Planning Considers Housing Types


At next Monday’s meeting, the Planning Board is set to adopt a resolution that will put its stamp of approval on a project known as “Rebuilding the Existing Supportive Housing at Alameda Point (RESHAP.)” In addition the board will host a workshop that will consider co-living, co-working units proposed for the property at Mariner Square Drive at Marina Village Parkway.

Alameda Point Collaborative (APC), Building Futures with Women and Children (BFWC) and Operation Dignity (OD) currently lease 34 acres of land at Alameda Point. They use existing (and aging) structures from the former Alameda Naval Air Station to provide affordable housing and support for some 500 formerly homeless people. These services included job skills training, mental-health counseling and meals — all aimed at breaking the cycle of homelessness.  

RESHAP aims to replace these aging structures with new housing on a new site. Each of the three organizations — APC, BFWC and OD — plan to build three-story apartment buildings at the new site — 10.4 acres of land bounded by West Midway Avenue on the north, Orion Street on the West and Main Street on the East. Parking for buildings on West Tower Avenue forms the property’s southern boundary. All together, the three apartment buildings would have 202 units. 

A mixed-use building and a two-story townhome would bring the count to 277 units of new housing for the formerly homeless. The complex would also include a farm, a plaza, a two-story barn to serve as a community center, a play area and buildings to house supportive services. 

“The project will continue to allow the city to meet its obligations as the Local Reuse Authority to provide housing for formerly homeless households as defined by the Legally Binding Agreements in connection with the closure of the Alameda Naval Air Station,” Jennifer Ott, base reuse director, said in a report submitted to the City Council in May.

RESHAP will return to the City Council for final approval before construction can begin. 

The Planning Board will also listen to a proposal from Todd Jersey Architecture, Inc. and Open Door Development. They propose to build four 15,000-square-foot, three-story mixed-use buildings on currently vacant property at Mariner Square Drive and Marina Village Parkway. The project site contains approximately 1.4 acres and lies just north of the entrance to the Webster Tube, which partly runs below the site.

If the Planning Board and City Council approve the project, the buildings would contain 20,000 square feet for collaborative light manufacturing, called co-working, on the street level. Two upstairs levels would contain 40,000 square feet for collaborative residential living, called co-living.

“The purpose of the project is to create a diverse community of people (and businesses) living and working together in ways which support almost limitless creative expression while generating high levels of community resilience and general well-being,” Todd Jersey and Open Door stated in their proposal. 

The project would include 1,000-square-foot roof gardens on each of the four buildings complemented by a large vegetable garden and greenhouses.

The Planning Board must weigh rezoning the site to make this project possible. The property is currently zoned for manufacturing only. In order to allow the project to move forward, the city must allow for residential uses. 

Todd Jersey and Open Door point out the unlikelihood of the property ever being developed solely for manufacturing. “The combination of uses we propose are allowable under the commercial-manufacturing zoning,” they said. Rezoning from manufacturing to commercial-manufacturing could allow upstairs residential uses to co-exist with ground-floor commercial uses.

The upstairs co-living units — “pods,” as Todd Jersey and Open Door refer to them — have 12 private bedrooms, each with a private bath. These 12 bedrooms share a spacious great room space with a commercial-quality kitchen and laundry room.

The Planning Board meets at 7 p.m., next Monday, in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.