Even though I was really skeptical about the whole Site A idea because of the stalled Alameda Point projects that had come before this one, the developer is really moving along quite nicely on submitting designs for projects. And while the developer launched with a market rate rental housing project for the Block 11 site, the next project submitted was a low income and senior housing project. Not typically what would come next.
Now we have a design for a commercial urban park on Block 10 which, while bearing the “commercial” title will be largely a community benefit more than a profit center for the developer. The project will include some level of adaptive reuse which will be not cheap and supposedly will be of the artisan hipster business variety. I mean, it can make money but not as quickly as say a familiar chain store. Essentially this is the developer attempting to create a there, there.
From the staff report:
Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse: Block 10 includes four relatively small buildings that will be used for retail purposes. Three of the four buildings are existing former Navy buildings that will be rehabilitated and adaptively reused for retail uses. Within the public park areas, the existing rails from the prior use of the land by rail cars, and other materials that remain from the prior use of the land by the U.S. Navy, will be retained and reused in the design of the district.
New Construction: The one new retail building with its open glass façade and winged roof design facing Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway and Waterfront Park across the street is designed to create a strong visual connection between the Waterfront Park, its commercial pavilion with its winged roof design, and the interconnecting open spaces that are integral to the Site A Development Plan open space objectives. The new building is positioned to create a continuous street-facing retail frontage between Block 11, Block 10, and Block 9.
Open Space: The plan includes construction of approximately three acres of public open space within the approximately four acre block. The space is designed to support and compliment the retail uses and the configuration of the existing buildings and reflect the consumer desire for an authentic place to congregate, connect and engage. Shopping areas today are redefining themselves from strictly retail stops to “activity centers” woven into the social fabric of communities. Therefore the designed provides for window shopping, strolling, cafes, and casual, informal and safe spaces for adults and children. Additionally the district is designed to accommodate more intimate events sponsored by Alameda Point merchants and others. Lastly, as shown in the site plans, the orientation of the open spaces within Block 10 are also design to provide convenient and easy pedestrian access and visual access to the major waterfront park to the southwest and the long neighborhood park to the north east of Block 10.
Retail Uses. The four buildings on the Block are planned and designed to support a variety of related individual retailers. The names shown on the plans reflect the initial merchandise plan created by Madison Marquette. The new front building has been imagined “The Distillery Building” and is designed to house retailers that specialize in beverage manufacture and sale, such as winemakers, coffee roasters, and/or spirits. Its design is purposely flexible yet very distinctive so that it can accommodate a variety of users Building 98, closest to Block 11, is called the “West Seaplane Shops” and is designed to appeal to a wide range of retailers, perhaps a small grocery store (less than 5,000 square feet), bicycle shop, or other similar neighborhood retailers. Building 67 “Bauhaus of Foods and Garden” at the rear of the Block is designed to house other food and beverage businesses and/or garden and home decorating or improvement businesses. Building 112 adjacent to Block 9 is the “Market Hall” building, which is designed for antique stores, home décor, and other similar uses.
And, the renderings:
If this ends up being a success and the developer gets the businesses into the buildings listed for illustrative purposes there is the opportunity to have a really dynamic gathering space on the West End.