Lakeside Apartments District, Oakland, California

Lakeside Apartments District, Oakland, California

Infobox Settlement
name = Oakland's Lakeside Apartments District
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nickname = "The Lakeside" "Gold Coast"
settlement_type =Neighborhood
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map_caption = Location of the Lakeside Apartments District near Downtown Oakland

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = California
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Alameda
subdivision_type3 = Metro Area
subdivision_name3 = Oakland M.S.A
subdivision_type4 = City
subdivision_name4 =Oakland
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government_ = City Councilmember
leader_name = Nancy Nadel
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latd=37 |latm=48 |lats=12 |latNS=N
longd=122 |longm=15 |longs=51 |longEW=W
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code =94612
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blank_name = AC Transit Centers
blank_info = Downtown Bus Station, Uptown Bus Mall
blank1_name = AC Transit bus routes
blank1_info = The 13 Lakeshore, The 59 Montclair, 1R, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 40, 51, 63, 72, 72M, 72R, 88; All Nighter Routes 800, 801, 802, 805, 840, 851
County Connection All Nighter Route 820
blank2_name = BART Stations
blank2_info = Oakland City Center/12th Street, Lake Merritt, 19th Street/Oakland
blank3_name = BART Lines
blank3_info = Rail color box|system=BART|line=Red
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The Lakeside Apartments District, also known as 'The Gold Coast,' and simply as 'The Lakeside,' is one of Oakland, California's historic residential neighborhoods between it's Downtown district and Lake Merritt. 'The Lakeside' is considered by many Oaklanders to be bordered by Harrison Street to the West, Oak Street/Lakeside Drive to the East, 14th Street to the South, and Lakeside Drive/20th Street to the North. All parts of the district are within four blocks' walking distance to either Lake Merritt or Downtown.

Most of the neighborhood is officially designated by the City of Oakland as a local historic district with architecturally significant historic places.] and Areas of Primary Importance. The district is also characterized by a predominance of rent-stabilized apartments, mixed-use buildings, and a long history of regional mass transit connections serving its central location. In recent years mid-rise, mixed-use, market rate, and affordable rental housing has been planned, proposed, approved, and constructed. At the present, other developers have proposed market-rate condominium skyscrapers and other high-rise towers which are in various stages of the planning process. As of the summer of 2008, the Oakland Planning Commission is revising zoning and height regulations for the neighborhood.


Early History

thumb|right|150px|The_Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Lakeside Drive] The neighborhood was created from what was originally an "encinal" or Coast Live Oak oak grove on the west shore of the San Antonio Slough, which was later dammed to form Lake Merritt. The neighborhood's boundaries lie just outside of the original street grid map Swiss engineer Julius Kellsburger prepared in 1850 for one of the founders of Oakland. The street grid of that original map starts at the Oakland Estuary waterfront, and ends at 14th street, the neighborhood's Southeast boundary. The current streets of the neighborhood show up on E.M. Sessions' 1869 map of Oakland, with long sweeping blocks north of 14th Street. That same year, the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad at Seventh and Broadway brought passengers from New York that had been confined to a train for a week, eager for the comforts and amenities of a city. The very same year, horse-drawn streetcars brought passengers up Broadway to 14th Street and points beyond. By the 1890s, the neighborhood had become home to mansions on the lake and large victorian houses on the interior streets, its wealth lending to the nickname: "Gold Coast."

20th Century

By the 1920s, apartment buildings and luxury hotels began to sprout up within walking distance from nearby streetcar lines, and Downtown Oakland.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the neighborhood saw continued development of multi-family, mixed-use apartment buildings with the planning and construction of nearby Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) underground rail lines. In the early 1960's, Downtown business interests repeatedly advocated for extending Alice Street directly through Snow Park, past the Schilling Gardens and the Bechtel Building, down to 20th Street to alleviate traffic congestion that might be caused by the closure of Broadway during construction of the nearby BART line underneath Broadway. The plan met stiff opposition from Oakland's City Council in October 1964. [cite web
url =
type = printable
title = Newest Alice Street Plan Turned Down; Recurring Subject Riles City
work = Oakland Tribune Section E13
author = Oakland Tribune Staff
date = 29 October 1964
accessdate = 24 September 2008


In the early 21st century, the area continues to be attractive to developers as AC Transit's bus rapid transit lines are currently being planned for 12th and 11th Streets in the neighboring Civic Center district, and on Broadway downtown.

