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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Flying Palm Trees!

So how did they get those 3500 lb palm trees up over the 40ft high Pacific Cannery Lofts building and into the three courtyards. Under the watchful eye of Jeff Miller of Miller Company Landscape Architects these trees and the concrete garden furniture were craned up and over the building and lowered into a previously prepared 4' x 4' x 4' hole. As the tree was precisely placed in the hole, the Miller Company's team held it in place while dirt was tossed around the root ball to hold the tree upright in its new home. These Mexican Fan Palms, that were in the ground in Arizona just two days prior, were trucked to the site at PCL. Their leaves are tied in a upright position to aid nutrition to the roots for a healthy transition to their new home at the Pacific Cannery Lofts. For more pictures please visit the PCL photoblog in the next few weeks as we have many amazing photos to share from this event. WOW!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

New Eats Come to Town

Another pair of SF restaurateurs has ventured across the bay to bring some new dining to Oakland. They add to a growing number of entrepreneurs that see the growing opportunities in Oakland without having to pay the San Francisco price tag of running their business. Located in Jack London Square just about a mile and a half from the Pacific Cannery Lofts, Mono in getting a lot of buzz from foodies around the Bay Area. As written by Eater SF, "Now several weeks into dinner service, Mono is the brainchild of the husband-and-wife team of Todd Wilson and Eloisa Castillo and the latest in Oakland's steady rise to dining prominence. The space, inspired by the couple's industrial loft down the street, seats no more than a few dozen, but there's an outdoor patio for those sunny days and the seasonal menu is available at the horseshoe bar as well." The food, as described by the owners, is "globally inspired small plates and wine."

You can read more about Mono from the Oakland Tribune, NovoMetro, or see customer reviews at Yelp.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bikes on Bart

I have noticed more and more people riding bikes to work and around urban settings. Expect this number to increase even more as home owners begin to move into the Pacific Cannery Lofts in a couple of months. With a short bike ride to West Oakland BART many future home owner will be "biking and barting" to work and play.

Bikes are allowed in any BART car but the first car of a train. There are restrictions during commute hours for standard bikes but folding bikes are allowed on BART at all times. For more information on Bart Bike Rules check out
Please come by the Pacific Cannery Lofts sales office to check out two different types of folding bikes made by Dahon. One has 20"wheels and the other is full size. Both fold easily and are light enough to roll or carry. Happy riding and "keep the rubber side down!"

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mexican Fan Palms in the PCL Courtyards!

Eight, 25ft Mexican Fan Palms, (Washingtonia robusta), were placed into the courtyards at the Pacific Cannery Lofts last week. These trees weigh approximately 3500 pounds each and will grow high enough to clear the 40ft building. The gray trunk is ringed with closely set leaf scars although usually at least part of the trunk remains covered with dead leaves that hang in a thatch. The solitary trunk, about 10-12 in in diameter, bulges at the ground and becomes slender as it approaches a crown of large palmate leaves with gracefully drooping leaflet tips. These are rich glossy green and grow to about 5 ft long and 4 ft wide. They are borne on 3 ft (0.9 m) orange leaf stems that are edged with sharp sawtooth spines.

In addition the concrete benches and tables were also set in the courtyards so you can now start to see what a wonderful space this will be.

Now I know what you are thinking....how do they get the trees, and concrete furniture over the building and into the courtyards if they weigh so much. You can find out in our next blog where we will share this incredible process.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

West Oakland Branch Library History

The West Oakland Branch Library is the oldest branch in the system, established in 1878. After occupying 4 other sites, the library branch relocated to the current facility in 1979. West Oakland Branch Library is situated on the corner of 18th & Adeline St. - across from DeFremery Park and Recreation Center and the West Oakland Senior Center."

According to UC Berkeley Librarian Suzanne Calpestri, the existence of a library provides clear evidence that West Oakland's rich history was about a community that believed it would be well served by having an educated and literate population.

West Oakland has approximately 35,000 books, compact disks, videos, DVDs, audio books, audiocassettes and magazines and newspapers for all ages. Circulating materials are largely of popular interest with a strong emphasis on practical how-to topics and local history. Special-Interest collections include the African American Collection, a Small Business Collection, Careers and College section, a Lesbian /Gay/ Bisexual/transgender Collection, and Spanish Language Materials for children and adults. West Oakland has an extensive children's section focused on providing early literacy materials to children and their parents as well as a growing teen collection.

For more information visit their website at:

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A little bike maintenance

NovoMetro wrote a great piece, Messing with Bikes, on some of the free workshops in Oakland for bike maintenance. Oakland is a great place for commuting by bike, especially given how many places you can easily get to on flat roads or by hopping on BART for a commute into the city.

