Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 21, 2014

Building blocks

Filed under: Alameda, Business, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

For folks that don’t regularly visit Target you probably haven’t seen the explosion of building that has been going on. I snapped a photo when I was at Target yesterday to pick up some stuff for the family. Yesterday afternoon there were a lot of people there and a lot of unhappy babies at Target. But anyway, here’s what you will see when you visit:

2014-08-20 17.02.18

When the wood frames were first being thrown up, I thought this was going to be the multi-family units because I hadn’t noticed how far set back the units were until someone on Twitter pointed it out. Turns out these are going to be the single family houses which front the large green space that borders 5th street.   Right now in lieu of the green space there is a parking lot because they’re probably going to have the model homes available and so they want easy parking that is not the Target parking lot.

Eventually though, that parking lot will be converted into an open green space which should be nice.  And I guess I should have realized that the first homes that would be for sale would have been the single family homes.   I believe the rendering on this page is supposed to be the front of the unit from the view of the green space.   You can see the floor plans here and apparently the prices are being estimated at starting in the $700,000.   Personally, I like the unit with the loft on the third floor which would be a good study/play room for the kids.   Not that I’m planning on moving again, I’m just saying that I would probably opt for Residence Three if I had to choose.  I’m happy that they didn’t pick silly names for the actual units themselves, although the name of the development: Cadence at Alameda Landing is all kinds of cringeworthy.

If you lean more toward the multifamily housing, you can check out equally eye roll worthy Linear at Alameda Landing this is kind of a cool graphic which shows how the building is laid out including which units are duplicated so which ones they won’t provide a model home for.  No need to have two model homes for the same unit:

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 6.07.39 PM


Floor plans as well available here.   Residence One is interesting because it’s the only single story residence which will be good for folks aging in place that may not want to go up and down stairs.



  1. what is more surprising to me is the amount of construction going on at the shopping center. Its really coming along very quickly.

    Comment by John P. — August 21, 2014 @ 7:22 am

  2. They’re really pushing for that October opening. Safeway looks on track for that.

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 21, 2014 @ 7:44 am

  3. I can only hope that both the single-family and multifamily housing units at Alameda Landing turn out better than they looked during the planning approvals. The dark colors and unimaginative exterior designs seems to foreshadow another “McMansion” development just like hundreds of other “ticky-tacky” ones across California. And all be brown, tan, or gray: there won’t even be a blue one or a green one or a yellow one…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 21, 2014 @ 7:47 am

  4. Two of the large empty spaces around Neptune Court at Southshore are soon to be filled. Best Lil Porkhouse and across from it Charming Charlie .

    Comment by frank M — August 21, 2014 @ 8:13 am

  5. $700,000 is a lot of money. If you had it, why would you buy one of these? No maintenance? They will be hit with all kinds of fees as well, right? Will subsidized units really be affordable or just less than market? Lauren, do you know what how much the first homes at Bayport sold for on average? ?????

    Comment by MI — August 21, 2014 @ 8:55 am

  6. frank M: Charming Charlie is a really interesting company from the perspective of how quickly the brand built up. Here’s a good article for anyone interested

    MI: one of my neighbors kept track of the Bayport housing prices when the market was super hot and Bayport was subject to the lottery. I know that we personally were in several lotteries before our number finally came up. That was not such a problem later on when the market tanked. Looks like at a low for the smaller units started in the high $600K range and went up into the mid $900K for the larger units. The graphs are a good look at the progression of prices. As to why someone would buy one of the units, well (1) newness, (2) proximity to amenities, (3) low maintenance. Also, sometimes people buy these units to get in at the ground floor in order to “flip” the houses when then market rebounds or after two years for tax purposes. I know that’s what some people were doing with the Bayport houses, but then the market tanked and they were out of luck.

