This sleek, mid-rise building of 264 rental units is a welcome new neighbor in the heart of Oakland, Calif.’s city employment center, sitting on a 1.5-acre lot that was vacant for over 10 years.
Aiming for the under-30 crowd, the developer wanted a clean, airy, sophisticated look, similar to an Apple store. Large bay windows add dimension to the façade and reference older homes in the surrounding historic district. As in most urban settings, visibility is key. “We have lots of transparency and eyes on the street,” says Ernesto Vasquez, a principal at MVE & Partners. The garage is surrounded at grade by live/work lofts and 2,400 square feet of retail space, and private courtyards can be accessed with key cards.
The location is attracting young urbanites—it’s within walking distance of a BART station—as are the amenities. A hip art gallery, outdoor dining terraces, and a bike maintenance shop all work to keep the interest of its young buyers.