October 8, 2007
With thousands of homes under construction and nearing completion in downtown Oakland, some people are questioning the timing of the development boom. The city lists almost 2200 units under construction. Will today’s short-term debt crisis cause new developments to fail to meet projections, perhaps souring investors on the DTO forever? A Better Oakland recently discussed a San Francisco Business Times article about a delayed project, the Olson Company’s CityWalk (252 condos with a 2500sf Starbucks). With that large complex perhaps getting shrink-wrapped soon, I thought it might be time for a shrink-wrap update.
When construction projects run into problems or are otherwise delayed, they are wrapped in plastic to keep out the elements. This looks like shrink-wrap. While this measure may be taken at CityWalk, there are two DTO projects whose wrapping has just come off. They are:
Jackson Courtyard, a 45-unit development at 14th and Jackson, experienced rain damage a few years ago as a result of poor construction timing and management. Perhaps under new ownership, construction has restarted. The building is refreshingly modernist, IMHO.
Thomas Berkley Square, an 88-unit condo building on top of a county-leased parking structure, at San Pablo and Thomas Berkley (20th) Street, also had its wrapping removed recently. Construction probably halted and resumed to better match the Forest City apartment project across the street, which opens in January. Certainly those condos will be more desirable when the Uptown area isn’t torn to pieces.
Though one projected has slowed for unknown reasons, others are restarting. Certainly it is premature to forecast a downtown housing glut.