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 21, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  7. There was a sentence several years ago at a City Council meeting , let’s built and take the business away from Oakland ,
    they are doing it in total disregard of the local economy and quality of life .
    Oakland shot them selves in the legs several years ago and interestingly enough guess who could have made a change for that City , Mr Russo .
    It’s really going to be interesting when they are all built and open for business ……. glad to have only 4 traffic light before the freeway.
    There is a strong distinction between developing and saturating .
    Come with all the typo and bad english We are Americans .

    Comment by joel Rambaud — August 21, 2014 @ 9:45 am

  8. After the 1st release at Bayport they saw the demand and the prices increase dramatically from what the had on there website. I would expect the houses to actually sell for the mid $800,000 and up.

    As far as “McMansion”, they are not but no one is going to build a small cottage when the cost of the land is $300,000 – $400,000 per lot. Bayport does have yellow and a bluish houses, but you won’t see any pink or purple ones because people don’t want that. One of the models at Bayport was painted green. I don’t know why but they didn’t paint any of the other houses green.

    We bought new because it was our first house and by the time we put money down for a down payment we wouldn’t have any money or know how to fix up a older house. We only looked at new houses first in Livermore and Walnut Creek and Napa areas, then we looked at Bayport and my partner got a job in Richmond so Bayport made the most sense. We bought the largest one because it was the best investment at the time. The prices on our model went up over $200,000 before the crash.

    The affordable housing at Bayport I believe started in the mid $300,000 but it is like a duplex. We saw one and they used cheaper cabinets, small laundry rooms, nothing extra and you share a lot and a wall with another family. They look nice on the outside. They are a step up from townhouse apartments but with a 2 car garage, but that was just my opinion.

    It will be nice to see when the models open up at Alameda Landing, but you have to remember if you look at them, they usually have all the upgrades and are professionally painted and decorated. If you buy one it will not look like the models it will be a generic version of the models.

    Comment by Joseph — August 21, 2014 @ 10:43 am

  9. A 1,500 sq. ft., 3 bedroom, 1 bath (yup, just one) on Clay Street just sold for $850,000. The names of these new developments are clearly aimed at techies. The market will do as it pleases. I predict the prices will skyrocket until the traffic situation puts a dent in them.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 21, 2014 @ 11:40 am

  10. There you go if you don’t want a “McMansion” you can buy something like the one on Clay St. and paint it any color you want. 🙂 One bathroom is hash for that price.

    Comment by Joseph — August 21, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

  11. I was reading in the SF Business Times and the new home in the outer sunset in SF consists of homes, ranging from 1,547 to 2,133 square feet with plan to sell them ranging from $1.15 million to $1.6 million. No offense but who want to live in the outer sunset riding the ferry from Alameda is faster if you work downtown.

    Comment by Joseph — August 21, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

  12. Looks like the old homes are the better investment. They don’t fall apart as fast and are located where they will actually be able to get off the Island in under 15 minutes.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 21, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

  13. The owners I mean, not the houses!

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 21, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

  14. Denise, I prefer older homes too, but alot of folks prefer newer construction. By the way, if you ever get a chance to ride the Main Street Ferry during the commute hours, you’ll see it’s quite popular and it gets people off the Island in about 20 minutes “in style”, on a boat. Not a bad way to commute to work.

    Comment by Karen Bey — August 21, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

  15. Denise, actually Bayport and Alameda Landing have two light to get off the island in 5 minutes. There is a cut away on Willie Stargell Way which leads directly to Webster St tunnel…so depending on the traffic you can be on 880 in about 5-10 minutes. Denise as far as falling apart I don’t see the difference. You can buy an older home and have to replace the electrical, pluming, heating, insulation, roof, foundation, connection to the sewer, ect. just to live in it. I have lived here 9 years and haven’t had to fix anything except an outdoor electrical outlet. It is just a matter of what you prefer. Everyone has different tastes. Some people like antiques and some people don’t. We do have 1 antique dresser but that is about it and oh by golly none of our other furniture is falling apart. To each there own.

