JV plans Oakland project with upwards of 600 affordable homes

Project’s unit count is higher than the number of affordable homes pitched for Oakland in all of 2020

From left: Ann Silverberg of Related California; Ener Chiu of the East Bay Asian Land Development Corp. (Related California, EBALDC, Google Maps, iStock)
From left: Ann Silverberg of Related California; Ener Chiu of the East Bay Asian Land Development Corp. (Related California, EBALDC, Google Maps, iStock)

A pair of developers are working on a project in downtown Oakland with more affordable homes than were proposed in the East Bay city in all of 2020.

A venture of Related California and the East Bay Asian Land Development Corp. aims to redevelop two separate parcels that face each other along Broadway between Fourth and Fifth streets, where the Jack London neighborhood meets the city’s Chinatown and its Old Oakland district. While the development’s total unit count hasn’t been finalized yet, the pair expects it could very well reach or even exceed 600, Related’s Ann Silverberg told the San Francisco Business Times.

Most of those homes would be affordable to those making up to 80 percent of the local median income, or $76,750.

To put the project at 401 and 430 Broadway into perspective, Oakland approved a total of 544 very-low, low- and moderate-income homes in 2020, the city’s most recent housing production data show. Between 2018-2020, developers built almost 5,000 new apartments in the city’s downtown area alone, but less than 4 percent of them were below market rate, Ener Chiu of the Development Corp. told the Business Times.

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“It’s such an incredible location, but also an incredible opportunity to provide affordable housing in Oakland,” Silverberg, who manages Related’s more-than-$2-billion affordable portfolio in Northern California and Oregon, told the publication.

The pair filed early plans to redevelop the 430 Broadway property on Jan. 6 but have not submitted a pre-application for the other parcel. Its 430 Broadway proposal shows 272 units over three buildings, which Related and the Development Corp. would build in three phases, according to the Business Times and San Francisco YIMBY. Those buildings would also include almost 10,000 square feet for shops and restaurants. Its developer team plans to engage with the community in the coming months to understand what retail uses it’d like to see there, the Business Times said. David Baker Architects and Y.A. Studio are the project’s architects.

The site of the planned development is now home to government buildings that would be demolished under the venture’s plans. The buildings’ owner, Alameda County, sent out a request for proposals in 2020 to redevelop the pair of Broadway parcels. The county wanted to see a project with lots of affordable homes that could be built quickly. It chose Related and the Development Corp. in the fall of 2021, and since then, the pair have entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with the county over a long-term ground lease for the two properties, Silverberg told the Business Times.

The developers hope to begin building the project in 2024, assuming the city gives them the go-ahead to do so. They intend to apply for federal, state and potentially local funding to help finance its development, and also plan to use a pair of state Senate bills, SB330 and SB35, to expedite its review process.

[San Francisco Business Times] — Matthew Niksa