Central Station

The Bay Area's Newest Destination

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Third Space

Earlier this week the San Francisco Chronicle reported on the growing trend of communal working spaces, or the idea of co-working. Playing on a more advanced version of shared artist studios, the communal spaces allow freelancers and entrepreneurs to have a common space, other than their local coffee shop, to start doing business.

The Chronicle writes: "In co-working, a group of freelancers or other solo entrepreneurs share one big office space with perks that they might not get at home, such as conference rooms, espresso machines and opportunities for socializing."

"Brad Neuberg, a 31-year-old San Francisco inventor and open-source software developer who coined the term "co-working." said "I started asking myself, 'Why can't I combine the structure and community of a job with the freedom and independence of working for myself?' "

Though not focusing on the exact concept of "co-working," the Pacific Cannery Lofts have been designed to take the same elements one step further. The focus on designing for entrepreneurs created individual lofts that allow people to create a true live-work environment. The spaces are designed with the flexibility to be a home, home and an office, or all office. With that piece in place, the Pacific Cannery community rounds out the socializing part with a Third Space. This Third Space, located in a large corner gallery space, will likely take the form of work spaces, cafe, event space, happy hour space, yoga studio, and whatever else the Pacific Cannery community finds best suited for their varying social and business needs. If it is a nice day, the Third Space activities can shift to one of the 3 courtyards.

At the end of the day, all of these features and trends come down to community...designing for and being a part of a vibrant community in which members engages with each other, collaborate, and inspire... all speaking to the kind of live-work community that entrepreneurs and "co-workers" are seeking.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Climbing gym opens in renovated Oakland landmark

from the East Bay Business Times

Touchstone Climbing Inc. has opened 13,000-square-foot climbing gym in a historic Oakland building making that the latest of downtown Oakland landmarks to be renovated. The gym, called the Great Western Power Co., opened in a former power plant built in 1924 by the electric utility Great Western Power Co., which was bought out by the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in 1930.

The facility was decommissioned and put to other uses. Touchstone named the new gym after the former power company. Other renovated landmarks in downtown Oakland include the Cathedral Building on Broadway, the Fox Oakland Theater on Telegraph Avenue and the old Southern Pacific railroad station* on 16th Street.
The new gym, at 520 20th St., features 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, 1,500 feet square feet of bouldering, and more than 50 top and lead ropes. It also has a fitness room with TVs and rooms for yoga, cardio and other classes.
Less than a half-dozen blocks from Lake Merritt, BART and bus lines, the gym hopes to serve downtown residents and workers, providing a convenient place to work out within walking distance. The gym Touchstone's seventh.
* note the Southern Pacific Train station mentioned in the article is part of the Central Station Community Development which offers a choice of housing opportunities: condominium, townhome, loft, and apartment. Pocket parks, greenscaping, and a public gathering space in the revitalized train station

Friday, February 15, 2008

Loving the Height

There's no question that we love our height at the Pacific Cannery Lofts. With 16-19' ceilings in the original warehouse, there are soaring columns, mezzanines, walls for oversized art, double height bookshelves, and an overall cubic footage that opens up flexible and naturally lit living spaces. Heck, even our sales team averages close to 6' tall each!

Rose from our sales team, however, has taken her love of height to a new level. Just a block away from the Pacific Cannery is a renowned trapeze & circus school that brings in students from all over the Bay Area. In the video below, watch her daring maneuvers from high in the air!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Better Allocation...

I've posted about putting money into your home rather than your apartment, but today I was reminded that that's only the first step in making a smart financial decision. I met today with a business partner living in South of Market and gave them their first introduction to the Pacific Cannery Lofts. As we walked through the monthly payments, HOA dues, amenities, etc., he quickly stopped with a look of surprise in his eye. At his SOMA condo, not only does he pay over $700 a month in HOA dues, but he has an additional $100 a month for a parking fee....bringing him to over $800/month above and beyond his mortgage payment.

Seeing as parking is included at the Pacific Cannery (and our HOAs are half of what this guy is paying), I started to think what that hundred dollars a month meant in terms of potential value. With our design center, Urban Designs, a buyer can add value to their home with upgraded flooring, lighting, appliances, window coverings, fans, and custom closets for roughly $100 a month. So while one payment gives you a place to park, the other puts tens of thousands of dollars of value in your home. Decisions, decisions....


Friday, February 8, 2008

Experience Counts

After 20 years of colloborating with David Baker + Partners on some of the most interesting live-work, mixed-use, and residential developments in the Bay Area, it isn't to be taken lightly when they say they think they've created their best work yet with the Pacific Cannery Lofts. With 3 new models being finished up, everyday we're able to see more and more of what this finished community will look like and the faces that will fill it.