    As far as investments like all investments it depends on a lot of factors ie.: when it was purchased, at what price it was purchased, location, condition, whether anyone wants it, even colors, ect

    Comment by Joseph — August 21, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

  16. if I were young and had good income I might look into lofts in Oakland between Park Street and Jack London Square. They were about $400K. If they are $700K now I’d still prefer them than a view of Target parking lot. Didn’t council get developer to agree to pass on all kinds of fees for these residential units? Bet there is none of that across the estuary.

    Comment by MI — August 21, 2014 @ 2:51 pm

  17. I guess the houses were built better than Ruby Bridges School. The repair costs after just a few years were unbelievable. As to the traffic, Joseph, I’m talking about what it will be after people start living in all those houses and apartments, not now. I swear the developers have an interest in storage units. Here’s what I really dislike about the new developments: little parking, less storage, small lots with huge houses, and home owners associations. I would hate to have to park in my garage. Many don’t even have a driveway you can park in. But then I grew up back east where 2 acres was a small lot and most people had at least a basement or an attic. It’s what you are used to, I guess. My house in Alameda is the best investment I ever made. When we paid $225,000 for a three-bedroom in 1988, I worried it would never be worth that much again. How wrong I was!

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 21, 2014 @ 9:53 pm

  18. #17 actually, we have a huge 3 car garage and plenty of street parking in front of our house. Our Master Bedroom has 2 walk-in, 1 is aprox. 17’x11′ , the other one which is probably 10′ x 4′ we mostly use for storage. We also have storage under the stairs and another walk-in closet in another bedroom. I actually put up cabinets in the garage. We actually have 3 extra bedrooms and a huge laundry room. Storage and parking isn’t a problem for us. I don’t know how many houses you have been to at Bayport but it seems like you are making assumptions. I would probably think most of those storage units were full before Bayport was built. I know my friend who has a storage unit but she lives in a older house. I don’t see the point in having a storage unit, if you don’t need it take it to goodwill.

    With all that said it is sort of off the subject.

    Comment by Joseph — August 21, 2014 @ 10:56 pm

  19. I did not remember what Bayport was like but some of the develops are like that. Oh, yeah. And I don’t like the lack of variety in the types of homes. It’s so cool to take a walk on the East End or in the Gold Coast and see the parade of architectural styles and all the lovely gardens.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 21, 2014 @ 11:26 pm

  20. I would hate to have to park in my garage.

    Uh, isn’t that what a garage is for? To park your car in?

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 22, 2014 @ 6:16 am

  21. Every time you come home? Open the door, put in the car, close the door. What a nuisance. It’s not like it’s going to snow or anything. Waste of good storage space IMHO.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 22, 2014 @ 8:43 am

  22. We park our cars in the garage every time we come home. See there are these things called garage door openers that make the process of opening garage doors super easy. I also plug in my car too, so there’s an added “nuisance.” I’m a pretty lazy person, but when I get too lazy to perform the steps above (open door, pull car in, close door) I may need to check my own priorities.

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 22, 2014 @ 9:13 am

  23. Should you ever leave Bayport, you might notice the rest of the city typically has very small garages, and some homes have none at all. Inside those homes there is generally far less storage space than the palatial dimensions Joseph describes. What that means is the folks who live in time warps and aren’t progressive about development very often use their garages for storage.

    One more form of density that doesn’t seem to apply to you….

    Comment by dave — August 22, 2014 @ 9:55 am

  24. No where did Denise indicate that her garage was “too small” to park a car in. Or that she didn’t have a garage either. She said that she would “hate” to have to park in the garage and that it was a “nuisance” to do so because of the opening of garage door, pulling in of car, and closing of garage door. Also that she would rather use her garage for “storage” but somehow it’s the new developments that are keeping storage companies in business because of “less parking” and “less storage.”

