Condos at 601 MacArthur

On February 9, Lake House Development Team LLC (LHD) held an informational meeting at St.Vartan’s Armenian Church, on Spruce St., to update interested neighbors about their plans for 601 MacArthur, the long-time vacant lot at the corner of MacArthur and Wesley Ave. About twenty neighbors attended the meeting, as well as District 2 Council Member Abel Guillen and his Chief of Staff, Richard Raya. LHD was represented by Public Affairs Director Valerie Camarda, Planning Advisor Gerald Green and Architect Tony Pantaleoni.

The property is actually three parcels, totaling 18,681 square feet.  LHD proposes to construct a contemporary-style condominium building with 25 units: sixteen 2 bedroom, 2 bath (1200-1300 sq. ft.) and nine 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath (1700-2000 sq. ft.); all units will have decks.  35 parking spaces are planned; the parking level will have parking lifts and will be partly below ground. The building will be 4 stories on Wesley and 5 stories on MacArthur, with the top floor set back from the rest. Mr. Pantaleoni said that the planned height is 50 ft., as measured from the street at MacArthur and Wesley to the highest point on the roof. The pedestrian entrance is planned for Wesley Avenue with the parking entrance and exit on MacArthur.

The condos will be market-rate, but the City of Oakland assesses all developers a fee that goes towards affordable housing elsewhere in the city. There will an outdoor common area at the back of the building, and the redwood tree there will be kept; they have hired geological engineers to assure that the hill will be properly stabilized.

The current zoning for this parcel will not allow that many units, but it was noted that the previous (failed) development had been granted permission for 32 units and 32 parking places. There was extensive discussion about traffic flow and the impact of this project on street parking, which is already difficult (as most families might have more than one car).

No permits have been submitted yet – their next step is to file a pre-application for the zoning change. Once Oakland’s Planning Department approves the final plans, LHD anticipates a year for construction, with completion in the Spring/Summer of 2018.

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