Posted by Patrick

          The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is under a mandate to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) to 25 percent of 2005 levels. Senate Bill (SB) 375, adopted in 2008, calls on regional transportation planning agencies and local governments to develop strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles by reducing per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

          • Posted by Kevin Smith

            Yet, they offer us transit full of vagrants and used syringes, as well as wild mugging gangs. Then they wonder why people insist on driving.

  4. Posted by unlivable city

    Its all so Rip Van Winkle — wake up on any Monday and there is the overstuffed hulk proposed with utterly false renderings (to be dumbed down later if project gets green lighted), the anti-parking police ranting about wanting 500 bike spaces (that will sit empty) and 12 car spaces (that will end up reserved for grandpa’s Teslas), and the city planning apparatchiks leaving it to citizens to be the voice of rational planning and quality design…

    • Posted by Brian M

      Better it remain vacant one story junk buildings and parking lots! THAT is a livable city.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      If that’s your view of what constitutes “rational”, then it seems like the perfect example of why citizens shouldn’t really have any say in design.

      • Posted by Mitchell

        “The anti-parking police ranting about wanting 500 bike spaces (that will sit empty) and 12 car spaces (that will end up reserved for grandpa’s Teslas)”?

        Such a critique (and the sarcasm) isn’t merely rational; it’s refreshing — and hilarious!

        Those who think citizens shouldn’t have a say in design should be fired by the citizens they ostensibly work for.

        • Posted by Brian M

          The problem is the only “citizens” who express opinions like Unlivable are usually elderly homeowning baby boomers who already “got theirs”.

          • That’s the most apparatchik comment I’ve thus far read today, BM. Are you a Bay Area City Planner? (City Skylines doesn’t count but Tropico may.)

            Unlivable offers a valuable perspective with a comic’s sagacity and hat tip to Mitchell that caught on to the critic humor. Thought I think maybe missing the meaning of the last part, Mitchell.

            I recommend citizens play City Skylines to the size of the population of the City they wish to provide a substantial planning decision-making voice on behalf of and bring the resulting design to appear alongside their public comment period. I wonder how many of us would (imagining if necessary) be comfortable bequeathing the functional design and costs (which cannot be separated from the aesthetics) of our personally owned home/lot or empty-space-between-walls-called-a-condo to the voices of an entire City of neighbors. Rest assured, your fellow citizens can get in their few cents along with the planner apparatchiks and the HOA (if applicable). In that scenario, be sure to bring cookies for everyone that came!

            Sad faces to BM and Mitchell for failure to recognize the value of ‘mettre son grain de sel’. Or did we all fail to realize the purpose of the comment section?

  5. Posted by AlamedaRenter

    The area could use a couple hundred more parking spots. The Fox and Paramount have really picked up their concert schedules the last few years.

    Ever try and find parking on for a show? On First Friday?

    Not sure 1,750 spots is needed but the area does need more.

    Lots of people go to shows at those venues that do not ride BART or come in for shows from all over.

    I could take BARTs comments more series when they run trains until 1am and get into San Jose. Otherwise they are clown shoes.

    • Posted by MKP

      are you familiar with uber?

    • Posted by Occupied in Oakland

      We will never build our way into a city that works with the scale of private automobiles – you’re a little behind the times if you don’t already know that. I hear your “I need parking” from Alameda folks all the time. You want to drive so much, then build on your own island! Let’s start with relocating I-880 straight down Webster, Central, Encinal and Park St 🙂

      • Posted by Brian M

        Awesome comment, OiO.

        I always remind the “THERE IS NOT ENOUGH PARKING” people that there are seven and a half coun5ties where their drive-in utopias are fully accommodated.

        I hear there is a lot of parking in “Downtown” Fremont!

      • Posted by Mitchell

        A city that works with the scale of private automobiles? Maybe, indeed, that’s Alameda!

        • Posted by Brian M

          It’s a low density suburb. That has passed classist (and let’s be honest here, racist) zoning policies to wall off regional population growth.

          Is visiting Park Avenue that much easier? Or, are you sore that they have not tore down more pre-war buildings even in Autonirvana Alameda to accommodate your unwillingness to walk a block?

          • Posted by Mitchell

            Let’s be honest? Have you looked at the current racial or class composition of Alameda? We’re not talking about Piedmont or Atherton, you know. (This is even truer of Fremont.) The past is past. No one heals by picking at a wound.

