San Francisco

Emeryville Planning Commission to Discuss Proposed 54-Story Tower

A proposal to build a 54-story residential tower in the East Bay will be discussed Thursday, and, if built, would be among one of the tallest residential buildings in the country.

The 683-foot building would include 638 residential units in Emeryville’s Christie Core neighborhood near the Powell Street Plaza, making it the second tallest all-residential building in the western United States.

Vancouver-based developer Omni Group also wants to build a separate 16-story building where the Emery Bay Café and Allegro Ballroom sits, which would be a mixture of retail space and parking spaces.

However, since the project exceeds height restrictions for buildings in Emeryville, developers will need to show their plans will benefit the community, like affordable housing, in order to get any project approval.

"I think the bigger problem is homelessness and affordable housing," said Oakland resident Asha Wilkerson. "So I don’t really care how big your building is, if there’s still people in the street, it doesn’t matter to me, it’s not impressive to me."

As it stands, the current plan does not show any options for affordable housing, but some residents think the tower will help with rent prices.

"They’re trying build a lot of stuff he, way more houses here," said Alec Phillips from San Francisco. "It’s going to help with rent prices so I’m for it."

Being that the tower will compete with those in San Francisco for tallest in the Bay, some residents think Emeryville is better off without the comparison.

"I like how Emeryville is different from San Francisco, I think if we had a larger tower here, it’s not going to make it any different from San Francisco," said Emeryville resident Murri Shabbirhussain.

Developers will present any changes to their plans during the planning commission meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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