On July 19, 2017, KTGY Architecture + Planning and the San Francisco Bay Area office of Trammell Crow Residential celebrated the groundbreaking of their upcoming Alexan Webster multifamily community. The $135 million, mixed-use property will replace a 1.42-acre parking lot in Oakland, Calif.’s, Lake Merritt neighborhood. When complete in mid-2019, Alexan Webster will feature 234 luxury units, 15,000 square feet of street-front retail space, a parking garage with 242 public city stalls, and 5,000 square feet of indoor amenity and leasing space.
The redevelopment represents the culmination of a four-year public–private partnership between Trammell Crow and the city of Oakland. “This development takes an under-used piece of property and creatively redevelops it providing essential housing, retail, and art elements that benefit Oakland without displacing anyone living or working in the area,” says Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.
“The Alexan fills a void in the city's urban fabric by creating an active project frontage on both Valdez Street and Webster Street. The project wraps around an existing auto body shop and the former Hawker Fare restaurant at the corner of 23rd and Webster,” says Jessica Musick, associate principal in KTGY’s Oakland office. “The existing structures create an opportunity for unique architectural language along each street frontage."
The Alexan’s resident amenities will include a lap pool and a rooftop deck and lounge, which will feature a sculpture installation from artist Tom Fruin. The sculpture can be illuminated at night and will be visible throughout the neighborhood. “It's a stained-glass element that's fitting with the architecture of the building and contributes to the ambience of the rooftop lounge and greater neighborhood,” Musick adds.
The amenity spaces will also offer a community center, concierge, business center, fitness center, pet spa, outdoor kitchen, and bicycle repair center and storage.
The residential units will range from 610 to 1,160 square feet in a mix of studios and one- and two-bedrooms. Each unit comes with a full-sized, in-suite washer and dryer, picture windows, and high-end fixtures and finishes. Units on the penthouse level feature higher ceilings, among other upgrades.
Nearby attractions include Lake Merritt, the Uptown Oakland area, the Cathedral of Oakland, and the 19th BART station. “This location is a walker’s paradise, reducing the need for a car,” says Bruce Dorfman, senior managing director of the Northern California division of Trammell Crow Residential.
Dorfman notes that Walkscore.com gives the Alexan Webster site a Walk Score of 98 out of 100. “In addition to the outstanding location, we're positioning the Alexan Webster to provide residents with better amenities and nicer finishes than what is currently being built today,” Dorfman adds. “Plus, the Alexan Webster will feature inclusionary housing to help ease the high demand for affordable housing.”
As part of an agreement with the city of Oakland, 15% of the Alexan Webster units are designated affordable to households earning up to 50%, 80%, and 120% of the area’s median income. “I'm pleased that the developer has made a commitment to provide a mix of market-rate and affordable housing that allows us to maintain economic diversity in Oakland—these are the types of developments we want and need,” says Lynette Gibson McElhaney, a member of the Oakland City Council representing District 3.