In March 2014, groundbreaking for the 1.5 billion-dollar development Brooklyn Basin took place, finally getting this massive project underway after several delays.
Developer Signature Development Group, with its financial partner, Beijing-based Zarsion Holdings of China, have started the environmental remediation phase of the project, building the sewage, electrical and water systems for the complex.
Brooklyn Basin aims to transform the 64-acre Oakland Estuary, a waterfront property just south of Jack London Square, into a multi-use community. In previous decades, the land had served industrial purposes.
Brooklyn Basin, formerly known as Oak to Ninth, is planned to house 3,100 residential units and 200,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. It will also include at least 30 acres of parks and open space, as well as 200 boat slips.
The project is estimated to be fully-completed by 2019 or 2020, but occupancy is expected to start in 2017.
The Vision for Brooklyn Basin
Brooklyn Basin is seen as Oakland’s waterfront renaissance, in the manner of the waterfront revitalization in places like San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco.
Brooklyn Basin aims to do the following:
- Reinvigorate the waterfront
Up until the start of the project, the area was considered industrial land that had outlived its purpose, leaving aging warehouses and a virtual wasteland. Damage arising from the land’s industrial use had separated it from most of Oakland, depriving residents of its waterfront benefits.
Brooklyn Basin is envisioned to give would-be residents the chance to enjoy the many perks of waterfront living.
- Create a diverse community
Brooklyn Basin’s wide variation in housing types and prices, along with the many business and employment opportunities to be generated here, is expected to result in a diverse and vibrant community.
Residential units will be a mix of high-rise condos and apartments, townhomes and live/work lofts. Two parcels of land have been earmarked for permanently affordable housing, as agreed upon with the Oakland government.
- Preserve open space and promote sustainability
Around 30 acres of land in Brooklyn Basin are set aside for five uniquely themed parks, as well as playgrounds, green spaces, and open-air venues for events and public gatherings. Water views and the coastal lifestyle will be given emphasis in designing these spaces.
The community will be built to LEED or Green Point Rated standards for sustainability, and the wetlands around it will be restored through environmental remediation.
Brooklyn Basin’s Impact
Considered Oakland’s biggest real estate development since World War II, Brooklyn Basin is expected to have a major impact on the city in various ways.
- Job creation – Brooklyn Basin’s construction is expected to create 10,000 temporary and permanent jobs, and provide economic stimulus to the city
- Housing boom – Brooklyn Basin’s development is seen to stimulate a housing boom of about 7,500 new units, including those built within the community. This can help address concerns on the possible displacement of longtime residents resulting from the high demand for Oakland properties.
- Waterfront connection – Brooklyn Basin’s plan includes a walking and biking trail system that will connect the waterfront to Jack London Square and to Lake Merritt. This will give Oakland residents the opportunity to enjoy their waterfront – something they have been denied for the longest time.