By PeterSnar---A new development, with 5,000 square feet of retail space and 250 apartment units, is in plans to hit the Oakland skyline in the near future. The 25-story building, which will go up at 1721 Webster St., is in development by Holland Partner Group.
Holland, based in Washington, is a development company whose main focus is building mixed-use developments in urban areas. It’s currently building six projects, mostly in Southern California, and has a portfolio of complexes throughout Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
In addition to the project on Webster Street, Holland is developing 27th Street with a 19-story building that will contain 448 residential units and 66,500 square feet of retail space. Neither development will contain affordable housing units, at a time when residents are desperately calling for such living space. A recent poll conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, and paid for by East Bay Residents for Responsible Development, found that 87 percent of Oakland voters thought that the lack of affordable housing in the city was an “extremely” or “very serious” problem.
In the same survey, Oakland residents became less supportive of a project once they learned that the developers were not using local workers. Support for the Oak Knoll development dropped from 72 percent to 38 percent after voters learned that it would not be built by union labor. Though Holland has met with Oakland Union representatives about employing a local construction workforce, no agreement to do so was reached.
Holland has had some prior difficulties with organized labor. In 2013, the company was in a dispute with Carpenters Local 2019, a union which represents concrete workers in Southern California. The union boycotted Holland’s hiring of California Structural Concepts and Southwest Concrete Construction as subcontractors, which Local 2019 has had a longstanding ban against due to the union’s belief that the contractors pay substandard wages.
Despite its difficulties meeting community needs, on its website, Holland prides itself for “responding to projects that capture the unique spirit of their locations and evaluate the everyday experiences of residents, guests, and the surrounding community at large.”
Holland Partner Group did not return requests for comment before deadline.