The Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a 25-story mixed-use tower at 1721 Webster St. The approval came after the tower’s developer, Holland Partner Group, agreed to make some changes to the building’s façade.
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.
City Staff as well as the Planning Commission’s Design Review Committee had urged Holland to add public art to the parking garage’s main entrance and its upper level façade to make it more attractive to the public. The developer responded by proposing the use of public art within the interior wall treatment, and included examples of perforated metal screening that could be used as public art on the upper level façade.
The staff also discouraged the originally proposed yellow exterior vertical accent panels as they could have distracted from the rest of the building’s glazing and make it look dated. The developer changed the panels to orange instead, which the staff feels “is a vast improvement over the previous submittal in both quality and the interest in the relationship to the glazing of the tower,” according to the staff report.
(1727 Webster Before Staff Recommendations and After)
(Photos Courtesy of Holland Partner Group and the Oakland Planning Commission)
Taking into account Holland’s changes to the building’s design, the staff feels more confidently that the residential tower “will enhance the City’s skyline and is appropriate for the area.”
Holland Partner Group, which is based in 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.