Most comparable in design and location to the Clocktower Lofts at 2nd & Bryant (461 2nd Street) in San Francisco, the Pacific Cannery boasts more lofts, more courtyards, more floorplans, and more savings. It is a fitting touch that the two projects are just 10 minutes apart, located adjacent to the Bay Bridge, one on the west end, one on the east. If that wasn't enough, even their history is connected: the Schmidt Lithograph company that originally owned and operated the Clocktower Building was the creator of the fruit labels for the Pacific Coast Canning Company (former operators of the Pacific Cannery) nearly 100 years ago. As Rick Holliday wrote, de ja vu all over again.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Is Oakland the Next Brooklyn? The Tale of Two Bridges

I see billboards stating "Oakland Is. San Francisco Was." I hear "San Francisco talks about diversity. Oakland is Diversity." I hear the more and more frequent shock of "Now my friends actually want to visit me instead of me having to go to them in SF." Even San Francisco Magazine features an entire issue to the fact that It's Oakland's Turn - with new restaurants, art, movies, location, and housing for half the cost of San Francisco, they say Oakland is set to take off faster than SOMA did 10 years ago. Last week a couple I know in their fifties was overjoyed at their recent decision to trade out of Pacific Heights to experience everything that the East Bay has to offer.

So what's the scoop? I certainly won't take any shots at San Francisco...I lived there for years and loved every minute of it. To be honest, I was a little sad and a little worried about leaving too. I have East Bay roots that would cause me to drag my friends across the bridge every now and then, but otherwise most people I knew had no reason and no interest in seeing what the other side of the bridge offered.

3 weeks ago I moved to Oakland, and I've gone through a very quick transition...at first, I was okay leaving San Francisco only because I knew I was still so close to being back there. As long as I could be back in SF in 15 minutes, then I really wasn't leaving (or losing) all the things that I loved so much in the city. What I've quickly found, however, is that Oakland has everything I needed from SF right here. The restaurants, bars, galleries, hiking trails, running trails, cycling routes....no shortage of them in Oakland. That certainly isn't to say that I don't still head back to SF, but I learned that I wasn't 15 minutes away from everything I needed - instead, I have everthing I need at home but am only 15 minutes away from any SF urges, friends, or shows that I need....simply said, I have more options, not less. And when it comes to value, I turn to my old friend Homer Simpson:

So with 5 miles creating hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings, I'm certainly not complaining about my decision. There came a turning point when New Yorkers wanted to head into Brooklyn, not out of it, and I think Oakland may have come to the same crossroads with San Francisco.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Apprentices from the Neighborhood

While working on this project, I’ve come across a lot of interesting people, literally hundreds of whom are involved in the construction process alone. While finishing the final touches in the Grove model, I met Reggie Collier the Second (not to be confused with his father), a 24 year old apprentice with Cannon Construction through the Alliance for West Oakland. The Alliance for West Oakland was created by Bruce Cox, an Oakland resident who connects local individuals ranging in age from 18 to 30 years with various trades and sets up internships and apprenticeships. With a project like the Pacific Cannery Lofts and the rest of the Central Station developments, there have been some great opportunities for local residents to get involved through his program.

Stephon Taylor, a 20 year old local is also a member of Mr. Cox’s program and is presently working and studying under Rex Moore Electricians. He is very excited and appreciative of the opportunity to advance in the electrical field.

Both young men grew up and currently live in Oakland, discovering the Alliance for West Oakland program through different avenues. Reggie was encouraged by Mr. Cox, a family friend, to pursue his interest in construction. He found his way onto the adjacent Pulte site, which then led to the opportunity with Cannon Constructors at Pacific Cannery Lofts. Stephon on the other hand, found Cox’s program through his personal job search and has been balancing on-the-job electrical training with his night classes through Rex Moore. Both Reggie and Stephon see these hands on experiences as a crucial career step. When asked about their goals, Stephon sees himself staying in the electrical field with more job responsibility and project management, and eventually owning his own business, while Reggie sees himself moving into the elevator technician trade. Good luck to you both!

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Brewery set to rekindle Oakland's heyday

Headquarters for the Linden Street Brewery is in a historic warehouse along the city's industrial waterfront, a few blocks north of Jack London Square, that manufactured underground street-lighting cables in the late 1800s.

The Linden Street brew space dates back to 1890, the year four breweries were turning out 35,000 barrels of beer annually ...

"We're just a couple of guys out in West Oakland," he added. "As long as the future of Oakland embraces us we'll be OK."

The gatherings, a brewery tradition, help create community — something Lamoreaux said West Oakland could use more of.

Indeed. Sitting there, it was easy to imagine West Oakland when it was a neighborhood of Portuguese, Italians, Greeks, East European Jews and African Americans, including the illustrious Capt. William Shorey, known for its public-mindedness. That was before the Nimitz highway sliced through West Oakland's main arteries and BART went for the jugular.

Lamoreaux said he plans to focus on the brewing and getting Linden Street beers into the city's outlets. The Fireside Lounge in Alameda's West End and The Trappist Belgian beer pub already carry Linden Street's flagship Common Lager, which is made in the old-fashioned steam method that was typical of Bay Area breweries, according to Lamoreaux.

That's all for now, ladies and gentlemen. But if you have a cool shindig e-mail me at awoodall@bayareanewsgroup.com or visit the Night Owl blog http://www.ibabuzz.com/nightowl for more events and oddities.

Full Oakland Tribune Article, click here

Free food and free beer Friday nights at Linden Street Brewing in Oakland

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