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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Avalon Bay Complex: 100% Rental, Mostly One Bedroom

Avalon Bay Project Morphs Into Another Emeryville "Men's Dorm"

Shellmound Avenue's massive residential development, Avalon Bay, is finalizing entitlements for its eight story apartment complex that is a near copy of other recent Emeryville residential projects in two key aspects; it's to be 100% rental and comprised mostly of one bedroom units.  The developer has changed the proposed apartment complex, following the super heated Bay Area market for one bedroom rental units.  The developer, also called Avalon Bay, has shaved off almost 50 units from an initial iteration but the broad make-up of the project has morphed into what has been called a "men's dormitory" or "techie dorm" housing style with 11 studios and 96 one bedroom apartments and 98 two bedroom apartments.

 The Tattler reported in September on San Pablo Avenue's Maz Apartments, another 100% rental housing project that can fairly be called a men's dormitory with it's mostly one bedroom apartments.  The target renter for that project according to its developer will be singles in their twenties and thirties able to pay high rents.

These all rental mostly one and two bedroom apartment projects in Emeryville pull in San Francisco techies (mostly men) seeking lower rent than that city offers plus the promise of an easy commute to the South of Market area or the Financial District.  Avalon Bay is a project that the development company says will 'pencil out' for them with the current configuration and they're poised to maximize profits by catering to these San Francisco workers with this offering of mostly one bedroom apartments.  Critics have drawn attention to the general lack of civically minded people these techie dorms will attract, notably the blog E'Ville Eye.

Avalon Bay will include 11 studio apartments, 96 one bedroom units, 98 two bedroom units, 6 three bedroom units all on a podium above a massive parking garage plus retail along the street front.  Being a virtually all residential project, Avalon Bay will not contribute revenue for the City of Emeryville as these kinds of projects have been shown to be revenue neutral, taking in services at least as much as they pay out to City Hall.

City Hall has not shown how this project is 'family friendly', housing they say is critically needed in Emeryville in order to support the schools.

The developer, Avalon Bay Communities, a Virginia based Real Estate Investment Trust says the project, located near the Ashby exit at Interstate 80 will break ground later in the year or possibly in early 2016.


  1. The council uses the argument that we should develop our town to bring in money through increased taxes. But that argument doesn't work if these residential properties are revenue neutral. The Tattler makes a good point with this. We should demand better residential development that improves our town. Not these rental dorms.