Lennar reveals Sherwin Project Architectural Vision, Creates West Oakland BART Shuttle Survey

3 mins read

The Sherwin-Williams project Planned Unit Development (PUD) was approved by council back on October 18th. After a second reading on November 1st, it was officially adopted by the city 30 days later. With this approval comes the next phase of the project: The Architectural FDP (Final Development Plan). This Thursday 1/26, Lennar Multifamily Communities (LMC) will present its vision for Architecture and Open Space in two Emeryville Planning Commission Study Sessions. The 500 unit, 10-acre project is similar in size and scope to the Bay Street and Marketplace projects.

Emeryville’s Planning Commission is currently shorthanded after Commissioner John Bauters was elected to Council and relinquished his seat (he would have and will have to recuse himself from any voting on the project because of residential proximity). The City Council is scheduled to make the Planning Commission appointment at a special February 21st meeting and the new Commissioner should be seated in time for the March 23rd meeting.

The Park Avenue District Plan outlines the desire for new buildings to “acknowledge the eclectic blend of Emeryville’s industrial heritage and its vocabulary of mixed-use buildings with a distinctive artistic and modern sensibility”. Lennar will honor this by dividing the project into three distinct “Districts” including (1) Warehouse, (2) Park and (3) Rail with “each acknowledging Emeryville’s industrial heritage while celebrating the City’s future.” The Land Use Programming document calls out the interior pathway between these districts as a 4th “Boulevard” District.

DISTRICT 1: Warehouse District

This district occupies the southeast corner of the site, bound by Horton Street (east), Hubbard Street (west), 46th Street (north), and Sherwin Williams Avenue (south). It contains the last remaining building from the original Sherwin Williams Paint Factory. This district also includes two designated public open space areas, a community gallery, and a bicycle and pedestrian portal through the existing building.
The goal of this district is to reflect and celebrate the historic warehouse and industrial intensity and character of the site.

DISTRICT 2: Park District

This district occupies southwest portion of the site, bound by Hubbard Street (east), railroad (west), the linear park (north) and Sherwin Williams Avenue (south). It contains one residential building and the main public open space.
The goal of this district is to reflect both the site’s industrial heritage, and its transformation to a modern addition to the City’s urban fabric, and an integrated part of the City’s thriving arts community.

DISTRICT 3: The Rail District

This district occupies the northern portion of the site, between 46th Street and the future Horton Landing Park. It contains one residential building and the linear open space that is an extension of the Emeryville Greenway.
Because of its location adjacent to the railroad, and as the terminus to Hubbard Street, the goal of this district is to highlight the importance of the railroad infrastructure in shaping the industrial center of Emeryville. It will also serve as a gateway to the site from Horton Landing Park.

DISTRICT 4: The Boulevard District

The interior Hubbard and 46th Street open space provides the primary public circulation component through the site to accommodate car, bike, and pedestrian traffic, vehicular access to the garages, and limited on-street parking for commercial uses. It will also serve as an extension of ground floor active uses from the adjacent buildings. The paving, tree locations and street furniture will advance an urban character and encourage shared use between cars, bikes, and pedestrians – enforced with traffic calming devices. Materials will reference the architecture themes of industrial.

PARC’s Feedback

The neighborhood advocacy group PARC (Park Avenue Residents Committee) has continued to advocate on behalf of the neighborhood and has outlined these priorities for the development and park space in addition to the Community Benefits Agreement they negotiated.

Architectural Priorities:

  • Architecture should remain consistent with that outlined in The Park Avenue District Plan (e.g. grid design, symmetry, expansive windows)
  • Materials should be reflective of Emeryville’s industrial era (brick, poured concrete, wood, steel. No stucco)
  • There should be variation in building designs so as not to look like a single massive development

Park Space Design:

  • Park space will be primarily used by Park Avenue District and Bay Street residents and should be designed with those communities in mind
  • Space should include open, grassy areas and allow for flexible use (not highly programmed) and include trees and foliage that invite nature
  • A dog park space near the base of the South Bayfront bridge for better accessibility for the residents of Bay Street.
  • A children’s play “experience/adventure” area should be in close proximity to the designated “affordable” development
  • Design should take into consideration and encourage use of the adjacent Park Avenue Plaza that was built to accommodate events including a Farmers’ Market or Food Truck event
  • Public Art should be distributed throughout the property to encourage walking and exploring

West Oakland Shuttle Survey

As part of the negotiations initiated by PARC, Lennar has agreed to provide a free community shuttle to West Oakland BART for five years once the development reaches 50% occupancy. Lennar has created a neighborhood survey to help them understand and plan for this shuttle. Neighbors are encouraged to complete the survey and underscore the need for this service.

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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. My bad — I didn’t look at the development plan slide deck — looks like there is at least some creative reuse of the existing building. You can feel free to disregard my previous comment. 🙂

    • Hello Marc,
      No harm, no foul. Your initial comment got auto-moderated because you included several links which sometimes triggers my spam-guard. Let me know if you want me to publish although it sounds like you had a slight change of heart.

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