The Jack at 4th and Madison Rendering

The Environmental Impact Report for 330 apartments to rise over 3,000 square feet of new retail space and parking for 365 cars at 4th and Madison Streets near Jack London Square has been submitted to Oakland’s Planning Department for review.  And the development has been dubbed, “The Jack.”

The proposed project includes two buildings rising up to 85-feet in height across the 1.5-block site which is comprised of two parcels: one whole block (“Block A”) bounded by 5th and 4th Streets and Jackson and Madison Streets, and one half-block (“Block B”) bounded by 3rd and 4th Streets to the north and south, Madison Street to the east, and an apartment building (followed by Jackson Street) to the west.

200 4th Street/431 Madison Street Site, Oakland

The existing buildings on the Block A parcel, 430 Jackson and 425 Madison, are currently occupied by Cost Plus World Market corporate employees and the Block B parcel (431 Madison) is a paved parking area for the staff.  Cost Plus was acquired by Bed Bath & Beyond in 2012 and its operations at the 4th and Madison site are expected to be completely phased out within the next one to three years.

If approved by the city, construction for the 4th and Madison project could commence as soon as Cost Plus has left the building and would last approximately 26 months, with the smaller Block B building ready for occupancy by month 19 of the schedule.

38 thoughts on “Now You Know Jack”
  1. Another architectural treasure of California! And what a great name, a tribute to all the teenage boys of the world.

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who went there. All I can think is that they’re just begging for a store called “OFF” to open in that corner space. Also how long ’til Jack in the Box tries to sue?

        1. No, wait, somebody call SF Jacks; I found the perfect location for an Oakland outpost.

          (Yes, am trying to single-handedly shame the developers into finding another name. Jeez, at least “The John”. Oh, maybe not.)

      1. Personally, I think that a school to teach young people the mechanical arts should open in that space called “of all trades”

  2. Like the earth tones, use of balconies and the roofline. Not a harsh flat rooftop but a varied composition roof which adds an intimacy to the building car.

    Great architecture – not quite but more interesting than the similar sized projects proposed for Mission Bay. Like the condo complex on the Giants lot next to the proposed hotel. Something like this would, IMO, work much better.

  3. You’re going to love living right between the Nimitz and a gross/scary/loud recycling facility, both of which are strangely absent from the rendering. Only redeeming factor is that it’s a 5 minute walk to BART.

    1. A lot of potential here. The location is good for people who like a little “urban authenticity” in their lifestyle. And it’s 3 blocks from Blue Bottle.

    2. “Only redeeming factor is… BART.” -umm, no ma’am. To many it’s that the location is only 5 minutes to the waterfront events, markets, restaurants, movies and entertainment spots. To many it’s the 10 minute walk to Chinatown or 15 minute walk to Old Oakland or the Lake. To many it’s the 12 minute Uber to OAK. Then there are the amazing views of the waterfront or Lake and hills.

      1. No kidding. I get the impression that a lot of Socketsite commenters don’t actually know anything about Oakland, but opine as if they do. Even without the planned Market Hall on the waterfront, there’s a ton of restaurants/cafes as easy walk from this building (Lungomare, Haven, Jack’s Oyster, Bocanova, Nido, Chop Bar, Blue Bottle, Bicycle Coffee, etc.) along with the Plank bowling/bar complex, plus the wineries (Rosenbaum, Cerrutti, Jeff Cohn, Dashe & Urban Legend). Even Linder Street Brewery/The Dock isn’t that far a walk, let alone Old Oakland & Chinatown nearby.

        1. i dont know a lot about oakland. in 20 yrs in SF, ive officially been to Oakland 2 times, although driven through a lot. But i do know people who live there and can read the crime stats online.

          1. The sad truth that you cannot see just by looking at the crime stats is that the crime victims are disproportionally a subset of Oakland residents living certain disadvantaged neighborhoods. The gentrifiers of JLS are not so much at risk and in bringing their tax base to Oakland they give the city the resources to fight back at the crime problems in other parts of the city.

          2. Dear Milkshake Of Despair (with apologies because I don’t seem to be able to respond directly to your comment) – thank you for pointing out a regrettable truth: the crime stats are not particularly “telling” on a micro level; Oakland’s dangers (which are real and heartbreaking) are in no way evenly distributed across its population, and the likely population of Jack London’s new developments – as well as the population of a dozen neighborhoods all over the city – are not and never will be subject to a murder lottery at the level of this town’s most at-risk citizens. I’m a middle-aged gay white man, and I’ve lived in Oakland since 1998. You know what the murder + lesser-crime rate for middle-aged gay white men has been in Oakland in all that time? Yeah, me neither, but that’s telling, because if it was worth noticing, I would have. I do remember quite a few horrific incidents in and around upper Market, Duboce, Inner Mission and Dolores Park in that time. Yes, you need to pay common urban attention on the street, duh, but the “Oakland is a slaughterhouse” thing is what San Franciscans tell each other to feel better about their own increasingly stiff and homogenous city. (Which is also increasingly full of freaky stabbings.)