            Alameda’s barely 50% white. Not diverse enough? Are you aware that in Oakland, the number of Asians and Latinos has increased far faster than the white population — thus those minorities, arguably, are responsible for “pushing blacks out” (from mono-racial neighborhoods, at that)?

            Or are you one of those “anti-racists” who claim that the mere presence of white people “sucks the soul out of a neighborhood”? What ever happened to “live and let live,” or mutual respect? A luxury for “entitled” boomers? You’d better check your mind instead.

            I have no problem visiting Park Street: plenty of parking — if not in front, then in a lot out back. Driving there’s a lot more pleasant than waiting for an lumbering fart-box from AC Transit — especially in the rain.

            To each his own — or for you, maybe not (and that’s the problem in a nutshell)! I voted twice for Obama — for the promise of “No black America, no white America.” With scolds like you, no wonder we’re stuck now with Trump. Are you happy now?

          • Posted by Miraloma Man

            Mitchell, thanks for doing your part to cook the planet. P.S., AC Transit is fine, unless you’re afraid of all people who don’t look like you. Sadly, we’ve got a lot more of you lot in The Bay, now.

    • Posted by Patrick

      I go to shows at the Fox Oakland all the time. When I go with my friend who drives, he parks in a garage a couple of blocks away. We’ve never had a problem getting a space. When I go by myself, I take BART

    • Posted by Anonymous

      “Ever try and find parking on for a show? On First Friday?”
      No, because I’m smart enough to take BART to crowded events in an urban core.

      • Posted by Oaklandlover

        It really is that easy. Why don’t people get this?

      • Posted by Mitchell

        Get with the program! Under the New (urbanist) Orthodoxy, there’s no such thing as “crowded” or “congested.” Always say “vibrant”!

        Remember, too, that it’s important for drivers to be defeated NOW — before the “greenhouse gas” issue becomes moot as we adopt electric cars! What’s important is that we get “complete streets,” with cars creeping single-file, buzzing with swerving and darting two-wheeled gnats!

        • Posted by Occupied in Oakland

          We need to spend millions of dollars and lose millions of square feet of space so that several days a year for a few hours a day people don’t have to drive an extra block or two to locate a free or cheap parking space? No thank you. While I don’t have a yard or parking or live in a socioeconomically and racially segregated community that so many seem to love (ie Alameda) -I can walk to the Fox and work and pollute nothing in the process -and I’m not going support anything else. Wake up.

          • Posted by Mitchell

            Replacing a bunch of parking lots with a skyscraper means we LOSE space?

            I also happen to live in Oakland, but I drive to Alameda from time to time — usually to dine at one of its inexpensive ethnic eateries. Alameda isn’t Piedmont; it’s one of the most diverse communities on the planet — unless, of course, you’re one of those people for whom “diversity” comes in many colors, as long as they’re all black.

            As for “socioeconomic diversity”: does that translate as “Keep Oakland Poor”? To quote a line from “Fiddler on the Roof”: it’s no shame to be poor, but it’s no great honor, either.

        • Posted by Brian M

          Mitchell: May I suggest you check out the joys of Antioch? Plenty of huge, ever-widening streets and each house has its own two or three car garage (for those people who do not fill said garages up with purchases from WalMart and Amazon),

          • Posted by Brian M

            Wow. Mitchell’s true colors come through. Racist as well as Autosexual. Why am I not surprised?

          • Posted by Mitchell

            As long as we’re suggesting places with sweltering climates, why don’t you check out Calcutta or Kinshasa for their “complete streets.”

            Such cherry-picked analogies are silly, of course. For the gnat brigade, there’s always Amsterdam — but this is California, the homeland of car culture — and we’ll have fun, fun, fun til Nurse Ratched takes the T-Bird away!

          • Posted by Mitchell

            Whites are a minority in Alameda, and (along with many Asians and some Latinos) there are blacks, too. In any event, what makes a life matter is the content of its character, not the color of its skin. If that’s racist, your use of the term is Orwellian.

            Alameda is a working-class town, not a bastion of the 1%. I voted for Bernie, but “progressives” are now sliding into the sort of divisive and censorious privilege-baiting that leaves the 1% laughing all the way to the bank — and that gave us the likes of Donald Trump in the first place.

          • Posted by E.Gonsalves

            It’s 118 degrees in Palm Springs and the western United States is on fire. Time to stop the car centric thinking.

