Plans for a pair of residential towers to rise up to 275 feet in height at 325 Seventh Street, on the edge of Oakland’s Chinatown, were first approved by the city seven years ago, the ground for which has yet to be broken.
Two years ago, the project team was preparing to abandon the high-rise in favor of a six-story building to rise across the site, the plans for which had been drawn and formally proposed but were subsequently abandoned prior to their public hearing.
And as now proposed and newly rendered for the project team by YHLA Architects…while a tower would still rise up to 275 feet in height upon the site, the height of what was to be the second tower, fronting 7th Street, will be reduced from 207 to 125 feet, the amount of ground floor retail space will be reduced from 9,100 to 6,500 square feet, and the number of off-street parking spaces in the project’s garage will be reduced from 399 to 265.
But as designed, the number of residential units, which are now slated to be rentals versus condos, would remain at 380 with a 5 percent reduction in overall square footage.
And while currently slated to expire this September, having already been extended five times, the project team is now seeking another extension of their entitlements to start developing the site through September of 2019.
With the project team’s application moving closer to approval, the redesigned development, which is now proposed to be finished with board-formed concrete and metallic accent panels, seams and screens, has been newly rendered below:
And while the City’s Planning Department is in support of the development in general it does have a couple of concerns, including how the tower is topped:
“The proposed architectural feature a the top of the tower appear[s] unresolved. From a plan view it is a stylized yin-yang. However, from a side view, it appears to be a collection of unrelated building elements instead of a unified whole of a terminus to the tower. The lower tower could equally benefit from a more compelling terminus as well.”
“[Planning Department] Staff believes that the prominence of the site location adjacent to the I-80 freeway and within the Oakland downtown district warrants a showcase tower design to compliment the Oakland skyline and there are opportunities to do something compelling and outstanding.”
We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.