Century-old teardown to make way for 20 apartments in Oakland

Revised Cleveland Heights project will feature less “evocative” design

Rendering of 459 Wayne Avenue in Oakland (Larson Shores Architects, Getty)
Rendering of 459 Wayne Avenue in Oakland (Larson Shores Architects, Getty)

The owner of a century-old Oakland apartment building will tear it down and build a 20-unit complex near Lake Merritt.

Waingro, a company based in San Rafael led by Kamal Taylor, was approved to build the five-story apartment building at 459 Wayne Avenue in Cleveland Heights, SFYimby reported. 

The 16,930-square-foot development, located a block from Lakeshore Avenue, would require demolishing a four-unit complex built in 1920, according to city records. A construction timeline was not disclosed.

Revised plans call for a five-story building containing 20 apartments, with parking for eight cars and six bicycles. It received a 31-percent density bonus in exchange for four units of affordable housing for low-income and very-low-income households.

Density bonus waivers also include parking reduction, setback requirements and less open space.

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The project, designed by Oakland-based Larson Shores Architects, was originally drawn up as a 17-unit building clad in vertical louvers that conformed with the curving street.

But the gleaming white building got a thumbs down from city planners. “Our original design was much more evocative but was rejected by the Oakland staff,” Joshua Larson, principal of the design firm, told Yimby.

The new design features three fewer apartments and a color switch from white to gray, with white trim and brown accents, according to renderings, with few slats. Todd Gilens is the landscape designer, with civil engineering by Lea & Braze Engineering.

— Dana Bartholomew

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