downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Shrink-wrap update

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.


1 rene { 10.25.07 at 2:57 am }

Does anyone have any detail about Citywalk?

2 dto510 { 10.26.07 at 8:38 pm }

You can find a more thorough discussion at A Better Oakland.

3 LakesideLucy { 10.29.07 at 6:21 am }

UPDATE: the older shrink wrap blew down off of “Jackson Courtyard,” or what some call “Trojan Tower” 14th and Jackson. A few days after your post, and as of this writing, it had been freshly re-wrapped until… ?

4 dto510 { 10.29.07 at 7:02 pm }

Oh, yeah, I saw that the wrap was back. Those guys must have lost their shirts!

5 LakesideLucy { 10.29.07 at 9:29 pm }

ON “TROJAN TOWER”/”JACKSON AIRSHAFT” …The former owner, Curtis Eisenberger and his Mariposa Management apparently allowed pounds and pounds of trash to accumulate, in addition to gooky used condoms and hypodermic needles, underneath the semi-concealed area between the building and shrink-wrap. A string of lights underneath the shrink wrapped scaffolding was on for a while but is now out, in violation of building codes….graffittos galore. Blight complaints have been filed with CEDA, which apparently prompted them to re-wrap the building. Now some Menlo Park Investment Bankers, Garlock and Company, have assumed the note. We shall see if the “Jackson Courtyard,” which broke ground in August 2003, 4 plus years in the making, persists as the greatest eyesore on Jackson Street, in an otherwise charming downtown Oakland neighborhood.

6 Chris K. { 01.25.08 at 10:47 pm }

Hey folks,

I’ve kicked off yet another blog about the stalled, partially finished “Trojan Tower”

Also, if you’re fed up with staring at this half-finished building shrink wrapped in white plastic, please call and email as many of the city officials listed below as possible. Tell them that this eyesore (1401 Jackson — “Jackson Courtyard Condominiums”) is an embarrassing piece of blight in our neighborhood. Construction began in 2003 and now it needs to be finished or torn down!

These are the city officials to contact if you want to express your displeasure about the “Trojan Tower”:

Ray Derania
City of Oakland Chief of Building Services

Scott Miller
City of Oakland Zoning Manager

Heather Klein
City of Oakland Project Planner for this Project

Nancy Nadel
City of Oakland Councilmember for District 3

Carletta Starks
Community Liaison for Councilmember Nancy Nadel

When you call or email the city officials listed below, you should inform them that the building is in violation of the following Oakland Municipal Code Sections:

1) Oakland Municipal Code Section (Blighted Properties):
“Any partially constructed, reconstructed or demolished building or structure upon which work is abandoned. Work is deemed abandoned when there is no valid and current building or demolition permit or when there has not been any substantial work on the project for six months.” (NOTE: CONSTRUCTION STOPPED ON THIS PROJECT MUCH LONGER THAN 6 MONTHS AGO.)

2) Oakland Municipal Code Section (Blighted Properties):
“Buildings or structures with broken or missing windows or doors which constitute a hazardous condition or a potential attraction to trespassers…” (NOTE: MANY OF THE WINDOWS BEHIND THE WHITE PLASTIC ARE BROKEN OR MISSING.)

3) Oakland Municipal Code Section (Blighted Properties):
“Property which substantially detracts from the aesthetic and economic values of neighboring properties…”