Historic Places and Landmarks

The district has an outstanding concentration of club buildings and historic luxury apartments. Many are protected as official city landmarks. [cite web
url =
title = Staff Report
work = Application to designate 1426 Alice Street as a City of Oakland Landmark
author = Oakland Planning Commission
date = 16 March 2005
accessdate =
] [cite web
url =
title = Gold Coast Redux, Take a drive on Lakeside, Oakland's memory lane
work = San Francisco Chronicle
author = Sam Whiting
date = 23 June 2002
accessdate =
] During a city Cultural Heritage Survey in the 1980s most of the district was designated as featuring historically significant architectural resources. The Survey was conducted by the city of Oakland's Planning Department and its Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board from 1980-1985. Other historic places include the Victorian Camron-Stanford house on the shore of Lake Merritt at 14th Street and Lakeside Drive, the Municipal Boathouse on Lakeside Drive, the greek revival Scottish Rite Center on Lakeside Drive, the eleven story Bechtel Building at 244 Lakeside, the Alician apartments on Alice Street with its ornate marble entrance, the Malonga Casquelord Arts Center, the Regillus condominiums on 19th street, the mission revival Scottish Rite Temple on Madison Street, the ten story art deco Hillcastle apartment hotel on Jackson Street, and the historic Schilling Gardens on 19th Street.

The district also features other historic assets in several three to eight story apartment buildings, this height being a defining character of most of the historic district. Several exceptions to this character punctuate the neighborhood, to include Noble Tower on Lakeside Drive, and the Essex Condominiums at 17th and Lakeside, completed in 2001.

The neighboring Civic Center district features the Civic Center Post Office on 13th Street and the Art Deco Alameda County Courthouse on Lake Merritt.

City Parks and Cultural Assets

Lakeside Park

The district is adjacent to Lakeside Park, which lies to the east and northeast of the district. Lakeside Park is a public city park ring and green space surrounding Lake Merritt and is often called the Crown Jewel of Oakland's parks. [cite web|url= |title=Lake Merritt, The Jewel of Oakland | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19] Lakeside park is historically significant as featuring North America's first official wildlife refuge, designated in 1870. The state legislature voted the Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge into law in 1870, making it the first such refuge on the North American continent. No hunting of any sort was to be allowed and the only fishing was to be by hook and line. [cite web|url= |title=Bay Nature: Loving Lake Merritt | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19] [cite web|url= |title=Lake Merritt - Wildlife Sanctuary | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19] Under the name Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge, the site became a National Historic Landmark on May 23, 1963.cite web|url=PDFlink| [ "Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge", October 18, 1977, by Cecil McKithan] |201 KiB |title=National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination|date=1977-10-18|publisher=National Park Service] cite web|url=PDFlink| [ Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge--Accompanying 4 photos, from 1977.] |340 KiB |title=National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination|date=1977-10-18|publisher=National Park Service] It also features a garden center with several cultivated gardens, and the Municipal Boat House on Lakeside Drive. A restaurant is currently planned for this Boat House building, which is being renovated at the present.Fact|date=September 2008update after|2009|07|07

