Intersection Developer Rick Holliday vows to rebuild after project gutted. Fireworks Suspected.

2 mins read

The site of a 6-alarm blaze on Wednesday was still smoldering when SF Business Times reporter Blanca Torres had already reached out to developer Rick Holliday on the future of the development. “I’m putting all of my team together to get back to work to finish it,” Holliday defiantly stated in the piece. “We’re not going to let this deter us.”

Warped scaffolding from the blaze that was described as “a total loss” (Photo: @AlamedaCoFire).

We first reported on the plans for the project back in 2013 shortly before it received Planning Commission approval. Three years later, the project was in full swing and expected to begin occupancy early next year. How far this will set the project back is unknown but Holliday noted an optimistic 6-9 month delay. The 172-unit SF Mission Bay project that burned down in March of 2014 took a similar nine months to resume construction.

Holliday noted in this NBC piece that the integrity of the original concrete “Maz” building structure was not compromised and expects the commercial aspect of the project to stay on track for early next year. Holliday is known locally for developing the Emeryville Warehouse Lofts and Blue Star Corner projects in Emeryville as well as Pacific Cannery Lofts in West Oakland. Holliday is also co-founder of Bridge Housing whose mission is to bring affordable housing our communities. It should be noted that this project was slated for 100% market rate rental units.

Developer Rick Holliday of Holliday Development (Photo: BizJournals.com).

Meanwhile, the cause of the blaze is still under investigation but the proximity to the July 4th holiday and several reports by witnesses of hearing fireworks prior have raised suspicions this was the cause. NBC is reporting that The ATF has begun its investigation alongside The Alameda County Fire Department to determine the cause. The construction was in the tender framing phase with exposed wood beams and prior to installation of any fire sprinklers. Holiday estimated that the damage to the expected $40 million development was in the $10-$20 million range. Adding to the suspense is an EPD report that the site was the scene of a burglary just three days prior.

The project is a key component for the revitalization of the neglected area of San Pablo and integral to the longterm success of the fledgling small business community that have begun to emerge in anticipation of a residential influx. The Intersection Project was aggressively seeking the inclusion of a Brewery tenant that Linden Street Brewery founder Adam Lamoreaux was rumored to be a part of.


2013 Planning Commission approval can be viewed on the EPOA YouTube Channel:
[youtube id=”FcSOe0Yck6E” width=”620″ height=”360″]

The 105 units were to be a welcome relief for our epic housing shortage in addition to the adjacent affordable housing project at 3706 San Pablo slated to break ground this year. Additional plans for the “Star Intersection” where San Pablo, Adeline & MacArthur intersect include improved bicycle and pedestrian thoroughfare.

Will developer rebuild after Emeryville fire destroys half-built apartments?

By Blanca Torres

The developer of a half-built apartment building at 3800 San Pablo Ave. in Emeryville destroyed by fire vowed to complete the project.

The fire broke out early Wednesday morning and was contained several hours later. The cause is now under investigation, according to the Alameda County Fire Department.

Read more on SF Business Times →

ATF Investigating Six-Alarm Emeryville Fire, Developer Vows to Rebuild in Nine Months

By Lisa Fernandez


Federal agents from the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives team have been called in to investigate just how a six-alarm fire in Emeryville ignited on Wednesday, destroying 105 apartments under construction, the project’s developer told NBC Bay Area.

Read more on NBCBayArea.com →

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


  1. Thank you Rick Holliday.
    Thank you for not being deterred and for focusing on affordable housing.

  2. Hi Rick!

    I know you through Dick Lazarus, Alan is my husband and we spent several Thanksgiving dinners at the Lazarus home in Walnut Creek.

    I have a colleague that has been trying to reach you regarding an infill project in Oakland and was hoping you would send me contact information so that he can reach you.

    Hope Bunny is hanging in there. We saw her about a month ago, she has quite a spirit!

    My best, Murline Monat

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