I'm a perfect candidate for one of these workshops as I love to bike, often ride to work, but really don't know too much more than the basics when it comes to good bike maintenance and repair (I have been spoiled for years by having a good friend that is also a bike fanatic, so I always have eager hands to turn to for a tune-up). As the article points out, however, bikes are pretty simply machines, so it is worth taking a few minutes to learn the basics.

With the bike lounge that we're building at the Pacific Cannery Lofts, we'll be sure to include a good work-stand for keeping your bike in shape. Perhaps more importantly, we'll be looking to offer some free workshops hosted at the bike lounge so even people like me can get the benefit of it.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Let the Landscaping Begin!

Work on fhe first of our three courtyards began this week. With the scaffolding down, the green light was given for the landscaping crews to get their work underway with plants, shrubs, greenery, palms trees, and hardscape. For the past few weeks our landscape architect has rented out a shop that is half a block away from the Pacific Cannery Lofts, and they have been forming and pouring concrete benches and furniture for the courtyard. Sometime either next week or the week after the palm trees will be craned in and planted - we'll keep you posted as the work progresses. Soon people will have a much better understanding of why one of our models, the Courtyard Loft, has its name - thus far visitors have had to look out windows onto scaffolding and plastic coverings instead of trees and greenery, which can be a challenge for even the most imaginitive minds.

The view outside the courtyard model now can be seen below:

And when it is done, it will look a little more like this:

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Friday, April 4, 2008

SF Chronicle - The Live-Work Concept Evolves

Last week the feature story of the San Francisco Chronicle's 'At Home' section highlighted the latest live-work concepts and projects, focusing in part on the Pacific Cannery Lofts.

"The live/work concept evolves to fit the needs of a new brand of consumer. Whether it's living where you work or working where you live, proximity to public transit is an integral component of new loft and mixed-use construction."

On the Cannery, the article focuses on how the location (270 BART trains a day to San Francisco in less than 10 minutes), the custom upgrades for defining the space, the bike lounge, and the opportunity to have a public and a private entry to a space all create a more functional and more interesting live-work space that is centrally located in a transit hub.

You can see the whole article here: Live_Work_Chronicle.pdf

Live-work buildings create the foundation for a great community, whether you are just there to live or just there to work. We can speak firsthand about the community at the Clocktower Lofts, where several entrepreneurs made their start (including Holliday Development), and many others make their home. And at the Cannery with the opportunity to own for less than $2,000 a month, the rent/buy comparison makes sense for apartment space and office space alike.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Is Oakland the Next Brooklyn? (Part 2...)

We made a first post a few weeks ago comparing Oakland to Brooklyn, raising the question of whether Oakland is beginning to have the same relationship to San Francisco that Brooklyn has to Manhattan. With so much going on in Oakland, and a location like that of the Pacific Cannery Lofts that is only 10 minutes away from downtown SF, it almost seems inevitable.

This past weekend, the New York Times published some similar thoughts in their article, "Sisters in Idiosyncrasy." They go on to say:

"that the populations drawn to both areas by alternative art and music scenes, and by a tolerance for diversity, were looking for a “messy urbanism, a clash of different styles that Brooklyn still retains, that the East Bay still retains.”

Other communities across the country also fit this bill, but what Brooklyn and the East Bay share is proximity to more cosmopolitan centers — Manhattan and San Francisco — where the “creative class,” many of whom are freelancers, can earn a living.

“You can make money in both cities,” Ms. Levine said. “Can you make money in Portland, Ore.? It’s a cool city, it’s got lots of hipsters, but can you make money?”

Roger Guenveur Smith, an actor who has been “flowing in and out” of the Bay Area and Brooklyn since the late 1980s, said the two areas are similar in the relationship that Brooklyn has to Manhattan, and Oakland and Berkeley have to San Francisco: one of interest and curiosity, but also independence."

You can view the entire article here

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Paint'n Time

Gallons and gallons of EnviroKote, an environmentally friendly primer, are stacked up as painting gets well underway.

As we'd mentioned before, some scaffolding is starting to come down throughout the Cannery. One of the 3 courtyards has the scaffolding down and is within a week of having the landscape installation begin....that means hundreds of shrubs, groundcover plants, and even palm trees.

Also shown below is the Grove, what will be a richly landscaped pathway that meanders between the original Cannery building and the new townhomes. This Grove is perfectly suited to become the home to a commercial row of live-work owners, with the ability to have a client entrance on one side and a private entry from inside of the building.

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