Malonga Casquelord Arts Center

The neighborhood also features the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts on Alice Street, a public community asset owned and administered by the City of Oakland and its Department of Parks and Recreation. [cite web
url =
title = Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts
work = Official Website
author = City of Oakland, Office of Parks and Recreation
date = 7 February 2008
accessdate =
] Formerly known as the Alice Arts Center, this building was re-named [cite web
url =
title = Arts center renaming ceremony scheduled
work = Official Website
author = Jim Herron Zamora
date = 16 June 2004
accessdate =
] in 2004 in honor of Malonga Casquelord a Congolese dancer, choreographer, singer and percussionist, and cultural ambassador of the Arts who was killed in 2003 by a drunk driver traveling in the wrong direction on a blind curve on Lakeside Drive in front of the Essex condominium building. [cite web
url =
title = Malonga Casquelourd, African Dancer, Dies at 55
work = New York Times
author = The Associated Press
date = 18 June 2003
accessdate =
] The Alice Arts Center was opened in 1987 under then-Mayor Lionel Wilson. With a 400-seat theater, fine arts and dance studios where numerous dancers, percussionists, and other musicians study and create music and visual arts. It has become a vibrant center for dance and music, particularly African and African American-influenced dance forms from Congolese, Guinean. [cite web
url =
title = Oakland: A big leap for African dance, drums
work = San Francisco Chronicle
author = Rick DelVecchio, Chronicle Staff Writer
date = 6 August 2004
accessdate =
] and Afro-Brazilian to jazz and hip-hop. City officials estimate that the center serves 50,000 people a year through classes and performances. [cite web
url =
title = Artists vs. art students in OaklandMayor wants to use all of Alice Arts Center for arts charter school
work = San Francisco Chronicle
author = Janine DeFao
date = 5 June 2003
accessdate =
] The Oakland Ballet has had offices and rehearsals at the center. [cite web
url =
type = printable
title = DANCE; Trying to Reflect Oakland's Many Faces
work = The New York Times
author = Ann Murphy
date = 23 September 2001
accessdate = 06 October 2008

The building also features 74 S.R.O. hotel rooms where artists-in-residence reside. In 2003, then Mayor Jerry Brown proposed expanding his Oakland School for the Arts, which was at the time housed in the basement and first floor of the Alice Street building, to the entire six-floor center. Numerous hotel rooms were witheld and kept vacant while plans were made to displace the artist tenants from their S.R.O. hotel rooms and studios in the center. [cite web
url =
title = Community fights to save arts center
work = Workers World
author = Bill Hackwell
date = 26 June 2003
accessdate = 06 October 2003
] [cite web
url =
title = Lessons learned at Alice Arts Center: art and politics don't mix at new arts-based charter school.
work = Dance Magazine
author = Dance Magazine Staff
date = 01 February 2003
accessdate = 06 October, 2008
] [cite web
url =
title = Alice Arts Center wins partial victory
work = Workers World
author = LeiLani Dowell
date = 12 June 2003
accessdate =

The building also features a prominent ground floor retail space next to it's main entrance. Over the years the space was the home to a cafe with poetry readings. [cite web
url =
title = Black Poetry Readings Weekly In Oakland
work = Sun Reporter
author = Max Millard
date = 21 September 1995
accessdate =
] From late 2003 until early 2007, the space was home to the "Jahva House" cafe, owned by Oakland Musician Dwayne Wiggins' of the music group Tony! Toni! Toné!. The cafe re-located there following its move from a prior Lakeshore Avenue space. The cafe featured Wednesday night poetry slams, an traditional African drum craftsman with a sidewalk workshop, and regular live music performances. At present Oakland's Real Estate Division is seeking a retail tenant for the space.

Oakland Main Library

The neighborhood is also walking distance to the Main Branch of the Oakland Public Library on 14th Street between Madison and Oak Street.

Oakland Museum of California

The Oakland Museum of California is located at 11th and Oak Streets in the neighboring Civic Center district.

now Park

The district is also adjacent to Oakland's Snow Park a convert|4.2|acre|m2|sing=on [ [ Snow Park, City Of Oakland, Office of Parks and Recreation] ] , public city park bordered by 19th Street, the Schilling Gardens Parcel, Harrison Street and Lakeside Drive. Snow Park, which is named after Oakland resident Henry Snow, was once the site of the first Oakland Zoo, the Sidney Snow Zoo, named after Henry Snow's son, which opened in 1943. [ [ "Historic Dates,"City Of Oakland, Office of Parks and Recreation] ] It currently features public restroom facilities, sitting benches, mature shade trees, a grassy, sunlit meadow, and a golf putting green, which many neighborhood and citywide residents, and nearby office workers enjoy.


The neighborhood lies completely within Oakland's Police Beat 4x, one of 35 across the city. Auto burglaries and property crimes occur more frequently in the district than rare and noteworthy violent crime. With the help of neighborhood residents' cooperation and alertness, serious crimes have been very minimal since the beginning of August, 2008: only one robbery has been reported during the last eight weeks since then; only one aggravated assault has been reported since the beginning of September, 2008. [cite web|url= |title=CrimeView Community Incident Map | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19]

Chauncey Bailey Assassination

On August 7, 2007, Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey was assassinated near the southeast corner of 14th and Alice Streets, as he walked to work from his apartment near the south end of Lake Merritt.


