West Oakland Pacific Pipe Company Building to Become Climbing Gym

Published On January 15, 2019 | By Rob Arias | In the Neighborhood, Local Businesses

The Pacific Pipe Company building on the corner West Grand and Mandela Parkway may finally be getting a tenant after decades of vacancy and blight. Touchstone Climbing announced on their blog plans to restore and convert the former factory into their latest climbing gym. “We love celebrating the history of our cities, and we’re especially stoked to revitalize this decades-long abandoned space while maintaining its industrial roots.”

Touchstone already owns and maintains fifteen climbing gyms in California including Berkeley Ironworks, Great Western Power Company in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood and Dogpatch Boulders in SF. They also have plans for a gym at the vacant Oaks Theater in North Berkeley.

Rendering and Feature Image: Touchstonecclimbing.com.

The 55,500 square foot West Oakland space is noted as being over double the size of Berkeley Ironworks. In addition to plans for a fifty foot tall climbing wall, Touchstone will offer bouldering, yoga and other fitness classes.


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The dilapidated and tagged green building has a storied history and originally operated as Pacific Tank and Pipe Company in the 1920s.

Many notable Bay Area infrastructural components were manufactured and stored at the warehouse including sections of the Bay Bridge, the Jack London Square Amtrak Station, and parts of the old San Francisco Museum of Modern Art building.

The building was once home to The Pacific Tank & Pipe Company (Photo: Oakland Wiki).

“We’re thrilled to be part of a community as passionate and welcoming as West Oakland,” noted Touchstone’s Marketing Director Heather Bellgreen. “We’ll be creating a cutting-edge gym for climbers and non-climbers alike, and we can’t wait to provide programs that will serve our neighborhood to the fullest!”

The vision for this space as well as the adaptive re-use of the nearby American Steel site was developed by JRDV Urban International. JRDV has also been selected to lead the design of the West Oakland BART Station Area sites and proposed Innovation Hub.

Pacific Pipe is targeting opening in 2020.

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

3 Responses to West Oakland Pacific Pipe Company Building to Become Climbing Gym

  1. david gersh says:

    Rob,

    Why is the completed Emery Station West/Transit Bldg still vacant?

    And any news about a tenant for the New Seasons space? Any food business there would instantly have hundreds of affluent customers from all the new residential housing that surrounds the site!

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