For those of us who have followed the Temescal mixed used developments over the past 10 years, it’s welcome news that 4700 Telegraph will be up before the Planning Commission on Wed, May 20th. The 48 unit development has undergone some significant improvements since it was first entitled in 2006. Most importantly, this property and 2 others have been sold to Nautilus Group, a sophisticated and community sensitive company based out of Oakland who are in sync with the latest in green building and design. What that means for the Temescal is a welcome redesign that includes a healthy dose of outdoor common space and unbundling parking spaces from the rental units.
As Liz Brisson, local planner has written. “Parking provision works like this.
- If you build it, people who own cars will come.
- If you don’t build it, it will be too much of a pain to own a car, and people will choose other ways to get around.
- If you don’t build it, unit costs will be lower, and people who otherwise might not be able to afford a unit will be able to.”
Option A for less cars and the space and costs they take up
Option A will have a 50% reduction in the residential parking (24 spaces for 48 units) along with unbundled parking, a secured bike room with spots for 50 bikes, subsidized AC transit passes, subsidized bike share memberships and a developer provided car share (see A2.1-A for more info). Option A should qualify the building to be the first GreenTRIP Platinum certified project in Oakland. Option B will have parking for 38 cars and fewer of those traffic reduction strategies.
As the Temescal has the highest rate of bike commuting in Oakland, it’s essential that we write the Planning Commission or show up on Wed, May 20th, 6pm meeting but currently 5th on agenda, (7:15pm?) and speak in favor of Option A. To write, email the commissioners and City Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though Oakland has no affordable housing requirement for most developments (yet), 4700 Telegraph was restricted in its entitlement to provide 5 affordable units (3 at 80% AMI and 2 at 100% AMI). As Nautilus is now changing the makeup of the development from condo sales to rental apartments, it’s not clear if they would be required to honor the 5 affordable units but this is where again we as a community must push the Planning Commission to insist on the commitment to a trace of affordability in the Temescal.