September 14, 2018 Adaptive Reuse in the 880 Corridor
Adaptive reuse is becoming an important pathway to build more housing and mixed-use projects. A lot of the former retailers on the 880 corridor are being converted into housing. One of these adaptive reuse projects, in particular, is going to convert an old car dealership into a huge mixed-use space; including a hotel, retail, and 140 townhomes. The ideal reuse opportunities are retail spaces that require less square footage.
MLC Holdings president, Charles McKeag, said that not every reuse opportunity has been viable, especially in the industrial sector. He noted that there is already a lot of competition for the industrial spaces in the Bay Area, since vacancy is so low. In the industrial market, the most successful reuse opportunities have been small sites since they don’t usually have enough square footage to be useful to industrial users.
Currently, Union City is home to one of the biggest adaptive reuse projects, Station District. They are creating a mixed-use community with hundreds of housing units, 1.2M SF of office, as well as ground-floor retail and a public plaza. It is anticipated that Station District will have easy success leasing the spaces given its location and the current demand for similar spaces.
As people are moving further from their jobs and toward more affordable areas, transit-oriented developments (TODs) have been in high demand. TODs near BART have been very popular and a recent state bill would give BART more authority over developments on and near its land. This bill could be very important in creating new and affordable housing developments; but unfortunately, it could also be problematic because design that works in Oakland might not work in Union City or Newark.
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