Only one major item on the Planning Board’s agenda tonight but it is a big one. First street names, from the staff report:
The selected names complement the names of the other streets at Alameda Point that honor former navy vessels such as: West Hornet Avenue, Lexington Street, and Saratoga Street. The proposed names include:
• Coronado Avenue
• Marilyn York Way
• Firebirds Street
• Buckthorn Street
• Ardent Way
• Corsair Street, and
• Skylark Street
Fairly straightforward, I can’t imagine there will be much issue. I like the Firebird name, not because of any real affinity for the aircraft they’re named after but because the Firebird fairytale happens to be one of my favorites and it evokes memories of that.
Then the plans for the waterfront park which looks really neat:
There’s an option between two guardrails, one is a bit heavier looking in almost all black with bars, the other with stainless steel cables. I like the cable option.
Then there are two options for the canopy over the pier, gangway, and float for the new seaplane lagoon ferry:
You’ll have to envision the bird poop on the awnings yourself since that’s not depicted on the renderings. In fact that should probably be the deciding factor: which color would be better complemented with splotches of bird poop.
And finally the mixed use project: Block 9 which is a “work in progress” per the staff report:
Block 9 will include 182 housing units, 13,145 square feet of ground floor retail space facing West Atlantic Avenue, and 243 on-site parking spaces.
The 182 housing units are designed to provide housing opportunities for a wide range of household types. For example, the building includes units as small as 510 square foot studios and units as large as 1,290 square foot three-bedroom units. The range of unit sizes is a much needed contrast to the types of units that have been constructed in recent years in Alameda and that are under construction at Marina Shores and at Alameda Landing. The Marina Shores and Alameda Landing market-rate units are all, with a few exceptions, much larger units. As a result, the larger units are also priced at a point that makes it more difficult for many Alameda households to afford.
From a design perspective, the proposed architectural design for Block 9 is both interesting and challenging. MBH Architects, describes its challenge as follows:
“One of the challenges in designing Block 9 at Alameda Point is neither to look too far back to the point of being imitative nor to look too far forward so as to feel out of place. This building draws inspiration from local and regional sources ranging from the deep vertical openings on the City Hall West building at the Alameda Naval Air Station to the porte cochere at the Bellevue-Staten Apartments in Oakland. The building elevations and proposed uses transition from vibrant and energetic along West Atlantic to calm and tranquil on G Street.
Another design challenge is breaking down the massing of a 6-story building occupying an entire city block to a more pedestrian scale. This is achieved through the use of modular façade forms, varied parapet lines and wall planes that add visual movement and shadows throughout the day. Together with a limited palette of accent materials and colors, the building provides enough repetition without being static and enough variety to keep the pedestrian interested as they encounter it from different vantage points.”
I like that there will be large and small units available in this development which should allow for a nice variety for folks in various stages of their life, plus it will offer a range of affordability.
Personally I like how this building is looking a lot more than the Miami South Beach one. The last “vignette” with the blue mosaic is particularly compelling.