Ocean Avenue Housing Project: End Run Around General Plan
As workers put the finishing touches at north Emeryville's newest apartment complex, 'Ocean Lofts', the units stand ready to receive their new occupants and the neighbors who railed against the project years ago can start to see their worst visions become realized and City Hall's stated housing goals subverted. The project, at 1258 Ocean Avenue involved a small scale developer/builder tearing down a historic existing detached single family house built in 1913 to make way for much denser housing at odds with Emeryville's stated goals of making the town more family friendly and saving the east side housing from the wreaking ball as a General Plan designated 'zone of stability'.
|Ocean Lofts street elevation. Its back is turned to the |
neighborhood. Oceans of stucco, sheer featureless facade
rises up and crowds the sidewalk, no 'eyes on the street' here.
The big corporate developers in Emeryville haven't needed to use these 'hold, defer repair and let rot' tactics, relying instead on a compliant City Council who commonly engage in large General Plan amendments to accommodate the large development proposals. 1258 Ocean shows how a small scale developer, lacking the gravitas and therefore the capacity to garner City Hall largess like the big time developers, can through clever, some might say cynical scheming, still deliver the goods, maximize his profits and bypass our General Plan.