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E’ville Digest: Cookie Plug Franchise Coming; The Emery BMR Lottery Opens; 5850 Shellmound Project Pulled; Monster Pho Owner Profiled

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Some stories aggregated from other local news websites and social media relevant to Emeryville including the application period for the much sought after The Emery BMR’s opening, a Cookie Plug franchise coming to the Avenue 64 complex and latest Emeryville development project to pull the plug amid a challenging climate for builders and the commercial real estate market.

We’ve also include profiles of two Emeryville business owners including Monster Pho founder Tee Tran and Chick-fil-A franchise owner-operator Jon Hooper.

The Emery Accepting BMR Applications

The new Emery Apartment complex is accepting BMR Applications for 52 BMR (Below Market Rate) units. The application period is open until May 12 and the lottery will be held on May 19.

A total of 85 of the combined 500 units have been set aside as “affordable” through a protracted negotiation between the developer and a private neighborhood group.

The complex is chock-full of private amenities including a 2-lane bowling alley, bike repair room, private roof deck, work center and free public shuttle to West Oakland BART.

Move-ins for the 21 units units in building C are expected to begin as early as this month. Move-ins for the 31 units in building D are projected to be in August/September.

Apply online on the Quarterra website at apply.havenconnect.com


Cookie Plug

Cookie Plug to Open Emeryville Franchise

Southern California founded Cookie Plug announced they will be opening an Emeryville location. The rapidly growing franchise opened their first Bay Area location in Newark this year.

Cookie Plug distinguishes itself from other cookie chains by offering thicker cookies (or “brookies” combing the words cookies and brownies), with names that reference hip-hop culture such as the “The SnooperDoodle,” “The Mac Daddy,” “the O.G.” and offering a “Purple Drank” beverage.

Cookie Plug’s founder Erik Martinez began the business in 2019, wanting to combine his passion for street art and graffiti with his love for making cookies. Some have criticized the chain for “appropriating” hip-hop culture.

The company has an ambitious plan to open 50 new locations over the next year through its franchise model.

Cookie Plug has leased the vacant ground floor retail space of the Avenue 64 Apartment complex on Christie Avenue on next to Black Diamond Café and is slated to open this Summer.

Read the full announcement on whatnowsf.com.


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CA Ventures scraps plans for massive life sciences project in Emeryville

By Sarah Klearman

The firm behind one of the largest life sciences developments proposed in Emeryville has decided not to proceed with the project.

Chicago developer CA Ventures formally withdrew its application for a 14-story, 350,000-square-foot life sciences tower at 5850 Shellmound Way March 30, according to documents released by the city Friday. CA Ventures was also slated to include 30 affordable homes in its Shellmound project, which was first proposed in 2021.

Read more on SF Business Times (subject to paywall)


How Jon Hooper went from Chick-fil-A employee as a teen to store operator

By Rashad Milligan
Jon Hooper never even heard of Chick-fil-A until his family moved to Virginia when he was a child. He began working for the fast-food restaurant from the time he was 16 through college.

He spent time in Chick-fil-A’s interim manager program before becoming an operator in Fremont, California. Hooper actively seeks ways to give back and connect with others through his experience of being a Black man.

Read more on rollingout.com


Photo Illustration: Lori Eanes

Tee Tran Will Make You Want To Be A Better Person

The Monster Pho restaurant owner shares what many get wrong about refugees and how his background has fueled his passion to help others in need.

By Emily Laurence

It’s hard to keep track of all the ways Monster Pho owner Tee Tran has helped his community in Oakland, California. During the COVID-19 pandemic, his restaurant donated almost 20,000 meals through World Central Kitchen, gave free coffee to health care workers and free produce to anyone in need, offered customer discounts for donated goods, held a backpack drive and started a yearly event giving free pho to anyone wanting a hot meal — no questions asked. In this edition of Voices in Food, Tran shares in his own words how his life as a Vietnamese refugee — and more pointedly, how his mom — has inspired his passion for helping others, even when he was struggling himself.

Read more on HuffPost.com

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 Comment

  1. I give the cookie place 6 months, Chick Fil A three years. Monster Pho no longer has a presence here.

    CA Ventures is the only sane thinker here. (How soon before our “leaders” realize converting to all life sciences-based realty is extremely lazy and short-sighted). But hey, at least the trains won’t disturb anyone in empty offices.

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