Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 14, 2015

This one goes to Block 11

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Tonight the Planning Board will get its first look at the first new building to be built at Alameda Point. Unsurprisingly it’s a residential block, albeit with retail on the bottom.  It appears to maybe be one of the rental housing units because there are one-bedroom units in addition to three-bedroom units.  And there’s a pool.  Here’s Block 11 in context with the site.


And more renderings of what the exterior will look like.  I’ll warn you that it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and reads a bit Miami Beach.  But you can sort of see the nod to the big hangar buildings with the window treatments.  The white is a little, well white, and overall it’s sort of bland and non offensive.  Is it exciting? Nope.  Does it serve a purpose which is to bring more housing units on line to help with the housing crunch?  Yep.




The next set of renders are each floor and what will be there.  If you notice there will be seven stories:





And here are the proposed floor plans for the units.







Probably the most exciting thing about the project is the “naked street” running in front of the project along with waterfront.  From the staff report:

The waterfront street in front of Block 11 is designed to serve as an extension of the adjacent waterfront park and provide a strong pedestrian-oriented, bicycle friendly, street front between the building and the park. Designed without curbs and without asphalt, the “naked street” utilizes paving materials, colors and textures, along with landscaping, to create an inviting public space through which vehicles may slowly pass, approximately 12 vehicles may be parked, pedestrians may stroll along and across, and bicyclists may pass through with little concern for speeding vehicles.

This one project contains almost of quarter of the homes that have been approved for Site A at 220.  20 of the units are deed restricted for moderate income individuals and/or families.  These are the details from the staff report about what’s in the building:

  • Approximately 25,000 square feet of on-site ground floor commercial retail uses;
  • A variety of on-site amenities including approximately 4,500 square feet of interior community and recreational facilities, as well as a large landscape podium above the retail and parking levels with lap pool and a roof top garden with views to the bay and San Francisco beyond;
  • Two lobbies that serve residents, each accessed through a street-facing garden;
  • 15-minute transit services to the regional ferry, BART, Downtown Oakland, and nearby Alameda shopping districts, and access to on-site amenities;
  • Directly accessible space for the secure storage of approximately 240 bicycles, with contiguous space for bicycle maintenance and repair; and
  • 224 on-site unbundled parking spaces plus 11 tandem spaces for resident parking as well as 60 parking spaces available for retail uses.

Overall not my favorite design ever, and I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to new construction aesthetics, but I’m more excited about something being built out at Alameda Point in the very near future.



  1. No Cuban restaurant and pink flamingos to match? It does look like the housing development in Scarface. The big sign on top has to go. Perhaps the first of the coming mega storms can blow it off…

    Comment by Captain Obvious — December 14, 2015 @ 6:19 am

  2. It actually compliments many of the buildings in the Historic District, many of which are massive, art deco moderne style. The color white compliments the officer’s housing which I believe are on the historic list as well.

    The landscaping will be very important since it’s so close to the waterfront park, but I like it!

    Comment by Karen Bey — December 14, 2015 @ 7:18 am

  3. Hopefully, if approved they start building it before they change their mind. When are they suppose to start building the WETA facility?

    Comment by joelsf — December 14, 2015 @ 7:20 am

  4. the signage does seem odd. Is it supposed to announce a destination to people approaching by water? At seven stories elevation you need to get some distance to be able to read it.

    Comment by MI — December 14, 2015 @ 7:49 am

  5. Because sometimes one can never get enough Emeryville.

    Comment by Jack Mingo — December 14, 2015 @ 8:33 am

  6. 1.) Typically heard in Alameda: “I’m so angry about all this new stuff making Alameda look like Emeryville!!!”

    2.) Typically heard in Alameda: “We need more quality businesses in Alameda!!!”,_California

    3.) Typically heard in Alameda: “It stinks that the minimum wage in Alameda isn’t keeping up with surrounding Cities!!!”

    And when I was growing up (far far away…I’m one of the hated interlopers), having a job while in high school was a big part of gaining my independence. Where the hell are young people supposed to work if not at places like Target, etc.? It’s not like all the “mom-and-pops” that everyone loves so much are hiring a bunch of teens.