            Just visited car centric and non walkable Austin Texas. The sprawl and traffic is horrible. These people drive everywhere. Texas has beautiful clean well kept freeways but no mass transit and no connectivity or walk ability between neighborhoods.

            Oakland is doing it right by preserving its beautiful historic downtown/uptown buildings. Austin bulldozed everything and put up charmless glass boxes. This project is perfect for infill in a walkable BART adjacent area.

            The project needs to proceed but with a less bulky and more elegant design. The parking is way too much for a walkable transit rich downtown in a city with a wonderful and mild climate.

    • Posted by AlamedaRenter

      I’m not wrong

  6. Posted by Tim E

    I think it is relative. Getting more parking spaces with office/residential mixed use tower to replace a parking garage with blank space above it while at same time the number of spaces would still be 55% of what is allowed by zoning. Sounds like a win win situation as far as the square footage that would be added to downtown versus what is there as per the photo above.

    The region and Oakland needs these developments to happen where it is at considering the access to transit of the current site and or the fact that the office worker doesn’t have to go through the tube or worse yet, cross a bridge. Understand that BART has laws to abide by and need to comment that reflects as such. But the historical opposition and comments seems completely off mark.

  7. Posted by PRE

    If OHA really cared about the Paramount they might start by raising a concern about the amount of chipped and spalled tiles on the front of the theater. In my opinion, that would be a better use of their time than worrying about the massing of this building. Short of collapsing on top of the theater in an earthquake, could someone please enlighten me how this would in any way impact any of the buildings that they’re raised a concern about?

    • Posted by Notcom

      If you go to the earlier (linked) SS article, and scroll down to the third pic – a massing schematic of the 960′ option – you’ll see quite readily what they’re talking about: you have a massive(ly tall) building b/w 2 similarly sized shorter ones. So there’s a large difference in scale.

      But is this really a problem? One might argue it is for something like a civic center, where it’s an ensemble, and draws a lot of it’s value from it’s setting and relationship to the surroundings, but not really here…stand alone buildings. That would be my rebuttal.

      As for the buildings on Telegraph, I find even less reason for objecting… the concern bordering on frivolous.

  8. Posted by Dave

    I know the readers of this site are all fanatics for more and more development but I moved to Oakland 10 years ago from San Francisco and found it to be a better quality of life in all regards than living in SF. Oakland was quieter, less crowded, easier to get around and had far fewer homeless people. Now its inundated with homeless, techies of all kinds, and is beginning to resemble just another overly crowded San Francisco neighborhood. I know I’m in the minority, but I miss the Oakland of old when most white people were terrified to come here. I don’t look forward to tons more residents and the lower quality of life that comes with them but build they will and sadly what I loved about living here will cease to be.

    • Posted by GR

      So you wanna create a wall and prevent people from living in the neighborhood they want to ?

      • Posted by Notcom

        I think once again Oakland is being maligned unfairly: there are (still) all kinds of areas in Oakland that white people are afraid to go to, let alone live in.

        And the premise of “quieter…then” also seems suspect: both crime rates and traffic @ OAK were higher in the last decade, so with the two things that fly around and make noise – bullets and planes – more prevalent, I would think it was less quiet, not more.

    • Posted by Oaklandlover

      I miss the Oakland of the old too! But it’s too late.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      The idea that more people inherently means lower quality of life is a toxic worldview in the most real possible sense.

      • Posted by Mitchell

        The idea that crowded streets and “mass” transit are the locus of a meaningful social life is plenty toxic in its own right!

        • Posted by Brian M

          As is the idea that the government needs to spend ever more to accommodate autosexuals like yourself. Especial, to repeat myself, there are seven counties of autocentric suburbia for you to roam in your Suburbans and Nissan Titans.

          • Posted by Mitchell

            If you insist on going after my sex life, I happen to be gay — but these days, I mostly sleep with (and love) Lucy, my adorable cat. (“Lucy, I don’t think we’re in Woodstock anymore.” Note that most of the attendees at Woodstock [as with Burning Man] got there by car.) 😉

            I drive a little Mazda 3 that gets 40 miles to the gallon; my next car will be electric. There are over 100 countries (and plenty of cities on the East Coast) swarming with “complete streets.” I left New York three decades ago to come here.

        • Posted by Rene Chateaubriand

          Let one speak frankly: your flickering-bulb attempt at sardonic wit in defense of the indefensible suburban ethos––white racist exclusivist properties, environment-obliterating car culture, soul-rotting, unsustainable consumerism ad nauseam is absolutely as crétinously obtuse in execution as in putative thesis. Form equals content, eh?