Public schools

Residents of the neighborhood are zoned to schools in the Oakland Unified School District.Zoned schools include: [cite web|url= |title=OUSD School-Finder | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19]
*Lincoln Elementary School (K-5) is the local public elementary school. [ [ Lincoln Elementary School website] ]
*Westlake Middle School
*Oakland Technical High School

The Lighthouse Community Charter School started in the 2004 - 2005 school year with grades K-2 and 6-8. LCCS intends to enroll two new grade levels each year until it serves grades K – 12 school in 2008 – 2009. [ [ Lighthouse Community Charter School website] ]

Colleges and Universities

*Laney College is a public community college located at the south end of the Civic Center neighborhood.

*Cal State East Bay has the Oakland Professional Development and Conference Center at Broadway and 11th Street. Continuing education courses are offered.

Neighborhood Associations

Lakeside Apartment Neighborhood Association

In recent years, some neighborhood groups and activists, such as The Lakeside Apartment Neighborhood Association, have organized political opposition to market-rate condominium towers lacking in inclusionary zoning, and to other projects that some residents feel do not match the architectural and historical character of the neighborhood.

Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group

Another neighborhood association, the Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group seeks to notify residents of, and encourage a dialog about development projects that are proposed in the Lakeside Apartments District, and the advantages and disadvantages of these projects.Fact|date=September 2008 In the event of a proposed project, the DLMNG attempts to facilitate neighborhood meetings to discuss with neighborhood residents and merchant tenants how the project would affect open space, sunlight and shadows, generation of tax revenue, additional shops/stores, housing, and employment opportunities within walking distance, traffic and air pollution, private car parking demand, rental housing demand pressures and average rents in the neighborhood.

Land Development

The neighborhood is located between Lake Merritt and Downtown Oakland. In recent years, market-rate housing developers have proposed constructing a variety of residential and residential mixed-use buildings which have been proposed to be anywhere from five to forty-two stories in height. Neighborhood residents have voiced their concerns and objections to various proposed developments. Others have pressed developers to include meaningful community benefits to improve proposed projects at "community meetings," and before Oakland's Preliminary Design Review Committee, the City's Planning Commission and City Council.

In recent years Oakland city planning authorities have approved proposed residential mixed use development projects in this neighborhood in part because they are considered by some to be "infill". In other words, they are "filling in" under-utilized "vacant" lots in an urbanized setting. Most all such lots have had daily commercial use such as surface parking for the neighborhood's drive-in workforce by day, and for some of the neighborhood's automobile driving residents and drive-in bar and restaurant patrons by night. One such vacant lot on 14th Street at Madison, directly adjacent to the boundaries of the neighborhood, is used as a preschool playground for several neighborhood children who attend the school, as it is within walking distance for their 'car-free' parents. A developer recently proposed a project for this particular lot which has been tentatively titled "1301 Madison".

Some developers purport that projects proposed for the district's parcels, developed and undeveloped, are substantially exempted from the environmental review provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act(CEQA) because they are considered "infill" parcels. In other words, CEQA has a special provision for streamlined environmental review for infill projects located in urban areas of Oakland. Conversely, some activists have pointed to the applicability of the "Cumulative Impact" provisions of CEQA arguing that the residents of the neighborhood have already been subjected to several consecutive years of construction, dust, pile-driving and general construction noise, and carcinogenic diesel fumes from idling trucks and heavy equipment.

Recent Projects

"Madison Lofts"

pod, which has yet to be installed,update after|2009|08|01 and 54 parking spaces for 73 units, a ratio of .74 parking spaces per unit, which departs from Oakland's current 'one to one' parking ratio planning law. This project came under intense scrutiny from neighborhood activists for its site: a formerly popular commercial parking lot. It was also criticized for its architectural design which, many saw as insensitive to the character of a Mosque next door to the project, the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, a historic mission revival building which was originally a Scottish Rite masonic temple. [cite web
url =
title = Council approves disputed apartments
work = Oakland Tribune
author = Cecily Burt
date = 20 November 2003
accessdate =

