‘Block 9’ Heads Before Planning

City of Alameda    This view of Block 9 at Alameda Point’s Site A looks south on Orion Street toward today’s West Atlantic Avenue. If all goes as planned, a 200-unit apartment complex with 10,000 square feet of commercial space will occupy the site.

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On Monday, April 9, Alameda Point’s Site A, Block 9 will get a reprise at the Planning Board. The intersection of Orion Street and West Atlantic Avenue approximately defines the block’s southeast corner. 

The board approved the project’s design review last December with the stipulation that Cypress Equity Investment iron out a few details. These included a second look at the project’s front elevation facing West Atlantic Avenue; the interior courtyard; the building’s roof deck and common room; and the landscape plan.  

Cypress informed the city that its design team refined the four areas, “The design team has continued to improve the West Atlantic Elevation to create more visual interest and cohesion in the design,” stated Assistant Community Development Director Andrew Thomas in his report to the Planning Board.

The elevation will include a variety of recesses, balconies and sun shades, which will provide deep shadow lines and visual interest. Among the changes to the plan, Cypress’ team enhanced the elevation with transom windows to take better advantage of the additional ceiling height and cut down on the visual heaviness of the taller parapet above. 

As requested Cypress provided the board with additional drawings illustrating the plan for the interior courtyard. The plan includes columnar trees and bamboo landscape screening to soften the interface of the garage with the internal courtyard. 

The team also provided the board with the requested landscape details and more information about the street-tree plan. The team’s revised plans spell out the types of trees for the four bounding streets: West Atlantic Avenue, Orion Street and well as two yet-to-be defined streets: Ardent Way and Coronado Street. These include black locust, coast live oak and two types of gum trees: lemon-scented and red-flowering. 

The trees “aim to provide character, color and a sense of place along the street frontages,” Thomas stated in his report. 

The Planning Board also asked Cypress to explore increasing the size of the roof deck. The net total floor area of the roof deck and resident lounge is (now) approximately 1,400 square feet, which can accommodate up to 95 occupants at one time. “The plan also includes a large door between the lounge and roof deck to allow occupants to comfortably spill out from the lounge onto the roof deck,” Thomas stated. 

“Taken together, all of these design modifications add up to an improved project that staff is recommending for Planning Board approval,” Thomas stated. 

The Planning Board will consider this new plan at its next meeting scheduled for Monday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.