On Tuesday, March 21, ULI San Francisco braved the rains to check in on what has been developing in West Oakland. The event featured a discussion and tour of City Ventures’ Station House with their Development Manager, Jason Bernstein. The event was organized by the East Bay Programs Committee.
Station House is the latest addition to the West Oakland neighborhood and the first for sale development to be delivered during this cycle. The project is part of the Central Station development, initially envisioned by Holliday Development in 2000. The Central Station development also includes 163 for-sale homes at Pacific Cannery Lofts, built by Holliday Development in 2008, Pulte’s 130-unit Zephyr Gate and Ironhorse, a 99 unit affordable housing development built by Bridge Housing.
The event started with an overview of the project by Jason Bernstein in which he discussed the history of the project, the entitlements, construction challenges and the status of sales. The project includes 171 townhomes and flats at a density of roughly 29 units per acre. City Ventures worked with Baran Studios to organically integrate their homes into the fabric of the neighborhood using massing, design variation and a mix of materials. Prescott, a new street being built through the project, and three separate open spaces tucked between buildings help to break up the 6 acre site.
The homes include a mix of one, two and three bedrooms that range in size from 1240sf to 2079sf. Numerous sustainable features were incorporated into the design, including solar panels for each home. The homes were designed with a thoughtful selection of materials, finishes and programs that balance value with a strong aesthetic feel. The result: a high quality product at the right price point for the market.
The project has been in the works since 2012. Unlike many new developments, City Ventures was fortunate to move through the entitlement process relatively smoothly. Jason attributed this to having the support of the community, which came through numerous community meetings. City Ventures broke ground on the project in 2015. Despite a rainy winter, construction has been progressing smoothly. The sales office opened in October 2015 and new owners have already started to move in. City Ventures plans to complete the remaining homes by early 2018.
According to Jason, sales of the condominiums have exceeded expectations. Sales have gained momentum steadily since the initial delivery in December, with a majority of the homes already sold. Demand for the new homes has been strong due to very little new supply in the market. Jason and the sales team have been pleased with the diversity of buyers that have chosen to purchase at Station House. According to Bernstein, “People from all backgrounds and walks of life have expressed interest in owning a home in West Oakland.” New owners have been drawn to Station House by the great value opportunity and are excited to join the quickly growing neighborhood.
The discussion was followed by a tour of the model homes and some of the recently completed common amenity spaces. The group toured several spacious two bedroom townhomes with modern interior finishes. The model homes were thoughtfully staged by CDC Designs. The project will feature amenities such as bocce ball court, outdoor dining/work spaces, private garages, sun decks and a Ping Pong table. The outdoor spaces were designed by Einwiller Kuehl. Although several areas were still under construction, the tour provided a sense of many more good things to come.
By Andy Beck, AvalonBay Communities