1721 Webster Heads to the Planning Commission

The Planning Commission will hear plans at its Wednesday, May 17, meeting for a proposed 25-story mixed-use tower at 1721 Webster St., and could give the go-ahead for its construction. 

The new tower, which will rise to 270 feet, will replace an existing two-story parking garage. It will hold 250 residential dwelling units, 5,000 square feet of office space, and 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail. The residential units will be located on floors six through 24, while the first five stories will hold the retail and office space, as well as a parking garage that extends into the building’s basement.  The 25th floor will be an amenity floor with access to a roof terrace.

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(Courtesy of Holland Partner Group and the Oakland Planning Commission)

“In general, staff feels that the applicant has designed a very attractive downtown high-rise by breaking down the mass of the tower into two forms with the L shape to the building, and has provided an interesting glazing pattern that gives a ‘basket weave’ appearance to the building with the alternating recess in the exterior glazing,” according to the Planning Commission staff report.

Planning Commission staff do recommend that the project’s applicant, Holland Partner Group, add public art to the parking garage’s main entrance and its upper level façade. A portion of the parking garage will be open to the public, so the staff wants to see those areas become more attractive. 

The staff also recommends that the building’s developer rethink its yellow exterior vertical accent panels as they may distract from the rest of the building’s glazing and make it “look dated quite quickly and possibly take away from a more timeless design of the tower,” according to the staff report.

Holland Partner Group, which is based on Vancouver, WA, is no stranger to Oakland. In addition to the 1721 Webster project, the developer also plans to build a 437-unit residential tower at 277 27th St. as well as a 262-unit residential tower at 226 13th St. Holland bought the 226 13th St. property from competing developer Wood Partners after community groups and labor unions challenged the project in an effort to gain more community benefits, which Wood found too taxing.

The Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. The 1721 Webster St. tower is currently listed as Item 9 on the Planning Commission’s agenda.