          • Posted by Mitchell

            Those are awfully fancy words to use for a personal insult, no?

          • Posted by Mme. Loin (née Chateaubriand)

            Re: your pompous attempt to mimic a cross between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal (with a 21st-Century dogma all your own)…

            My own (far less pretentious and presumptuous) antecedents are Kerouac and the Beach Boys.

            How’s about considering “Different strokes for different folks”?

      • Posted by Brian M

        Nah. Just surround said people with three tons of belching plastic and steel and Mitchell will be a happy camper. won’t have to see “people” or interact with them except from behind the wheel. Suburban Nirvana!

        • Posted by Mitchell

          If people are traveling with me, we interact in the car. Otherwise, I interact with people (in a diverse array of environments) where I choose.

    • Posted by Anon123

      Are you the same Dave that complains about every new development in SF or is this a different Dave that resides in Oakland?

      • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

        To be fair to the “first Dave”, my reading of his complaints is that new development in SF is too heavly weighted towards certain kinds of office space that might be lucrative for developers, but doesn’t address the housing crisis in The City. I don’t read that as one note complaints about every new development in San Francisco.

        • Posted by Anon123

          I would be happy to see a link to a development in SF that he has supported wholeheartedly

  9. Posted by Rene Chateaubriand

    Oaklandlover:

    Oakland of “old?” It was a shattered wreck of a once vibrant city, a white flight-destroyed beauty for which the Town’s black leadership class struggled heroically in the face of investment racism for decades to staunch the bleed-out.

    The husk of Oakland’s Downtown went to the poor, violent, and unemployable, serviced by the self-serving grifters (I’m talking to you, Desley Brooks and the late lamentable murderous misogynist Huey Newton and company), who couldn’t care less about any real progressive or liberal agenda, other than to perpetuate their own crétinous, violence-based, Trumpian mini fiefdoms.

    By all means, let us engage and grapple with the white privilege, entitlement, and indeed racism that gentrification by definition entails. But a return to “Old” Oakland? The likes of Lionel Wilson and Elihu Harris and their largely black peers and cadres saved Oakland from the “Old,” total oblivion, that rustbelt cities, the former industrial powerhouses, faced in the second half of the twentieth century.

    Oakland revitalized has the chance, the real shot at the “Do-Over,” to become the progressive City Beautiful it was sans the white racist social and political undergirding. That will entail truly multiracial, multicultural coalitions and innovative thinking –– and sacrifices––which Oakland has both vast stores of and the proven history to utilize.

    Oakland won’t get to that place by going back to the wreckage that was.

    • Posted by Oaklandlover

      Oh I agree with you 100%

      I lived behind the grand lake theater 18 years ago for about 10 yrs in/after the dot com crash when it was still scary to walk lake Merit at night. ….haters will say it still is!

      When DTO was dead after 6pm.

      But alas, I liked this. The weather, the unused gardens around the lake. The magical cemetery, empty in its eternal beauty. Better for us that knew! When first Friday truly was an art and music show, not a Friday night party scene. When the art and creative warehouses in W oak we’re so underground, I mean, they were literally underground… some.

      I’m not saying I don’t like the hipsters and gentrification. I do.

      I went to The hive last first Friday. First time at “the hive” To get pizza with the kids. Impossible, overrun with people. Hey that’s a good thing! It’s just different. Oakland is discovered. It’s whityfying. Hey I’m white. I love seeing the cranes DT as I’ve said. I love what Telegraph has become.

      But the underground skater misfit artist in me misses the old Oakland. I do fear the diversity is getting squeezed. The hobo camps also didn’t exist back then. It’s a bit wacky.

      But net net I love what is happening in the town! I’m all for density and less car dependency. I just hope the artists can survive and do run off leaving a boring mission bay type scene in DTO. I doubt it… I pray for it!