"Jackson Courtyard Condominiums

An unfinished building has remained in the neighborhood since 2003: "Jackson Courtyard Condominiums" a.k.a. "Trojan Tower" [cite web
url =
title = Shrink-wrapped buildings have neighbors seeing red
work = Oakland Tribune
author = Burt, Cecily
date = 6 June 2008
accessdate =
] at 1401 Jackson Street at the corner of 14th Street. The building features transit oriented development characteristics such as two ground-floor retail shop spaces, underground elevator lift parking, and a first floor bicycle storage room. The original developer of this project broke ground in August 2003. For several years, the incomplete project sat nearly-finished, shrink-wrapped in white plastic sheeting, reminiscent of a condom, hence its local nickname: "Trojan Tower." Finally, in September 2008, the shrink-wrap was removed for the second time from the building. The building remains under construction in the Fall of 2008.

Proposed Skyscrapers

"Emerald Views" Condominiums Project

("a.k.a. "222 19th Street"/"19th Street Residential Condominiums Project")In 2005, a group of land speculators purchased an historic 1920's luxury apartment building at 244 Lakeside Drive on Lake Merritt. The Greenfield land behind the building features the historic Schilling Gardens. The Shilling Gardens is the last remaining portion of a cultivated Japanese garden originally planted in 1886 behind spice magnate August Schilling's Victorian mansion once located on the West shore of Lake Merritt. Today the garden features a shaded grove of several mature Coast Redwood trees, ferns, a sunny lawn area, and hundreds of other cultivated plants laid out into a multi-tiered, brick masonry landscape design, with artistic concrete floral canopy arbors and walking paths. The garden as a whole is considered by the City of Oakland's Register of Historical Resources, and Oakland's Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board, to be a landmark "of highest importance." cite web
url =
title = A Wasted OpportunityThe city of Oakland botched a chance to save a historic garden near Lake Merritt, where a 42-story condominium is now proposed.
work = East Bay Express
author = Patterson, Wendy
date = 5 December 2007
accessdate =
] After purchasing the parcel, the owners divided the parcel into two pieces, one along Lakeside Drive featuring the apartment building, and another parcel behind the building featuring the gardens. The owners then sought to donate the gardens parcel to the City of Oakland in exchange for Historic Preservation property tax credits. Oakland's Real Estate Services Division and Office of Parks and Recreation Staff entered into discussions with the owners. City staff asserted the parcel would need disability accessibility improvements as per the ADA and its own dedicated bathroom facilities, despite bathroom facilities immediately next door at Snow Park. The city staff also insisted the owners pay $760,000 for the aforementioned upgrades, and an additional $178,000 per year, in perpetuity, for ongoing maintenance.

Subsequently, the negotiations fell apart and Oakland's office of Parks and Recreation Director said she didn't bring the decision before the Oakland City Council because she thought that the department dealing with the owner, Oakland's CEDA Real Estate Services Division, was doing that. The director of Oakland Community and Economic Development Agency, Real Estate Services Division denied any responsibility for the missed opportunity. He said he was presented with "budget restraints" and that, in any case, his role was limited to providing "real estate-related expertise.". [cite web
url =
title = Councilwoman angry managers didn't tell of garden offer
work = San Francisco Chronicle
author = Heredia, Chris
date = 13 September 2007
accessdate =

In late 2006 and early 2007, the owners assembled a real estate development team led by San Francisco resident Michael Joseph O'Donoghue, more commonly known as Joe O'Donoghue, who is credited with dramatically changing the landscape across the bay in San Francisco through his long history of a variety of lobbying activity for development projects on behalf of the San Francisco Residential Builders Association (RBA). [cite web
url =
title = The House That Joe Built, How belligerent construction titan has reshaped S.F.
work = San Francisco Chronicle
author = Sward, Susan
date = 17 July 2000
accessdate =
] The parcel owners have also retained the services of Oakland's "Go-To-Lobbyist" [cite web
url =
title = Meet Oakland's New Go-To Lobbyist
work = East Bay Express
author = Gammon, Robert
date = 9 January 2008
accessdate =
] [cite web
url =
title = list of registered lobbyists and their clients as of October 30, 2007.
work = Oakland Public Ethics Commission
author = Oakland Public Ethics Commission
date = 30 October 2007
accessdate =
] who resigned from his job as a legislative aide to the current Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente during a time of controversy over conflicts on interest on zoning matters affecting his personal real property portfolio. [cite web
url =
title = Nacho's top aide moves into real estate
work = East Bay Express
author = Harper, Will
date = 23 August 2006
accessdate =
] This former legislative aide's corporation, "Terra Linda Development Services," is an Oakland based consulting firm which labels itself as "a land development and entitlement consulting company." [cite web
url =
title = Terra Linda Development Services, LLC website
work = Terra Linda Development Services, LLC website
date = 7 february 2007
accessdate =

