downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — office

Uptown, downtown, new town?

September 23, 2007

Sources report the owners of San Jose’s Blank Club have purchased The Uptown, a 249-capacity music venue on Telegraph that has been struggling mostly due to inept management (sorry, guys!). Across the street, Forest City’s mammoth Uptown rental development has debuted its web site, with the first phase, along San Pablo, scheduled to open early next year.

Further uptown, the Conley Consulting Group has studied the potential of Auto Row based on the assumption that most, if not all, of the car dealers will be moving to the Army Base or other locations in the near future. Their report (PDF) will be heard next week by a City Council committee. Highlights include demographic analysis, comparison to other successful mixed-use retail developments, and a very specific plan calling for major retail (with residential above) along Broadway, Webster, Valdez and 27th streets. They also note that interest in their survey and public meetings vastly exceeded expectations. The report also highlights the city’s unfortunate habit of printing out and rescanning documents as PDFs, which not only wastes time but also makes most graphics unreadable.

Finally, the Shorenstein Company’s penultimate City Center office high-rise is moving toward construction, with a Design Review meeting Wednesday. The building, on the block which was home to the Art & Soul Festival’s Main Stage (11th, 12th, MLK and Jefferson), will be larger and taller than 555 12th Street. The report detailing the design is not available as of this writing, but they’ve indicated that it will look similar to 555 and the APL building (IMHO, not a good thing).

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New look for 1333 Broadway?

August 6, 2007

1333 Broadway

The 1333 Broadway building (whose retail tenants include CitiBank and Gap) is undergoing a makeover. The 238,000sf office high-rise, originally built to match the Clorox building in 1972, was acquired by Prentiss Properties (now Brandywine Realty Trust) in 2005 after a heated bidding war. Brandywine owns much of the office stock in the Lake Merritt high-rise district, including Oakland’s tallest building, the Ordway (404ft). They are stripping the dull beige tiles from 1333′s monotonous ten-story facade, revealing shining silver concrete. The Brutalist in me wants them to keep it stripped, but a source who works in the building says that’s not to be. He received a letter from Brandywine that the facade will be “retextured,” possibly removing the beveled detailing shared with the formally dissimilar Clorox Building, and recolored either pink, green, or blue.

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