Imagine your corporate headquarters in a culturally rich West Oakland mixed-use transit oriented development
Our objective is for a major corporate headquarters to anchor the mixed-use development site, built on a 5.5 acres that will include up to 500,000 sf of Office Space; a 200+/- Affordable Units, 500+/i Market Rate Residential Units, and 94,000sf +/- of ground level Retail Space.
Mandela Station is ideally located at the West Oakland BART Station, the heart of the Bay Area regional transportation system with direct train access to every BART station during peak hours; the SF Financial district is just a 7 minute ride and all trains from the East Bay pass through West Oakland. SF’s emerging Mid-Market area is 12 minutes away, downtown Oakland is only a 4-minute ride and Walnut Creek is 26 minutes to the east. When seeking well located property with mixed uses, this station stands out.
The overall intent is to better connect the BART station to the community, and incorporate ways to create an attractive, livable and sustainable urban environment that ultimately enhances the quality of life in the neighborhood. Mandela Station is a timely response to the Association of Bay Area Governments’ (“ABAG”) projections of significant new job growth in West Oakland. The project will be designed to combine, and maximize, the value of its high-commuter visibility and West Oakland’s rich culture of music and the arts. Art from area artists, past and present, will be incorporated into the design to the greatest extent feasible, to create an attractive and ever-evolving unique sense of place.
San Francisco’s housing market is strong, especially in the South of Market (“SOMA”) area of San Francisco that is less than 10 minutes from the West Oakland Station. A good activity oriented development design will present office and retail uses as a way to promote reverse commutes on BART and contribute to the vibrancy of a transit friendly area. Improved property value and growing the tax base is yet another benefit of appropriate land use.
The team is capable of expanding our development concepts to enfold sites beyond the existing BART Station 5.5 acres footprint that also advances both the District’s and the City of Oakland goal of encouraging investment in West Oakland and developing great neighborhoods that adequately satisfy shopping needs.
1. Mixes of Uses
A Transit Oriented Development (“TOD”) at BART’s West Oakland Station can be an attractive location for businesses that benefit from close proximity to San Francisco, downtown Oakland, the Port of Oakland and easy access to Easy Bay via I-80, I-880, I-580 freeways. Our design will include a structure with setbacks from the curb that allow enough open space to foster pedestrian and vehicular circulation. The idea is for this site to positively stimulate new commercial and industrial expansion, employment and growth.
2. Sustainable designs
The members of the development team are committed to sustainable development in all of their projects. The project shall be submitted to the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) for LEED certification. Staff within the team are LEED certified.
3. Strong design linkages between the Station, the Development and the surrounding land uses
Mandela Parkway features a wide and graceful median park that extends for two miles north of the stations 7th Street boundary. At Mandela Parkway, (northeast of the station), the development will feature a gateway in the form of a corner plaza and retail/office spaces. This gateway will invite not only BART patrons, but visitors, residents within the community, the 3,000 postal service employees, workers at Amtrak’s maintenance facility, Mandela Gateway patrons (a mixed retail and residential development), and The Crucible arts education center. All are located within a concentric mile of the project. The right program mix will invite BART riders to disembark for a light meal or convenience items before continuing home or to San Francisco.
The Mandela Station development will present inviting residential facades with balconies fronting both streets over ground floor retail. South of the station (on 5th Street) the development will offer a bold industrial- sized commercial building with large floor plates to accommodate a variety of prospective tenants from instrument assembly and garment manufacture to technology and R&D offices. This space will appeal to the types of businesses (fabrication, research, software, etc.) that employ many people who may not abide by standard work schedules. Whether working in shifts, or flexible schedules, employees will be onsite at various times during the day or night. Such a large building would be occupied by several hundred employees that not only provide eyes on the street, but they will also require goods and services from retail and food concessions. The local community benefits from the physical transformation and the jobs generated.
4. Cultural Enrichment
A portion of this development will be set aside for use by public benefit organizations oriented toward continuing and promoting the cultural heritage of the community. We envision a plaza with its own “Walk of Fame” sidewalk prominently featuring those who contributed to West Oakland’s rich history of music and arts. Works from area artists, past and present, will be incorporated to the greatest extent feasible, and our team looks forward to adding useable ideas garnered from community input.
5. Street level activation to create a safer environment
Development design will incorporate security considerations that enhance safety and security, while reducing risk to people, operations and assets. The team will identify design strategies that reduce and prevent criminal activity. The team will incorporate features that contribute to pedestrian and bicycle safety. We intend designs that assure the end product creates a safe, attractive, and welcoming environment.
6. Development that reflects and celebrates the history and culture of West Oakland
In the 1930’s, West Oakland was a thriving, predominately African-American neighborhood of about 280,000 residents, and 7th Street was lined with jazz and blues clubs. Members of the development team have been involved in the West Oakland economy since the 1940’s. African Americans in the post- World War II era had a rich legacy that included businesses, night clubs and retail establishments all along the 7th street corridor.
In recognizing the desire to preserve and celebrate art and history in West Oakland, BART, and the Community will want to consider including facilities that reflect and celebrate the history and culture of West Oakland, i.e., Jazz/ Blues and the Performing Arts.
The entire process of designing a project that reflects the rich culture of the past, and the vision of the future, start and ends with inclusion. Team members know the strength of creating links with community leaders, stakeholders, the city and other interests. There is a commitment from all to deliver a process, and product, that sincerely integrates the goals and sensitivities of the District, the municipality and the Oakland community at large.