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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sherwin Williams Project to be the Densest Residential Development in Emeryville History

Ultra Density: Sherwin Williams Project to Break 100 Units Per Acre

Pacific Park Plaza
At 30 stories, less dense than
Sherwin Williams.
Built by Lathrop Construction:
a bunch of pikers compared 
to Ernst & Dorfman.
As Emeryville's Sherwin Williams development project is fast tracked through the approval process, having completed the Environmental Impact Report scoping requirements this week, Emeryville residents have been introduced to a new concept: ultra density, the greater than 100 units per acre residential development.  The developers for the project have pulled out all the stops and tweaked their plan to cash in on Emeryville's generous "density bonus" accommodations, pushing the project past the never before achieved in Emeryville greater than 100 units per acre boundary.   The developers have not released exactly how dense they intend the project to be.
The ultra dense project at over 500 all rental units will allow the developers, Joe Ernst Principle at SRM Ernst Development Partners and Bruce Dorfman of Thompson/Dorfman Partners to maximize their profits but it will massively impact the entire city of Emeryville with thousands of extra vehicle trips per day clogging up our streets.

Emeryville has allowed some very dense residential projects in the past, but none have eclipsed the 100 units per acre level.  Here is a breakdown of the five densest residential developments in Emeryville:

Bruce Dorfman
"We build high quality
urban development."
That's why instead I live 

in Mill Valley.
  1. Christie Park Towers   100 units/acre
  2. Pacific Park Plaza   99 units/acre
  3. 1401 Park Avenue   92 units/acre
  4. Emeryville Warehouse Lofts   69 units/acre
  5. Courtyards @ 65th Street   68 units/acre

Traffic generated by the Sherwin Williams project, a so-called Planned Unit Development located in the Park Avenue neighborhood, will likely forever gridlock 40th Street and Hollis Street but Mr Dorfman and Mr Ernst will build a small park in the project as compensation.

Joe Ernst
We wouldn't live in any of
 our residential developments
but trust us, you'll really

like it, Emeryville.
Bruce Dorfman, a resident of Mill Valley in Marin County was asked about the extreme density proposed at Sherwin Williams this morning and he ducked the question responding simply, "We build high quality urban development".  That may be but if this level of density is an inherent good, we're left wondering why he himself lives in a town that allows only 7 units per acre for single family residences and no more than 29 units/acre for multi-family residential projects.
Bruce's partner for this project, Joe Ernst lives in a "1919 bungalow" in Alameda.  That's a town that allows only up to 8.7 units/acre for residential Planned Unit Developments.
Interesting, these guys don't live in any of the projects they've built and they prefer to live in such low density environments.

We should consider these developers aren't looking out after our best interests.
Emeryville residents should decide among themselves how much density is good for our town.  We shouldn't simply leave it up to a couple of profit seeking developers from Mill Valley and Alameda with a cock and bull story about how great it's gunna be when traffic is gridlocked in our town.  We need a debate around this issue and now that we've elected a new City Council that will listen to us, we say let's get the conversation started.  Sorry Joe 'n Bruce; we're going to not just take your word for it how wonderful this level of density you're proposing for us is.  We're taking control of our town.  Stay tuned.


  1. You've made a good, if childish point: Why should we let these guys decide about how much density is good for us? Good work but you should drop the name calling.

  2. We need to kill or convert the Sherwin Williams Project to a low density,
    livable and sustainable neighborhood of affordable Family, and Senior
    housing with both owner-occupant and rentals units...., with Walkability
    and Bikability. We need to dump the South Park model/ Fantasy!

    Richard Ambro
    1264 64thSt