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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Papermill Housing Development Asks For Two Year Extension

Recession Blamed:
Developer Seeks Two Year Extension On Already Approved Project

Tuesday night, the city council approved a development extension to Archstone-Smith Inc, a Colorado based Real Estate Investment Trust to start building an already approved housing project at the corner of Hollis and Powell Street.  The developer claimed the recession has made building the project, dubbed Papermill,  too expensive at this time and the council granted a two year extension on the contract.  The vote was 3-0; Ruth Atkin was absent and Jennifer West recused herself and abstained from voting since she lives closer than 500 feet from the proposed project.

This building on Powell Street will be demolished
Council member West left the dais but spoke as a private citizen and she said the proposed project is flawed since there are only six three bedroom units in the 166 unit development.  Ms West said the city needs to get serious about providing family friendly housing especially in light of the looming schools rebuild mandated by the recent voter approved Measure J.   Council member Nora Davis took issue with Ms West's assessment calling the proposed housing "family friendly already".

The developer has already used up one extension since the project was approved in November 2008.  The approval proved contentious at the time since it involves the tearing down of two brick buildings, one of which was classified as "architecturally significant" by the city's general plan.  The plan specified the building was not to be substantially changed.

The city received an October 15 letter from a company representative asking for another extension, claiming it is still interested in building the project but is having difficulty financing it.


  1. One of those brick buildings will not be completely demolished. Three of the facades will be preserved.

  2. Why isn't the Alameda Historical Society involved in this?

  3. Note to readers:
    The first commenter is correct (sort of). Part of three exterior walls will be left. The roof will be removed and added on by several stories. Since the majority of the building will be demolished, a demolition permit is necessary. It is considered a demolition. The qualities that make the building "architecturally significant" (to use the city's own definition) will be demolished. The other building will have nothing left. This is being done in opposition to the General Plan.

  4. it seems like perfectly good building to me. I'd just leave it as is.

  5. Family friendly housing in Emeryville?
    There's not enough money in that, lets be real here.