FH One to remake historic PG&E building in Oakland into apartments

94-unit complex would replace a parking lot for century-old headquarters office

FH One wants to replace a parking lot of a former headquarters for PG&E in Downtown Oakland with an eight-story apartment building.

DM Development, based in San Francisco, filed plans on behalf of the Sausalito investor to build a 94-unit apartment building at 585 17th Street, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

An affiliate of FH One bought the century-old PG&E building at 1625 Clay Street and its narrow parking lot on 17th Street in 2021 for $14 million.

Transforming the parking lot has been part of the company’s long-term plan for the property, FH One President Daria Hosseinyoun told the Business Times.

Plans call for an eight-story building with 94 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments above 4,200 square feet of ground-floor shops on a quarter-acre at 17th and Jefferson streets.

Hosseinyoun said the firm will not replace the parking, as it aims to create a transit-oriented development less reliant on cars. Parking will be included for five bicycles, according to SFYimby, which first reported on the project.

It’s not clear if the complex would include any affordable units.

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The putty and gray project, designed by San Francisco-based BDE Architecture, would include banks of floor-to-ceiling windows topped by a rooftop deck, according to renderings.

The site is close to San Pablo Avenue and a five-minute walk to Downtown Oakland’s 12th Street and 19th Street BART Stations.

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The PG&E building, built in 1922, was designed by Charles Dickey, the architect behind the Claremont Hotel and the Oakland Rotunda. It served as home to PG&E until 1975.

After buying the property three years ago, FH One affiliate Lincoln Village Offices renovated the lobby and offered highly discounted rent to tenants — raising its occupancy from 45 percent to 90 percent in four months, according to the Business Times.

Office vacancy in Oakland’s central business district, which includes the Uptown, Downtown and Lake Merritt markets, rose to 30.2 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 29.7 percent in the prior period, according to CBRE. Office availability, which measures vacant and marketed space, increased to 33.9 percent, from 33.4 percent.

— Dana Bartholomew