OMG, folks. I know I promised to write about crime like a week ago, and I will, soon, I swear. I was going to do it today, but I am just way too excited right now to blog about anything but Encinal Tower.
At a whopping 715 feet, Encinal Tower would be by far the tallest building in Oakland, dwarfing our current record holder, the 404 foot tall Ordway Building. It’s so funny – remember when Emerald Views was first proposed, everyone was all upset (or excited) about it being the tallest building in Oakland? Now we actually have three taller buildings going through the planning process. Crazy. It would also, interestingly enough, be basically the tallest building we’ll ever have, since apparently, even though the new proposed CBD zoning code would allow unlimited heights in Area 1, the FAA won’t. Who knew.
Anyway, Peter Wang wants to tear down Gold Tooth Master and replace it with this:
OMG, OMG, OMG, HOW AWESOME IS IT? DON’T YOU LOVE IT!?!?!?
What’s that? You want more pictures? I apologize for the lame images right now – I hope to have nice renderings soon and when I get them I will replace my sad photos with something better.
Have I mentioned yet that I love it?
Okay, settling down. Let’s see…this building would sit between Broadway and Franklin (and have entrances on both streets) and between 19th and 20th. So on Broadway, it would be between the World Savings Tower and the historic Tapscott building, the abandoned 4 story brick building on the corner of 19th and Broadway, which I affectionally refer to as the Teen Pressure building, after the bizarre dioramas warning about “DRUGS! STDS! TEEN PRESSURE!” that filled up all the ground floor windows and I used to always stare at while waiting for the bus. (The dioramas disappeared a while ago. I miss them.)
What else? The building would have a gigantic lobby (60 feet!) featuring a huge commissioned piece of art, then the majority of the building would be office space (floorplates averaging 32,000 sf) with terraces along the south face of the building on each floor. Then then top 22 floors of the building would be residential, right now they’re saying one and two bedroom units, and 10 per floor. ALSO DID YOU SEE IT? ISN’T IT GORGEOUS?
Nobody’s going to accuse this building of looking like a Days Inn from Ohio!
Another reason I like the project, aside from the fact that it just looks SUPER COOL, is that it will serve as an excellent anchor for what I think we should be looking at as our prime future downtown development corridor, 20th Street. I’ve never understood why people go on and on about concentrating future building along the “Broadway spine.” Have they not noticed that Broadway is already built?
20th Street, from Broadway to the Lake, on the other hand, is totally primed for development. One, it sucks. Two, it’s on top of BART and tons of bus lines. Three, it’s huge. And it’s like, the most pathetic street in Oakland! I mean, I walk down 20th now, with those one story banks and giant surface parking lot and that hideous Nurses Association building, and I want to cry. Yet for some bizarre reason, whenever I talk about we should look at 20th Street as the best spot for future high intensity development downtown, people look at me like I have antennae coming out of my head or something. But this on one end and the new Swig buildings will bookend the street so perfectly, and then maybe other people will see what I see.
Oh, and as part of the project, they’re going to restore the Tapscott building. One less abandoned building downtown, hooray! Possible uses suggested at the meeting included retail with offices on top, a multi-story restaurant or bar, or maybe a boutique hotel.