I wrote about the Emerald Views condo meeting yesterday for Novometro. Today, there’s a story in the Chronicle about the project.
It contains the usual nonsensical babblings from anti-growth zealots who have somehow failed to notice that Lake Merrit is actually already surrounded by tall buildings. As for this “historic garden” nonsense, I addressed that issue last year in a post on Future Oakland, as did dto510.
And of course the story mentions (without any exploration of feasibility) this idiotic notion these people keep bringing up about trading the property for something near Broadway:
Councilwoman Nancy Nadel, whose district includes the western side of Lake Merritt, said she believes the tower might be better located on Broadway. Preservationists hope O’Keeffe will be willing to do a land swap to locate the high-rise away from the lake’s edge.
Nadel said the city’s general plan provides no height restrictions on the lake’s western edge. In September, city planners are expected to propose guidelines, which would then go to zoning officials and the City Council.
Okay, first. There are more tall buildings by the lake than on Broadway. They are taller than the buildings on Broadway. This project, as proposed, is only 5 feet taller than the current tallest building in Oakland, which sits only two blocks away, on the Lake! The tower would not be on the “lake’s edge.” It would be behind an already existing (historic) lakeside high-rise apartment building. I have no idea where this idea that the “Broadway corridor” is more appropriate for skyscrapers comes from. I can only conclude that Nancy Nadel has never taken a walk around downtown. She also is apparently unaware of the fact that a surface parking lot on 17th and Broadway has been entitled for high-rise residential for years and nobody is willing to build there because it is a terrible location for apartments.
Second, what land do these people think we’re going to swap? We don’t have any land! This is so infuriating. Do advocates of the swap seriously think that our tax money should be spent purchasing an equally desirable and developable plot of land for millions of dollars to give to a developer in exchange for a mostly dead lawn that wouldn’t even be open to the public? The concept is terrifying to me.
Don’t even get me started on the idiot on the Grand Lake Guardian who referred to this high-rise infill development as “sprawl.”
In other news, Nancy Nadel’s hypocrisy continues to astonish me. Just last week she and Pat Kernighan held a meeting about how to reduce to bird population around Lake Merritt, and today she’s in the paper saying:
The lake, Nadel said, is also a bird sanctuary and the well-being of birds should be taken into consideration when the city decides what type of development to allow.