San Francisco Business Times
By Ted Andersen | October 8, 2020
A new 100% affordable housing apartment complex whose plans date back all the way back to 2011 has just opened its door in Emeryville.
The 87-unit complex at 3706 San Pablo Ave. is a transit-oriented, mixed-use, multifamily community built by San Rafael-based affordable housing nonprofit EAH Housing. EAH worked with Oakland-based architect KTGY Group Inc. on the design of the six-story project — dubbed Estrella Vista — which includes 6,900 square feet of ground floor retail. The building consists of one- to four-bedroom units ranging from 670 to 1,400 square feet and has 115 parking spaces. Amenities include a playground, young adult Zen garden and rooftop sky deck.
Built on the border of Emeryville and Oakland, the project comes out of a partnership between public and private organizations, including the cities of Emeryville and Oakland, the County of Alameda and the Oakland Housing Authority. The building sits on a little more than 1 acre of land on San Pablo Avenue between 37th Street and West MacArthur Boulevard, which is partially in Oakland. However, Oakland agreed that Emeryville take the lead on all planning and building permits.
In 2011, the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency purchased 3706 San Pablo Ave. and 1025 West MacArthur Blvd. and assembled the two sites as a 1.2 acre parcel for an affordable housing development. At the time, the 3706 San Pablo site had three blighted buildings that were targets of vandalism, dumping, graffiti and trespassing, according to the city. That year City Council moved forward with the demolition of the buildings — a contract awarded to Evans Brothers — with the demolition completed by 2012.
In 2013, the City Council selected EAH Housing, Inc — which beat out eight developers that submitted proposals — for redevelopment of the site as a 100% affordable family housing project. Established in 1968, the Marin-based developer is one of the largest nonprofit housing development and management organizations in the Western U.S.
In 2015, the Emeryville Planning Commission approved a Conditional Use Permit and Design Review for the project. After approval of a permit extension in 2016, a building permit was finally issued in 2017. The construction began that year and was initially expected to be completed by summer of 2019.
Estrella Vista is located less than one mile from the Oakland MacArthur BART station and is also near several bus lines, hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants and schools.
*Homepage image of Estrella Vista is courtesy of KTGY Group Inc