200 4th Street/431 Madison Street Site, Oakland

With Ellis Partners already working on plans for two residential towers, with over 600 units combined, to rise over 20 stories on either side of Oakland’s Jack London Square, San Francisco-based Carmel Partners is in contract to purchase the two parcels at 200 4th Street and 431 Madison and plans to build up to 330 units on the site which currently serves as a parking lot and office building for Cost Plus.

And according to the Business Times, Carmel Partners will present its plans to the surrounding neighbors this evening (6:30 p.m. at the Overland House Grill restaurant), plans to present the market-rate project to the city’s Planning Commission by this summer, and hopes to start construction in early 2016.

21 thoughts on “New Plans For Another 330 Apartments Near Jack London Square”
  1. The map is incorrect. While Oakland’s grid is very logical, the address numbers are a little screwy in that part of the waterfront. Carmel Partners’ parcel(s) are the parking lots representing half the block bounded by 4th St, Madison, 3rd St, and Jackson.

    [Editor’s Note: Good catch, but it’s actually both. The 200 4th Street parcel is what we originally mapped, the 431 Madison Street parcel is the parking lot across the street which has since been added above.]

  2. Is Jack London Square considered a good location in Oakland? It is on waterfront, but separated from downtown by freeways. 15 minutes walk to BART station.

    1. This site is a quick five minute walk to the Lake Merritt BART station. The freeway underpass isn’t pleasant to walk under (on Madison or Oak), but it is not that bad either. It is a nice area and generally safe for walking both day and night. More retail would be nice, but things are slowly moving in the right direction. This new housing (plus the Ellis sites and Brooklyn Basin) will support more retail, the market building finally has a firm plan, and the new restaurants and bars seem to have staying power.

  3. @BayviewSF: I live in Jack London so I’m biased, but the area is definitely coming up. The creation of a business district means we now have “liaisons” patrolling the streets and holding down the riffraff. The Square itself is quickly becoming a dining and entertainment destination, especially with the new Water Street Market going in next year as Oakland’s answer to the Ferry Building. And while I would love to have BART closer, 15 minutes is not too bad, and the free B Shuttle cuts that down to 5 minutes most of the time.

  4. I love this area of Oakland. A couple colleagues of mine looked first in the city, got outbid on a couple places in the Dogpatch and SOMA, and ended up buying here instead. They love it and, from the times I’ve visited, I can see why. It’s a pretty walkable neighborhood and the Lake Merrit BART makes is a good commute spot to the SF core where we work. My wife loves it too and we regularly make Sunday trips out here from Contra Costa County to enjoy the afternoon.

    1. I also have a fondness for this part of Oakland. After many years of not having a very good opinion of the town as a whole, I’ve started to explore and enjoy it. The area around the SP tracks has a fantastic amount of old brick buildings being re-used. The historic downtown is fantastic and there are beautiful Victorians waiting to be fixed up as far as the eye can see. Not to mention Piedmont and Montclair are a short drive away.

  5. I have a lot of friends who live in Oakland, hopefully they continue to encourage the development we can’t seem to get here. Best of luck to all involved!

  6. The biggest drawback to JLS is the freeway and Amtrak. It has never quite found it’s feet but there are a few nice spots to eat/drink. I prefer Lake Merritt but JLS is close to the bay.

    1. Is Amtrak truly a detriment? The freeway, yes, but I never thought that railroads make an area worse (Iron Triangle notwithstanding). Then again, I have an affinity for rail 🙂

      1. The train horns are extremely loud at night. Also, all the train traffic right there at surface grade, including long freight trains that take a while to pass, bisect the neighborhood and delay cars/pedestrians.

  7. “Is Amtrak really a problem?” not so long as you have an isolated foundation and quadruple insulated windows; the trains run right through the middle of the entire area and, due to the port, always will. Operating a business over there is one thing, but trying to get some sleep at night being woken up a half dozen times by booming horns and the rumble of the rails is another thing. I have no data to back this up, but I imagine the turnover in any housing units over there must be very high. It’s potential is very great – except for the trains, which are an absolute zero-starter deal killer

    1. Jake: “How often does the train go by?”
      Elwood: “So often that you won’t even notice it.”

      Per. my comment above I’ve mostly visited but have never been bothered by the trains before and the people I know who live there have never been bothered. But I’m not sure if this comment is specific to this particular site or the area at large. That said, and like Serge above, both me and my toddler have an affinity for “choo choo”s.

    2. I’ve lived at JLS for nearly a year and have really gotten used to the trains. They’re loud, no doubt, but like any other urban noise, you eventually learn to ignore them. And the train noise is certainly preferable to other forms of urban noise that I’ve experienced, like freeways or drunk partiers.

      That said, there’s also an effort to get the Jack London area formally classified as a “Quiet Zone” under federal law. If enacted, more ground-level warnings and signals would be installed to beef up safety for pedestrians and drivers, but the trains would no longer be allowed to honk except in emergencies. That would help immensely.

  8. The ambient noise in the whole neighborhood is pretty high, but these sites will be more affected by freeway than by trains. Jack London has changed really dramatically in the last 10 years; I’m down there maybe once a month and it still surprises me to see all those people. The trains don’t really seem like a detriment (at least as a recreational visitor); I’ve been to several events at the winery 20 feet from the tracks, and you just stop talking, wave to the engineers, and wait. It kind of keeps it all feeling like Oakland, in a good way. I also heard they’re negotiating an end to the requirement that the trains blast their horns all the way through, but I don’t know details. (Or if it’s really true.)

    1. That’s my thinking as well. Freeways in general create this background white noise that never goes away. I personally can’t stand freeway noise (see: parts of Bernal that face 280) and would never live in close proximity to one. Trains on the other hand follow a regular schedule, go by quickly and are somewhat a pleasant sound (well, steam trains are… again, I’m biased because of my affinity for trains).

  9. Less than an hour by rail to Silicon Valley. One the way home, have a beer (legally) while traveling at 79mph.

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