May 21 2013

Oakland, California’s New Transit-Oriented Development Redefines Space

Oakland continues to bring new development and innovation to its neighborhoods. Next up is the MacArthur Transit Village (MTV), an impressive urban planning initiative to be built in Temescal beside the MacArthur BART station. Much like Fruitvale Village, this transit-oriented-development (TOD) brings some much-needed land use planning to a space currently occupied by a massive parking lot (pictured).

MacArthur Transit Village

Some of the characteristics of the site include:

  • 624 total housing units;
  • 516 market rate units and 108 below market rate units;
  • A 478 sq. ft. parking space garage;
  • 42,500 sq. ft. of commercial and retail space.

The developer, BRIDGE Housing, is known for its affordable housing projects in the Bay Area and the architect, Van Meter Williams Pollack, designs projects that emphasize community. As a result, this in-progress development will create a vibrant mixed-use space and support families that are in the 30% to 50% Area Median Income (AMI) range for a household of four.

This project will help create a more livable community by encouraging the use of transit and bringing residential development closer to office and retail space. MTV has also been selected to be part of the LEED Neighborhood Development Program, which recognizes projects that enhance sustainability and quality of life in communities.

MacArthur Transit Village

Bay Area residents will see Oakland as a more desirable destination to settle down in if these kinds of transformations continue to take place. San Francisco, with its pricey but limited housing supply, is already pushing people into the East Bay. Projects like MTV have the potential to make Oakland a more attractive city and hopefully, better connect it with its neighboring cities, thus strengthening the San Francisco Bay Area metropolitan region.

MTV exemplifies a change in trends. Developers, planners and architects are redefining space by prioritizing connectivity and density over sprawl. The project is planned for completion in 2021 and I cannot wait to see the final product.

What innovative developments are in the pipeline for your city?

Credits: Photos by Robert Poole. Data linked to sources.

Robert Poole

Robert Poole recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in City and Regional Planning. He grew up in San Diego but now resides in San Francisco. He is intrigued by, yet concerned with the large discrepancies in socio-economic development within the Bay Area. He currently works at a non-profit organization in San Francisco that advocates for new housing development in the City through policy and legislation. As he continues his work, he hopes to gain a more in-depth understanding of the city’s public process in order to develop solutions that create more affordable housing options for the City's low to middle-income residents.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 at 9:30 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Environmental Design, Housing, Infrastructure, Land Use, Robert Poole, Transportation, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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2 Responses to “Oakland, California’s New Transit-Oriented Development Redefines Space”

  1. Sustainable_Me Says:

    This is good for Oakland, but NYC and DC do this better in my opinion. Like the Bay Area, both NYC and DC have to contend with revitalization and displacement of long term often time lower income residents, when developing or redeveloping transit lines.

    To make sure there is equity when dealing with TOD, DC has a few examples that come to mind. Martin Luther King, Jr. Latino Cooperative, and Hubbard Place are just two. Now, if you’re talking about change on a neighborhood basis, look at the both the H street NE corridor as well as Columbia Heights.

    NYC has done a great job of doing this as well, look at Upper Manhattan neighborhoods in the past 20 years, specifically Harlem and Washington Heights. Yes there has been a significant increase in housing costs in these area, but on the island of Manhattan, Harlem still has the highest concentration of affordable housing units available. Many of the building codes have been changed to include LEED standards look at suggestions listed in the Green Codes Task Force, http://www.urbangreencouncil.org/GreenCodes .

    Follow me on twitter: @sustainable_me

  2. Robert Poole Says:

    Thank you for the comment @sustainable_me! I wish San Francisco would see the kind of development that NYC has produced. But the city seems to care more about public engagement that creating necessary infrastructure. I think this TOD in Oakland will be great for the neighborhood and it will help connect that area to San Francisco. I would love to see a stronger sense of regionalism in the Bay Area.

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