The owners, two Santa Clara County residents, and a former San Francisco Building Inspection Commissioner, and pari mutuel racehorse owner, proposed a 42 story high-rise condominium skyscraper for the historic Schilling Gardens parcel. They have tentatively labeled the project "Emerald Views" though the official planning documents on file with the city of Oakland refer to the project as "222 19th Street." This parcel is approximately one half block from the lake's current shoreline, at 222 19th Street between Jackson and Alice Streets. Standing at approximately convert|530|ft|m tallmeasured from grade to the top of roof spires. [cite web
url =
title = Project page:"222 19th Street"
work =
author = Oakland Community and Economic Development Agency, Planning and Zoning Division
date =
accessdate =
] , the Emerald Views skyscraper would become the tallest building in Oakland [cite web
url =
title = 42-story condos sought for lake Developer’s high-rise would be the tallest building in city
work = San Francisco Chronicle
author = Chris Heredia
date = 2007-07-31
accessdate =
] If constructed, the project's architect [cite web
url =
title = Company Website
work =
author = Ian Birchall and Associates
date = 2008-02-07
accessdate =
] concedes that "the entire site has to be dug up" and the trees completey destroyed ,to construct the new tower, due to it's size and scale However, the architect claims the developers intend to replant some of the existing shrubs, plants, and ferns in a new garden area that will abut the sides and back of their proposed building.

While any project on the parcel could diminish the neighborhood's tree canopy, the proposed skyscraper's height and bulk could cast a shadow over a significant portion of Lakeside Park in the afternoons, and the remaining areas of Snow Park that currently receive easterly sunlight every morning, since trees currently shade much of Snow Park. [ [ Snow Park, City of Oakland, Office of Parks and Recreation] ] Because of its height, the building would also be anticipated to cast a long shadow over Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park, and the bird sanctuary within Lakeside Park to the east of the parcel. To date the developers have only publicly circulated a sunlight and shadow impact rendering for high noon on the summer solstice, the time of the year with the most sun and the least shadow. The other sunlight and shadow study renderings will be published in the project's upcoming draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which may also include hydro-geological issues, air and noise pollution, among other potential environmental impacts.

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown previously owned a 20 percent stake in the Schilling Gardens parcel, but sold out his share to the other owners in 2006 and maintains that he fears that an adjacent high-rise will hurt the value of the building he bought into. Speaking about the project to investigative reporter Phil Matier, Brown claimed in 2006 that "I ain't in that deal." [cite web
url =
title = Heavy hitters square off -- garden or high-rise condos?
work = San Francisco Chronicle
author = Matier, Phillip and Ross, Andrew
date = 10 September, 2006
accessdate =

On August 8th, 2008, the Oakland CEDA Planning and Zoning Division posted Tree Removal Permit Application notices on the gates to the parcel. The gardens feature a grove of several mature Coast Redwood trees that would be completely destroyed by the buildings bulk and mass. This tree removal application is a 'Development Application' regulated by the City of Oakland, and subject to City Council oversight and appeal. [cite web
url =
title = Protected Trees Ordinance
work = City Of Oakland
author = Public Works Agency, Tree Section
date = 23 September, 2008
accessdate = 23 September, 2008

"1439 Alice Street"