            And Moto Mayhem? I’m sure you’re a lovely person but next time try stopping at “I don’t know much about Oakland”. Really. At that point you’re done.

          3. I owned a loft that I used as an office not far from this location. I never felt threatened other than the occasional uneasy feeling while walking under the freeway to BART or downtown. At the time Jerry Brown lived a couple of blocks away and I would often see him walking to work alone or holding a meeting at the Cuckoo’s Nest (long gone). This is a great location for greater density.

          4. It used to be “I left my heart in San Francisco…,” it seems it is now changing to “After X years/decades in SF, I packed up my heart and took it to Oakland.”

            After just 1 year down here on Fruitvale, the changes are visible, palpable, and ongoing. For the better of course. At this rate in another couple years Oakland all the way down to High street may start to feel downright friendly.

          5. Crime in Oakland is a patchwork. There are good blocks and not so good blocks. I grew up on 41st Avenue in East Oakland near E 14th Street. We couldn’t have asked for better neighbors. All working class folks from Guadalajara, Their houses were freshly, if brightly painted, there were flower gardens in their front yards, and on the weekends there were barbecues with mariachi music. In the apartment houses up the street near Foothill, there were drug dealers, and the police were in there most every night.

          6. just a note that I am not secretly posting as Some Guy, even though we apparently moved to the same neighborhood at the same time.

        2. That’s a LONG walk to Linden Street. Not a bad bicycle ride, though. 🙂

          And don;t forget the opportunities for worshipping The Dark Lord at The Metro Opera House!

    3. I used to not be a fan of Oakland, but it has really turned around. Jack London Square area is really nice now, reminds me a tad of Ballard in Seattle (the waterfront area, at least). Old Oakland is an excellent area with fantastic bars and restaurants, not to mention incredible historic architecture. There is a lot to like about Oakland.

  4. The windows resemble the big block over in the Oakland Chinatown area, are they supposed to be industrial styled, and operable, or just faux mullions and cheap vinyl windows?

    Images sure do tell how much is “concealed”….. especially by the logo-and box…

  5. The earth tones are bit meh and just scream 2003. But otherwise, who cares. Its housing being built to scale in a regional market that needs a lot more new housing units. Approve it and get it built.

    I do expect that the developer – like a lot of developers who build in urban markets with ridiculously over-parked ratios – is going to find they wind up with a lot of empty parking stalls. They’ll be charging premium rents – and often tenants these days will just forgo renting a space in order to save the cash for their daily Blue Bottle fix. (unless these are planned as condos?)

    3,000 SF commercial space is not a lot of retail space. Looks from the rendering that its all under the Jack box. (Hard to tell given how dark all the colors are.)

    1. In this location, you don’t need a lot of retail space…really something to enliven the corners with some basic services (convenience store, dry cleaner, that kinda thing) that satisfy local neighborhood needs. Maybe a bit more than 3000, but not much. There are plentiful retailing opportunities..particularly restaurants and other “destination” uses, both along the JLS waterfront and along Broadway. By current occupancy (low) the neighborhood is currently over-retailed.

  6. The gray “Jack” box at the corner fails as an architectural highlight. Proportions are far too close to standard shipping container. Maybe intentional, maybe not, in either case not something that will look good in twenty or fifty years.

    1. If it reflects a different function on the inside (like a common room or a group of studio rentals) then I like it. If it’s just an external “break up the massing” feature, then it’s unnecessary and trendy shipping-container chic.

  7. Odd name aside, Jack London square is a half-baked neighborhood right now; it desperately needs another dozen “Jacks” (along with retail) to become more appealing and alleviate rising rents

    1. Though unfortunately the silicon valley amtrak station in Santa Clara is surrounded by a big bunch of nothing. You’ll need to rely on a shuttle, a bike, or -gasp- VTA for the last mile to the office.

      1. Obviously not a 49ers fan…
        And yeah, nothing like the mad dash to the Lick Mill station when you see the light rail train in the distance. I always thought it funny that the premiere SV rail stop (ACE, CC) was an underpass.

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