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 22, 2014 @ 10:02 am

  25. We looked at over 50 houses in Alameda, Berkeley and Albany before we finally looked at the models in Bayport. Every single one either was lacking space and features or needed significant upgrades. We ended up with much more space and much less investment needed by buying a new house in Bayport instead of an old house on the East End. We also have a significantly shorter commute into SF, and space to work from home. It was a tradeoff for us and ultimately new construction was a better quality of life than a huge remodel during our child raising years. Six years in and our maintenance costs have been minimal, don’t forget the energy efficiency benefits. We also prefer to be able to walk to everything, many of the East End neighborhoods did not offer that.
    I consider parking in my 2 car garage a luxury, especially with kids since its easier to get them in the car and we can leave stuff in there without worry. Never thought pushing the button on the opener was a burden.
    Plenty of reasons to buy new construction in a developed area.

    Comment by Amy — August 22, 2014 @ 11:21 am

  26. Re: #17 “I swear the developers have an interest in storage units. Here’s what I really dislike about the new developments: little parking, less storage, small lots with huge houses, and home owners associations. I would hate to have to park in my garage.” Denise you don’t like new developments so just say but you keep saying one thing and then saying something else. We have parking, storage, although we do have small lots some with big homes, and some that are only 2,000 sq. ft. I personally now like a small lot as I discovered I don’t like yard work.

    Re: Alameda Landing the houses seem closer together then Bayport, but it just may be the height of the 3 story houses that give that illusion. Houses in Alameda (older and newer) in some neighborhoods are close. I went to a barbeque at a friends house and from their deck you could look over and see the neighbors “medical pot” plants in their back yard and down the street around the corner down a few houses someone was having a domestic dispute. (just saying).

    Comment by Joseph — August 22, 2014 @ 11:41 am

  27. I think the fact is that everyone is happy with what they have be it old or new. That is good.

    “De gustibus non est disputandum”

    Comment by frank M — August 22, 2014 @ 11:55 am

  28. Some of you are awfully defensive. I’m simply expressing my preference as you have yours. I made it clear that I’m not talking about Bayport specifically but “some developments.” I’m very confused though about Amy’s comment regarding living in Bayport so she could “walk to everything”. What? Target? If I were a Target shopper, I’d most often bring the car even if I lived close. That’s the type of shopping where there’s usually either too much stuff to carry or the items are too large. I can walk (and routinely do) easily to the Alameda Theater, the Library, City Hall, the Marketplace all the Park Street businesses, Kaiser, Encinal Market and now the new Walgreens. I admit that East of High Street there are fewer close options, besides the Market, but, the kids have an easy walk to school. Live where you want to live, of course. There’s no right or wrong about it. As to how well your house will hold up, it will take 100 years before we can make a fair comparison, so it’s a moot point.

    If someone comes up with a workable solution to the impending trafficapocalypse,which is my biggest concern about all the building going on, wonderful. I hope they do, I really do, because I once lived somewhere where a seven mile commute would sometimes take an hour. It’s extremely frustrating and stressful. Paying close to a million to feel like a prisoner will make for some angry, depressed people. If you can take the ferry, great, but guess what? A lot of Alamedans who work off the island DO NOT work in San Francisco. I’m tired of hearing the ferry touted as the solution to everything. I’m very familiar with it, when we have visitors, we always take them into the city via the ferry.

    Parking in the garage would be a nuisance for me because I’m back and forth to home a lot during the day. If it’s twice a day as it usually is for commuters, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. FYI for Amy, unless you like leaving your purse or your laptop on the dashboard, there is little worry about thing being stolen out of your car anywhere in Alameda, although, if you have a car worth stealing (which I haven’t for a loooooong time), I can see where you would want to lock it away every night. Even so, crime is very low here overall. @Lauren: haven’t seen that nasty streak in a while from you, I thought you’d outgrown it. We clearly have different values, but I never say anything to the effect that only an idiot would live the way you do. If you read that into my comments, I’m sorry. I enjoy our debates and especially appreciate folks like MI and Frank M who help keep it classy. I also am grateful for all your hard work on this blog.. In spite of your biases, it keeps us all much more informed than we would be otherwise.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 23, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  29. I was simply responding to those questioning why people would buy new construction. People have different preferences, I’m explaining my family’s and why this new construction may be a good fit for others.
    As for walkability, we live in Bayport and we walk our children to daycare every day and will walk my son to school this year. We walk to restaurants on Park Street, the dry cleaners, grocery stores and various other services. We walk to the bus stop and the Ferry to get to work. Our cars only leave the garage on weekends and when I drive to clients. Every house we considered we looked at walkability and we have found Bayport to be very a walkable area compared to those in other neighborhoods like Fernside or Gold Coast. This was 6+ years ago, well before Target. I’m glad Alameda Landing has brought more options for us, I no longer need to leave Alameda on the weekends for a lot of the basics.

