Oakland's 16th Street Train Station

With the development of 171 townhomes on the parcel to the west of West Oakland’s dilapidated 16th Street Train Station now underway, plans for another 44 condos to rise on the two-acre parcel to the east of the station are slated to be approved by Oakland’s Planning Commission next week.

Part of Oakland’s Wood Street District Plan for the redevelopment of the 29 industrial acres bounded by 10th Street, Wood Street, West Grand Avenue and Frontage Road/I-880, the historic train station at the middle of the district will eventually be rehabilitated with a mix of uses and a new 16th Street Station Plaza between the station and Wood Street.

In addition to the two projects on either side of the station above, the Wood Street District includes the 163-unit Pacific Cannery Lofts, the 130-unit Zephyr Gate townhomes and the 99-unit Ironhorse apartments which have already been built, along with an adjacent 235-unit development which was approved this past December and a 47-unit development which was approved in May.

The 44-unit “Signalhouse” project includes 38 two-bedroom townhome condos and 6 micro-units that could be used “separately or jointly” with an adjacent unit, all of which include either a one or two car garage with a total of 62 parking spots. And if approved next week, City Ventures, which is also developing the 171-unit “Stationhouse” project, is currently slated to start construction in the second quarter of 2016.

41 thoughts on “West Oakland’s Burgeoning Wood Street District”
  1. who is developing the 235-unit and 47-unit development…I live at pacific cannery lofts and have not heard of these projects??

    the neighborhood is changing so very quickly. it’s not just the new developments, its also the existing houses. new ones are going up on abandoned lots and many are being flipped/restored. I think this hood is past the point of no return.

    1. You probably couldn’t hear it over the screams of gentrification. This all sounds like a gentrifying haymaker for this area, and based on how run down it is, I mean that in a good way.

      1. This was/is an industrial area, a real one. The “lampworks” building near this site was literally a light bulb factory. It was also for 20 years a toxic waste cleanup site. Since the people moving into these buildings are the first people to have ever lived on these sites, it’s not gentrification as we know it.

        1. All the people living around the Lampworks will be happy to hear that despite the explosion in construction their area won’t technically be gentrified.

        2. The area is a historic district and the vast majority of houses are single family homes owned by the residents. There are very few of existing multi-unit buildings. MoManyst of the homes have a basis of less than $200,000 and are selling for $500k or more. When a house is sold, the owners generally walk away with enough money to keep everyone happy. It is the renters who complain about gentrification, and there aren’t a lot of them west of Mandela Blvd.

          1. Many of the homes in the district are very charming and architecturally meritorious in their own ways. But these constructions projects are only in that vicinity, not on top of them. These lots are straight up brownfield sites.

    2. Ironically, Holliday Development, which developed the Pacific Cannery Lofts, is leading the charge on the 235-unit project which will front Wood between West Grand Avenue and 20th Street.

      City Ventures is behind the 47-unit development to rise along Pine, between 11th and 12th, as well.

  2. I just hope the SP station will not just be rehabilitated, but restored as well (both inside and out). Then again, I sadly envision an interior that has been gutted and does not at all reflect the exterior of the building.

    1. Instead of promoting 1 and 2 car garages for each unit, more focus should be on beefing up transit in this area. No reason why the old train station cannot be used for a future expansion of commuter rail or BART.

      1. That and the construction of I-880 permanently severed the station from the railway mainline on the other side of the freeway.

          1. Well yeah I guess “permanent” is a little too absolute. But I’d bet that if a train station were required in this vicinity that it would be much easier to build a new one on the other side of 880 than to reroute the freeway and/or railway mainline.

  3. I didn’t see a burgeoning district when I visited. Some modern condos/townhomes and a cute cafe surrounded by plenty of gritty houses and gritty people hanging outside.

    That’s not to say this part of West Oakland won’t be very different in the future.

    1. I agree. it is still mostly abandoned, a major illegal dumping grounds, with a large homeless population. lots of vacant lots. very few businesses.

      but new arrivals are moving into and fixing up the existing housing stock, building entire new houses, and large new developments are coming. things are really starting to change fast.

      1. The “Free Town” under the freeway near Target on the Emeryville-Oakland line is…amazing…in 21st century America. It’s like something from Rio.

    1. Bklyn and Oakland appear attractive because people were priced out of Manhattan and SF. Now it’s happening in Queens (Astoria, LIC). Sadly, there are fewer working class areas in the Bay Area than in the greater NYC region.

    1. That BART station has been there for over 40 years and West Oakland has been “ripe for gentrification” for about as long. I’m not bashing Oakland (20-year resident), but the area is very resistant to change.

      1. true, but I hear from long time residents of west oakland how much it really has changed in the last 10 years. it used to be a derelict, crime-ridden wasteland, and now there are real signs of life – buildings going up, businesses popping up, and people walking on the streets. since 1990, the number of blacks has been cut in half (to about 35%) and the number of whites has doubled (to around 20%). density is increasing. in 20 or 30 years it could be a totally different kind of place then it has historically been.

        and I love that 6 minute bart ride!

        1. You mean in 20 or 30 years the black population might decline to 10% and whites increase to 60%? If that’s the case, expect at least 3 Starbucks in the hood.

        2. Although factual on its face I don’t think a statement like this is allowed:

          “the number of blacks has been cut in half (to about 35%) and the number of whites has doubled (to around 20%). density is increasing. in 20 or 30 years it could be a totally different kind of place then it has historically been.”

      2. Just because something has been ripe for 40 years doesn’t mean it can’t still happen. SF is finally reaching the point where even the wealthy can’t afford it, so now is the time to jump the bay.

  4. Client was out bid on 705 Zephyr Drive in the Zephyr Gate development. SF renters priced out of SF. 15 offers. Went well above even recent comps. Lots of people willing to pay $500-$600k for a two bedroom condo in West Oakland. Can’t touch anything in the city for that. Can’t even build for that.

    Should the economy stay stable, West Oakland and other up and coming neighborhoods over there will continue to jump in desirability and thus price.

  5. The train station was used – brilliantly – for a production of Berg’s “Lulu” by West Edge Opera. Here is a review.

    I gather that the opera company is going to continue using that space for more operas. A great use of this asset.

  6. Higher density would be nice for this area, considering it’s one of Oakland’s last parcels of land to build on.

  7. Overall I think Bayview will gentrify faster and more evenly than west Oakland. There is still waaaayyy too much open and derelict spaces in w. Oakland. Bayview is pretty tight.

  8. i recently went to the prohibition brewery (Bayview) and was really surprised about how much is happening in that area now.

  9. Who originally came up with the catch phrase, “West Oakland: Closer to SF than SF”? Brilliant. Just to echo a few other comments…the neighborhood desperately needs more retail. Brown Sugar Kitchen (go there if you haven’t yet!) has become a magnet but sadly there are only a few other options nearby.

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