From left to right: Margaret McFarland, Commonwealth; Shani Ryan, Chase Bank; Sylvester Grigsby, Community Advocate; Director Robert Raburn; Councilmember Larry Reid; Michael Johnson, Urban Core; Mayor Libby Schaaf; Clint Bolden, Oakland Economic Development Corp.
By Robert Raburn
The BART Board adopted a bold policy in June 2016 to encourage Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) on lands owned by BART.
Creating mixed use, commercial or housing developments at BART represents a smart strategy that improves the region’s quality of life, economy, and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Living and working near BART represents access to opportunity.
The Bay Area’s imbalance between burgeoning job growth and stagnant housing supply has resulted in skyrocketing housing costs and the displacement of workers who cannot afford to live near the job centers.
Throughout the region, BART envisions long-term leases yielding 20,000 much-needed housing units by 2040. Of particular significance, all income levels will be accommodated.
The policy sets a goal that 35% of the overall projected units (7,000) will be affordable. At any particular site, a minimum of 20% of the units will be affordable.
Construction is well underway at MacArthur Transit Village. A total of 875 housing units and over 30,000 square feet of commercial retail space is planned.
In early 2016 tenants began to occupy “Mural,” the 90 units of affordable housing built by BRIDGE Housing. Currently underway is a mixed-use development with another 383 units being built by Hines.
In early 2018, Boston Properties will break ground on a 24-story tower that will add another 402 units. To complete the makeover, the station plaza will be rebuilt and include a secure 200-space bike station and lighting designs adopted by the Temescal-Telegraph Improvement District.
Fruitvale Village is the site of the iconic mixed-use TOD opened in 2004 that includes 47 housing units. A Phase IIA agreement with BRIDGE Housing, the City of Oakland, and East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation will deliver 94 housing units (92 affordable) to be called Casa Arabella in honor of the founder of the Unity Council.
We welcome the inclusion of 20 units for homeless veterans that will offer supportive services.
“Coliseum Connections” represents a 110-unit joint venture by Oakland Economic Development Corporation and UrbanCore, another local group. The groundbreaking was on Oct. 6. The development will include a 5-story building and 2-story town-homes. One half of the units will be affordable.
For more information, visit www.bart.gov
Robert Raburn is a member of the BART Board of Directors.