    Comment by brock — December 14, 2015 @ 10:44 am

  7. I really like the concept that is being presented for several reasons: I find the building’s architectural treatment to be a tasteful nod to the art deco / modern design of the nearby historic buildings. I also really like the development’s interface with the waterfront and the way that it emphasizes the pedestrian’s experience, not the driver’s. Hopefully that is carried through to the rest of the blocks that front the water, and allows pedestrians and cyclists to transition safely to the neighboring streets.

    BAR is a terrific architectural firm (they were one of the lead designers of Santana Row in San Jose) so I fully trust that they will get all of the details right. If done poorly or too cheaply, those details can completely ruin a project.

    Comment by Dya — December 14, 2015 @ 12:04 pm

  8. I just don’t understand now that we are building so many new projects not one of them incorporates Solar or any other Green Technology. It is like we have our heads buried in the sand as to the Environmental Challenges we will face in the future.

    Comment by frank m — December 14, 2015 @ 12:20 pm

  9. Hmm…not one of them incorporates any Green Technology? I seem to remember not too long ago there was a project that was going to be primarily constructed from reclaimed/recycled (i.e., GREEN TECH) materials. Does anyone else remember (something about “shipping containers”?)?

    However, our elected “Arbiters of Taste” (oops I mean City Council), and the “League of Multi-Generational & More-Legitimate-Than-Thou Alamedans” thought it didn’t look enough like a Thomas Kinkade Painting, so they spiked it.

    Does anyone but me remember this?

    Comment by brock — December 14, 2015 @ 1:23 pm

  10. #8 – From the staff report on the project:

    “Green Building Technologies: To address sustainable design, Building 11 includes:
    – Materials and sourcing responsive to current green building standards;
    – Solar panels for photovoltaic energy and solar hot water;
    – High performance energy conserving systems…mechanical and electrical systems, energy efficient window and roofing systems and water conserving plumbing fixtures;
    – Drought tolerant landscaping with smart controllers to reduce water consumption; and
    – on site storm water collection, retention, and filtration

    Come on out to the Planning Board meeting tonight. Find out more and ask good questions.

    Comment by david burton — December 14, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

  11. #9 I realize that you only deal in sarcasm but there is quite a difference in reuse of Shipping Containers and designing projects that actually will do something to alleviate Climate Change. Containers can be easily crushed and made into a Prius. We have commercials Projects like VF Outdoors that is true Green Technology. There is no reason what-so-ever that more could be done here.

    Comment by frank m — December 14, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

  12. Frank – I may be guilty of too-frequently indulging in sarcasm. It’s a bad habit.

    You might want to self-examine your own rhetorical tic of resorting to absolutes. “…you ONLY deal in sarcasm…” “…NOT ONE of them incorporates…”

    It sounds like you just “concern trolling” about the projects not being “green” enough, because it supports a view that Alameda development is being done incorrectly.

    As #10 shows, this project (Alameda Point) has multiple “green” aspects, and indeed the first thing on the list could also be used to describe reuse of shipping containers at the Park Esquina project.

    “Green Building Technologies: To address sustainable design, Building 11 includes:
    – Materials and sourcing…”

    Comment by brock — December 14, 2015 @ 2:24 pm

  13. #9 = Have you ever seen a Thomas Kinkade painting? There are no Victorians or bungalows in them. Outside of Stonehenge, there is really no architecture in Alameda that resembles what is found in a Kinkade painting. The only Kinkadesque community in existence was built in Vallejo:

    Comment by vigi — December 14, 2015 @ 2:51 pm

  14. Great, more absolutism.

    “…there is really no architecture in Alameda that resembles what is found in a Kinkade painting…”

    Thompson Ave?

    This one is literally called “Victorian Autumn”

    Comment by brock — December 14, 2015 @ 3:02 pm

  15. Brock, its fairly obvious that you were not born and raised in Alameda in the fifties. If you were you would know to always be negative the minute a new project is announced, (its an old Alamedan trait) As for post 14, now your just being a smart ass, and contradicting vigi who has never been wrong yet. You keep arguing with these folks and you will be asked to leave the Island. John P. the very old sarcastic guy.

    Comment by John P. — December 14, 2015 @ 3:56 pm

  16. John, now you are being sarcastic…when has vigi ever been right? She/he is entitled to her/his opinion, but believe I have never once agreed with it.

    Comment by joelsf — December 14, 2015 @ 4:06 pm

  17. They could build the damn building out of Rhinoceros horns(okay, maybe not) and it would still be much greener than almost any other building in Alameda.

