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Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 6:30 AM
rajaxson rajaxson is offline
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Some more development in uptown


Another large housing project has been proposed in Oakland's Uptown district.

Architect KTGY filed a pre-application for a 267-unit apartment building on a parking lot at 60 Grand Ave., continuing a trend of underutilized lots being targeted for new density.

Developers and investors have flocked to the Grand Avenue section near Lake Merritt, which is also a few blocks from the 19th Street BART station. The 60 Grand Ave. project is on the same block as 2270 Broadway, an approved 230-foot tower with 223 apartments developed by Hines and Invesco. Building permits for that project have been filed and are under review.

A block east from 60 Grand Ave. is Essex Property Trust Inc. (NYSE: ESS)'s 100 Grand Ave., Oakland's last completed tower, which opened in 2008. Two blocks from that is 180 Grand Ave., which has been sold twice since 2014.

The 60 Grand Ave. project would likely be a tower, given the parking lot is only 9,256 square feet, according to PropertyShark. The pre-application didn't specify how tall the project would be.

80 Grand-Broadway LLC bought the eight-story, 46,200-square-foot office building at 80 Grand Ave. and adjacent parking lot for $5.2 million from the Hahn family trust, according to property reports.

Douglas Chin and Glen Lau, two surgeons who operate medical offices at 80 Grand Ave., are listed as owners of the building. Chin couldn't immediately be reached for comment. A woman who answered the phone in Chin's office said the building was recently sold to Seagate Properties, which is based in San Rafael.

Seagate couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Five percent of the units will be designated for very low income tenants making up to 50 percent of the area median income.

That would satisfy the city's affordable housing requirement. The developer could also potentially use the state's housing density program to increase the tower's height.

KTGY declined to comment. It wasn't clear who the developer of the project is. A request for comment to the developer through KTGY wasn't immediately returned.

After finishing two projects and adding three more to its pipeline, Signature Development remains hungry to pursue more projects in Oakland's Uptown and Auto Row districts.

The Oakland developer recently filed a preliminary application with the city to build 100,000 square feet of office and retail at 465 25th St.

The new site sits in the middle of a block of mostly low-rise, brick warehouses within a few blocks of the developer's offices and five other Signature Development projects that are either complete or close to starting construction.

Signature Development is looking at building 100,000 square feet of office and retail at 465 25th St. in Oakland.
Signature Development is looking at building 100,000 square feet of office and retail at 465 25th St. in Oakland.
Michael Ghielmetti, head of Signature, has a long track record in Oakland and has been developing there long before it became a darling of office and housing developers and investors. Representatives from Signature Development did not respond to requests for comments for this article.

"We have a good understanding of the marketplace," Ghielmetti told the Business Times last summer when the company announced plans for a West Elm hotel, retail and residential project at 2401 Broadway. Injecting multiple uses — housing, office, retail and hotel — into a neighborhood generates the type of pedestrian activity a vibrant district needs, he said.

Signature has been particularly active in Uptown and in and around the Broadway-Valdez Plan area, where the city put forth development guidelines to attract significant retail and housing development to an area once dominated by car dealerships and service shops.

So far, close to 3,000 homes, 363,000 square feet of retail and 99,000 square feet of office in about 20 developments are in the pipeline or already completed. Meanwhile, a few blocks south of the Broadway Valdez Corridor, TMG Partners has proposed building a 760,000-square-foot office tower at the corner of West Grand and Telegraph avenues.

The new development site is also just a few blocks north of where Signature has developed Broadway Grand, a condo project at the intersection of Broadway and Grand Avenue, in 2008 and the Hive, a mixed-use development with retail, restaurants, apartments, office and a central courtyard that opened in 2014.

The Hive is home to various businesses and spaces that attract significant foot traffic such as restaurants including Calavera, Drake's Dealership and Firebrand Artisan Breads as well as Impact Hub Oakland, a co-working and community events space. The office component houses tenants such as Flynn Architecture, Inner City Advisors, Balfour Beatty Construction and the headquarters of Numi Tea.

The company's three other developments in the area, which have all locked in city approvals, include:

2401 Broadway: a 159-room West Elm-branded hotel along with 72 homes and 17,500 square feet of retail.
2424 Webster St.: 49,000 square feet of office and 6,250 square feet of retail.
2500 Webster St.: 30 homes and 6,425 square feet of retail.
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