Emeryville Planning Commission to weigh in on proposed 54-Story Tower that would be East Bay’s Tallest
A Vancouver-based developer is proposing a record-breaking 54-story residential tower for development in Emeryville’s Christie Core neighborhood. Rising at 683 feet in height, it would be the tallest all-residential building in the Bay Area and the second tallest all-residential building in the western United States.
The plan submitted by Onni Group for the 3.76-acre site at 5801 and 5681 Christie Avenue calls for 638 residential units in a building fronting the 76 Gas Station on Powell Street.
It will feature a mix of studio, one, two, and three-bedroom rental apartments. Renderings of the building show a geometric waveform design on the upper part of the tower, facing west, along with angled balconies to maximize the bay view for residents.
The developer has also proposed a separate 16-story, 238,000-square-foot office tower to sit north of the residential tower, along with 20,000-square-feet of retail space and 1,105 parking spaces. The office tower would replace an existing one-story building that currently houses the Emery Bay Café and Allegro Ballroom.
Drawings from the architectural firm, IBI Group, show a half-acre of open park space along Christie Avenue at Shellmound Way. A shared common space for both office workers and residents would sit on a podium deck at the eighth level. Residents will have access to a pool deck that sits in the air, connecting the top of the office building to the residential tower.
An existing 87,410-square-foot office building on the property, which currently houses a Wells Fargo Bank branch, would be retained.
If built, Onni’s residential tower would take the reign as Emeryville’s tallest building from the 318 feet, 30-story Pacific Park Plaza, located just north of the proposed project.
In comparison, San Francisco’s Millennium Tower and One Rincon Hill South Tower sit at a similar, but slightly shorter, height to the proposed building. Completed, Onni’s building would also rank as the tallest building in the East Bay and 14th tallest in California.
Onni’s application has some significant hurdles to clear before receiving project approval, as the development requires changes to meet Emeryville Planning Regulations through the bonus point system. The system incentivizes developers to make certain changes to their plans for the benefit of the community, in exchange for increased in allowances for height, density, and Floor Area Ratio.
The submitted plan currently exceeds the city’s 75-foot height restrictions for the residential tower, does not specify details about affordable housing, and does not detail which community benefits will be provided. To obtain the needed bonus points, the developer will need to “include additional public open space, zero net energy, additional family-friendly units, or a contribution to the City’s small business fund or other public improvements,” according to the staff report.
The City of Emeryville Planning Commission will review the developer’s application, receive public comment, and provide feedback to the developer during the project’s first study session on Thursday, December 13 at 6:30pm, in the council chambers at City Hall.