    Simply by putting lots of people in a small space w/ good pedestrian, bike and transit options, w/ unbundled parking, it is a billions times greener than the 5000 sq. ft. mansion in upper Rockridge that achieved some high LEED standard, for example.

    Comment by BMac — December 14, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

  18. #15 I NEVER criticized the Project. I am just disappointed that in all the multiple Projects we are building we are not incorporating Green Building methods. You and I are both pretty old and will be gone before the water reaches our doorsteps but it is coming. The first step is to have a discussion. What disappoints me the most is that no one is discussing it.

    Comment by frank m — December 14, 2015 @ 5:12 pm

  19. John P. – I will buy you a crappy free coffee at the next “Sarcastaholics Anonymous” meeting.

    Comment by brock — December 14, 2015 @ 5:15 pm

  20. Reading #10 I think this is great. Thank you. Hopefully this will be expanded to other Projects also.

    Comment by frank m — December 14, 2015 @ 5:16 pm

  21. Actually the hangers are probably the least energy efficient buildings in Alameda. I work in one in the Air Force and they are cold in the winter and hot in the summer…the lights are terrible, they usually are not insulated, the windows are all single pane. It works for Bladium, but I would probably guess 1/2 their operating costs is utilities. Basically they are just a huge shell which keeps out the wind and rain…and maybe the rats. To make them LEED would be virtually impossible and cost millions.

    Comment by joelsf — December 14, 2015 @ 5:42 pm

  22. Brock, I’m bringing the whiskey for our coffee.

    Comment by John P. — December 14, 2015 @ 5:53 pm

  23. I like it. I have a friend in Miami who spends all her spare time working to save the deco buildings. They are knocking them down to build McMansions. I agree the design fit in with the Naval Air Station deco elements.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — December 14, 2015 @ 5:54 pm

  24. Look closely and you can see Dexter

    Comment by MP — December 14, 2015 @ 8:02 pm

  25. #20 – update – all construction at Alameda Point is supposed to meet a LEED Gold standard.

    Comment by David Burton — December 14, 2015 @ 11:54 pm

  26. I love the way one comment from me increases the traffic at this blog. What would you guys do without me?

    Comment by vigi — December 15, 2015 @ 9:31 am

  27. You nailed it vigi, you are our Donald Trump. Congrats.

    Comment by BMac — December 15, 2015 @ 1:35 pm

  28. Here is a link to a really cool Streamline Moderne building that it resembles:,_PR_05.jpg

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — December 16, 2015 @ 3:51 pm

  29. Kevis,

    It reminds me of the Portside Condos on Bryant and the Embarcadero in SF although they are a little more upscale. I looked at them when they were new. They were expensive then so I bet they are quite a lot more now.

    Comment by joelsf — December 16, 2015 @ 4:29 pm

  30. Joel, thanks, it does look some like the Portside Condos.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — December 16, 2015 @ 11:37 pm

  31. @25: David, how close to 100% sustainable and 100% self-sustained (re: energy generation water use/conservation) are Gold Standard LEED buildings? I think we need to up the ante in our requirements so new buildings are essentially self supporting for their HVAC and energy needs…)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — December 18, 2015 @ 12:32 pm

  32. A little off topic but “Google eyes Alameda expansion, as City Council vote approaches.” Lets see if the Mayor and City Council can not screw this one up.

    Comment by Jake — December 31, 2015 @ 3:09 pm

  33. Google is a good fit for Alameda. Tons of Cal grads work for Google and both our Mayor and upcoming City Manager are both Cal grads.

    Comment by jack — December 31, 2015 @ 5:19 pm

  34. That was Marie Gilmore’s problem. She went to Stanfurd.

    Comment by vigi — January 2, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

  35. Going to Stanford is not considered a problem by most sane people.

    Comment by John P. — January 3, 2016 @ 8:09 pm

  36. Going to Stanford is not considered a problem by most sane people.

    Considering that Google was founded by two Stanford grads (at Stanford) and is now helmed by a Stanford (not a Cal) grad. Going to Stanford is definitely not a problem when it comes to anything Google related.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 4, 2016 @ 6:17 am

  37. It might be if your going to try running a city with a Cal grad mayor and three out of the four other council members are Cal (one a Cal Davis) grads.

    Comment by jack — January 4, 2016 @ 9:50 am

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