      • Posted by Rene Chateaubriand

        Well, I can agree with you wholeheartedly about protecting the artist and creative communities in Oakland, which have deserted my ethnically cleansed city of birth, San Francisco. I returned to San Francisco two years ago after decades away in Manhattan and Britain (where I spent much of my youth), and I was and remained shocked and disgusted at how the techies and their “libertarian” CEOs and masters of a lesser universe (i.e., same ole white racist Right-wingers, albeit with tech bona fides and a taste for high-grade weed). With this ethnic cleansing and wholesale sell out of the city to affluent, feckless white, self-entitled, sexist and racist techies, San Francisco will become as “progressive” as La Jolla in less than generation. Oakland carries the torch of once progressive San Francisco, circa 1957–1977, and, given Oakland’s vibrant diversity, DIY/Maker Faire culture that pre-dates the very terms, as well as its long-standing labour/Left core identity, Oakland might prove the better stewards of The Flame than my always too smug city of birth ever was.

        I celebrate Oakland’s renaissance, which in fact is a fusion of “Old” and “New” Oakland, as the aptly named Fabulous Negrito poignantly, perceptively, and brilliantly puts it. This fusion of the best of the “Old” –– diversity-enriched, adversity-sharpened, politicized, and intellectualized working-class, striver Oakland––and the the “New” –– new tech, new media, new-century young adults as well as, CRUCIALLY, the returning home of the educated sons and daughters of the “Old” Oakland to a city that offers them both new opportunities and pride of place has the chance to become not only a complement, at long last, to San Francisco, but also the city-as-conscience of the Bay Area. When I see what Oakland has achieved from the nadir I saw first hand in the l970s, I know that Oakland has already achieved some type of greatness. And now The Town has the real possibility –– and certainly the world’s attention (ongoing coverage about the Town’s rise from the likes of the NYTimes to Le Monde, and from the WSJ to the UK Guardian, and from NPR to National Geographic alone means something big is, in fact, going on in Oakland) –– to exercise that raw, hard-won greatness for which it has for so long worked to achieve.

    • Posted by Oaklandlover

      I should clarify when I say old I mean ~20 years ago! The Oakland I knew and experienced ~10 years of my life in. That’s all I’m talking about, my personal experience …then, vs what I see now. Both are/we’re good. Net net I see improvement. But as always problems remain.

      But I’m 100% in the less cars more walking more ride share, scooter, bike, whatever camp. In the core parts. I own a car. I use it as little as I can get away with.

  10. Posted by Naomi Schiff

    The OHA comments quoted above are not recent; these comments were on the draft EIR. Oakland Heritage Alliance did not argue that the project should not be built, but commented on the design aspects and compatibility with adjoining historic buildings. Yes, we are concerned about spalling on the Paramount. For more on that, join us on our uptown Terra Cotta and Tile tour, July 29, led by Riley Doty. An interesting aspect of the proposed design is that the parking floors are designed for possible conversion to commercial or leasable space, should parking demand decline or vanish; the floors are flat, and floor-to-floor heights are tall enough for such a repurposing. Several proposed downtown projects are doing this.

  11. The opposition because of the proposed parking is because of the vision/goals/utopia/fantasy/inquisition (take your mix, mix-match preferred) of agencies such as MTC, BAAQMD, ABAG etc. (all located under one building now) for the “Plan Bay Area”. I suppose the opposition by BART (per their association with the above planning/regulation agencies) could be due to parking price schemes that wouldn’t function as intended if there was mass private parking. Public Workshop related “minutes” echo the people’s thoughts but parkingpolicy.com was setup by MTC and provides a boring but influential read for policy decision makers.

    If BART had serious concerns about increases in private parking affecting ridership (i.e. environmental concerns), they should petition BAAQMD to resume the Spare the Air program that provided free transit on Spare the Air days (presuming it would be summer, not winter STA) and expand that program – if transit was free, more people would ride than drive, right? Where are their priorities? In 2008, the average cost was $1.8 million per day to reimburse transit operators. ….
    Hmm. I’ll refer to Mister Jerry Hill as he spoke at the death of the program in 2008, “a good program, but terribly expensive.” He said officials had never been able to quantify behavioral changes as a result of the free rides that would justify the expense. Transit ridership is up across the Bay Area, he said, but that likely is due to the price of gas.'” Ha.

    One way to look at this project is that it represents another ‘master plan’, which is live/work/downtown – no commute necessary. Parking space is just for car storage, real estate listings and conscripted to be use by the valet to nearby businesses/commuters. Reference the Live/Work/Downtown of Rincon Hill 333 Beale SF and Woodlands Market SF – which is next to ironically steps from BAHA and the new (and temporary) transit park. Its the wave of the future.

    I bet the plan passes.

    It would be nice to have covered disabled parking during construction. I suppose the disabled and the other car commuters that park in the current lot will have the opportunity to fall in love with BART.

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