    As for leaving a parked car on the street with things in it, I would not do that in any neighborhood, in my experience its just asking for a break in. I have family on the East End and I behave pretty much the same on either side of the island. Doesn’t mean either is a high crime area, it only takes one opportunist walking by. I have found having a car in a garage to be much more convenient than not. That’s my experience.

    Comment by Amy — August 23, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

  30. You walk from Bayport to Park St restaurants? Wow, I wish I had that kind of time.

    Comment by dave — August 23, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

  31. Ooops that should have been Webster Street. But yes, we walk to restaurants. 🙂
    BTW: The trick to getting in to Dim Sum on the weekends with no wait is to leave at home 9:30 and arrive at opening without having to park. You have your choice of table at that time and fresh food.

    Comment by Amy — August 23, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

  32. Amy I look forward to walking to Safeway and the barbeque place coming in. I don’t really go to Target. I walk to Walgreens on Webster but not a lot further because I try to stay away from fast food although Subway is fine. The Dim Sum place is crazy on the weekends. You are better walking to it. I have also dropped off my car to get worked on at Goodyear and walked home it’s not that far, but now we found a auto shop next to 7-11 which we like much better (next to the auto body shop).

    Comment by Joseph — August 23, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

  33. Since my house [& its twin on another street] was built in 1902, it was built without a garage. When the garage was added, it was no doubt built for a Model T, because if you put anything in it bigger than a MiniCooper, you cannot get out of the car once it is in the garage. So I too “would hate to park in my garage”. I would love to have a garage with an automatic opener, & a door that went straight into the house from the garage, but then I wouldn’t live in my neighborhood any more. Alameda really is many different neighborhoods now, which have little in common with one another.

    Comment by vigi — August 23, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

  34. @Joseph we generally walk past the fast food places to the many options at the other end of Webster. Lots of choices, although a bit different than Park Street. We do live on the College of Alameda side of Bayport so its a shorter trip than from the other side, but even Crab Cove is only about a mile away so its really a very doable walk to get to the end of Webster from here.

    Comment by Amy — August 23, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

  35. In SF Gate today they said the medium price for average 2 bedroom 1 bath house in Alameda is now $760,000 so I would expect that the houses at Alameda Landing will start quite a bit higher. Oakland is $555,000.

    Comment by Joseph — August 28, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

  36. I notice this weekend they are starting to building the loft/multi-family housing…they literally have their front steps on the sidewalk.

    Catellus (as a Joint Venture) built the Bridgecourt apartments in Emeryville in the Eastbay Bridge shopping center (which was also a Catellus project) parking lot. They are nice but the view is of the parking lot of Home Depot. The ones at Alameda Landing will be a little slightly better but they will still have a view will be of the parking lots of Target and Safeway. I do like the way they painted the Bridgecourt apartments…nice bold colors. To be honest Alameda Landing seems to have been poorly planned, but I reserve my final judgment until it is completed. When we drive by there Adolfo’s first words are who wants to live across from Target. Some of the back lots should be better.

    I have noticed since they opened Target in we don’t have as many shopping carts in our neighborhood. I think most of them were from the low income housing and now they are closer they don’t take the carts.

    Comment by Joseph — September 14, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

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