In early 2007, a developer, proposed the construction of a 37 story market-rate condominium skyscraper at 1439 Alice Street, directly across the street from the Malonga Casquelord Arts Center, and next door to the the three story 1920's Cliff Apartments. The building would be one of the tallest in Oakland, second only to the Ordway Building in the neighboring Downtown district. [cite web
url =
title = Feedback may foil lakeside high-rise
work = Oakland Tribune
author = Cecily Burt
date = 25 May, 2007
accessdate =
] The building would be built on a parcel that currently features a combined two story parking garage and retail shop space with an active, longtime retail tenant. The project would maintain the current parking garage facade, with its existing design for the first two levels, with a modern, angular glass tower springing out of the top, and rising to a height of convert|395|ft|m. [cite web
url =
title = Staff Report, 1439 Alice Street Proposal
work = Oakland City Planning Commission
author = Oakland Planning Department
date = 23 May 2007
accessdate =
] Though the developer did propose a ground floor wine bar/cold food cafe space for a small portion of the first floor, he proposed an overall reduction in the square footage of the existing ground floor retail space and a substantial square footage for the proposed building resident lobby, and elimination of a current first floor exterior retail space entrance. The developer also proposed a mid-building "wellness center"/"personal services" commercial space. Depending upon a final zoning designation and the planning process however, this commercial space could also be used as medical or professional office or an inclusive, approachable space with a neighborhood-serving retail tenant. Supporters of the Arts Center had concerns that those would move into the building could eventually have a reverse sensitivity to the music and drumming across the street.

Political Representation

Municipal Representation

The entire neighborhood lies within the boundaries of Oakland City Council District 3, represented by longtime West Oakland resident Nancy Nadel, who ran for Mayor of Oakland during the 2006 election, garnering 13% of the popular vote in a three way race with candidates Ignacio Delafuente and current mayor Ron Dellums. In the 2008 District 3 City Council election, West Oakland residents Greg Hodge and Sean Sullivan challenged Nadel for the District 3 seat to which she was re-elected for her fourth consecutive term with 51% of the vote, narrowly avoiding a run-off election.

County, State, and Congressional Representation

At the County level the neighborhood lies within Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 5 and is represented by Supervisor Keith Carson. At the state level, the neighborhood lies within California's 16th State Assembly District and is represented in that lower house by Assemblymember Sandre Swanson(D-Oakland). The neighborhood is also within California's State Senate District 9 which is represented by the current President pro tempore of the California State Senate, Don Perata(D-East Bay). The neighborhood lies within California's progressive 9th Congressional district which has a Cook PVI of D +38 [cite web | title = Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest? | publisher = Campaign Legal Center Blog | url= | accessdate = 2007-10-19] and is represented in Washington by U.S. Representative Barbara Lee.


Most neighborhood restaurants, shops, and services are locally owned and independently operated and enjoy a good business relationship with neighborhood residents who walk to them. Immediately within the neighborhood are small ground floor retail shop spaces which currently feature 6 grocery and liquor markets, 2 laundry and dry-cleaner shops, a fabric shop, a tattoo parlor, a gym, a sidewalk cafe 1 block from Lake Merritt open into the evenings, a pet shop, a diner, a sandwich shop, and two bars. In the fall of 2008, several new ground floor retail shop spaces will be available for lease at two new mixed-use developments on 14th Street in the neighborhood.


Mass Transit Legacy

In 1871, Oakland's first horse-drawn streetcar line running down Broadway was not 3 years old when Hiram Tubbs opened his luxurious "Tubbs Hotel" at Fifth Avenue in what was then "Brooklyn," an independent municipality on the east side of the tidal slough which is now lake Merritt. Tubbs, wealthy from his hemp cordage business and Comstock Lode silver, wanted his hotel to be the on par with the finest in the state. He spared no expense, investing $110,000 for the building and over $100,000 more on furniture for the rooms.

Hoping to lure passengers from overland trains, Tubbs had rail laid at his own expense, for his own horse-drawn streetcar line, the "Tubbs Line," to carry passengers from the Train Depot at 7th and Broadway eastward to his hotel. The line went up Broadway to 12th Street, and then down 12th Street through what is now the Civic Center neighborhood, out to 13th Avenue. Tubbs' choice of track routing later evolved into the Oakland Brooklyn and Fruitvale Railroad, and eventually, the electric Key System streetcar lines which later ran down 12th and 13th Streets. Today, the 12th Street corridor serves articulated AC Transit buses and is currently being planned for a Bus Rapid Transit line.

In 1960s, on the Broadway corridor, the BART system was planned and constructed, opening for service in 1972 at 3 stations, each approximately 1/3 mile from the neighborhood.



