Multifamily plans for Lennar in Oakland, Calif.

San Francisco Business Times staffer Roland Li reports that Lennar Multifamily Communities plans to break ground on Oakland's tallest residential tower and is also pursuing another project nearby, for a total pipeline of nearly 500 units.

The projects serve as witness to two phenomena: One, is that Lennar's embrace of for-rent business, flanking its top-three position as a single-family for-sale home builder, is clearly strategic and clocking in for the long haul. The other is that Oakland is truly transforming into a residential power player, fueled by mostly by multifamily development mojo, even as both rents and home prices continue to spiral up. Li writes:

The two developments are another sign of Oakland's newfound appeal to national companies as rents surge, but only a handful of new housing projects have started construction in the past three years, and the city hasn't seen highrise construction for eight years.

Lennar is aiming to change that.

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