Council Members Bas and Fife Propose that the Controversial E 12th Street & Lake Merritt Blvd Parcel be developed with 100% affordable housing.
After years of controversy and failed plans to construct a high-rise tower of luxury units on the parcel, a city council committee voted this week to advance a proposal by councilmembers Bas and Fife for an all-affordable housing development to the full council for approval.
Currently, the so-called E. 12th Street “remainder parcel” is home to around 80 unhoused residents living in two temporary tiny-house programs. Now, Oakland staff and officials have signaled support for the development of two fully affordable apartment buildings on the city-owned site.
Nonprofit developer East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), already has access to $21 million in state funds for one of the buildings, but the City Council will have to approve the project soon in order to save the grant from being returned to the State. Members of the council’s Community and Economic Development Committee (CED) on Tuesday voted to send the proposal on to the full council for a vote on July 5.
A 91-unit building by EBALDC would serve residents who make between 30-60% of the area median income, and would be constructed on the Second Avenue part of the parcel. EBALDC would have a “ground lease” on the parcel, meaning the city would maintain ownership of the land. If the projects move forward, it will be a relief and a victory for neighborhood activists who have long fought for deeply affordable housing on the site.