AC Transit

Within the neighborhood, AC Transit's 59 Montclair line runs down Jackson, and the thirteen Lakeshore line carries passengers to and from the neighborhood along 14th Street. Both lines route directly to nearby BART stations. AC Transit's Uptown Regional Transit Center bus mall on nearby Thomas L. Berkeley Way (20th Street) is now in full farebox service, and features multiple bus shelters with seating, NextBus arrival prediction signs, local and Rapid Bus service to Oakland's streetcar suburbs. These stations host local service, Rapid service, Transbay Express, and All Nighter service. A Translink Add Value Machine is located at AC Transit Headquarters on Franklin Street. The number one line running along the neighborhood on 12th Street, between San Leandro and Berkeley, is years into the planning process for the implementation of a full scale bus rapid transit line. The most substantial planning alternative proposed for this system would feature double-articulated buses with five to six doors at boarding platform level, a separated bus-only lane, center median platforms with proof-of-payment ticket machines to speed boarding, and signalization priority to allow bus drivers to change traffic lights in their favor.

Bicycle Facilities

Other residents use bicycle infrastructure in the area such as the neighborhood's class three Arterial Bike Route: 14th Street, 'BikeLink' bicycle lockers at the nearby 12th Street /City Center, 19th Street, and Lake Merritt BART Stations, and numerous city-installed bike racks to which they can lock their bikes. A Bicycle Rental business rents bikes by the hour nearby on the East side of Downtown. Oakland's Bicycle Master Plan, and Oakland's Measure DD park improvement plan for Lake Merritt calls for an automobile lane reduction and re-striping of bike lanes onto two of the district's streets: Lakeside Drive and Madison Street, and on nearby Webster and Franklin Streets, North of 14th Street. The plan also calls for the installation of a separated class one bikeway and multi-use trail immediately around the perimeter of Lake Merritt, and class two bicycle lanes on all arterial streets surrounding the lake, such as Grand Avenue, between Harrison and Macarthur, where a bike lane already exists, and on Lakeshore Boulevard, onto which a bicycle lane has been planned and contracted to be striped.update after|2009|08|01

Taxicab Stand

An officially-zoned taxicab stand is located at the Northeast corner of 19th and Harrison Streets, next to Snow Park. Automobile taxis are available, and a local bicycle pedicab service is on-call during daytime and early evening hours.


An hourly carsharing provider, Zipcar, has a location in the neighborhood at 15th and Harrison. A former Zipcar location at 17th and Harrison was removed in early 2008 for environmental scoping on that corner parcel, which has recently been repaved and re-striped for the resumption of parking lot operations, in anticipation of currently proposed development on the parcel. Yet another car sharing service, locally-based City CarShare has two vehicles at 14th and Jackson, and one car at the Lakehurst Apartment Hotel at 17th and Jackson.

Private Automobile Parking

Most of the neighborhood is within Oakland's Area-F Residential Permit Parking (RPP) zone which includes most streets in the neighborhood. This program allows for issuance of one sticker per residence or business from the Parking Enforcement Division of Oakland's Finance and Management Agency. The sticker allows permit-holders to park a car for three days with exemption from the posted parking restrictions, which are two hours in most areas, reducing cold starts and resulting vehicle emissions in the neighborhood. Oakland's Finance and Management Agency proposed an increase in the RPP sicker fee in Spring, 2008. Other motorist residents park in the neighborhood's many "public parking" lots day and night, and in garages beneath most buildings constructed after 1955.

ee also

*Community land trust
*Inclusionary zoning
*Planned shrinkage
*Rent Control
*Principles of Intelligent Urbanism
*Transit Oriented Development
*Transit-proximate development
*Urban renewal


Further reading

*cite book
year=1982 | title=Oakland, the Story of a City
publisher=Presidio Press | id=ISBN 0-89141-146-1

*cite book
last=Evanosky | first=Dennis | coauthors=Kos, Eric
title= East Bay, Then and Now
publisher=PRC Publishing | id=ISBN 1-29223-350-3

External links

* [ Lakeside Apartment Neighborhood Association]
* [ The Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group Website]
* [ The Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group Listerv]
* [ Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group Blog]

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