Central Station

The Bay Area's Newest Destination

Sunday, November 1, 2009


VISIONARY - Terner Relentless in Pursuit of Housing
Affordable Housing Finance • October 2009
By Rick Holliday

Don Terner changed my life. I first met Don as a burnt-out, lost graduate student at University of California Berkeley in 1976. In the 20-plus years I knew Don, I witnessed firsthand his remarkable ability to inspire and lead his colleagues and friends in his relentless pursuit to build affordable housing. Don approached the never ending affordable housing production shortfall with a laser focus and unbridled enthusiasm. This attitude/method became his mantra, “Whatever It Takes.”

On Jan. 3, 1983, I had the honor to join Don as his business partner with a stated goal to create a “new” regional nonprofit housing developer that could lead the way in developing large quantities of high-quality affordable homes for working families that were priced out of the San Francisco Bay Area market. The mission we laid out was audacious and bold. BRIDGE would build thousands of homes in partnership with public and private parties. BRIDGE is more than 25 years old now, and we lost Don in our 13th year.

Note: Terner, an architect and social entrepreneur who served on the faculties at MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley, died in April 1996 in a plane crash with U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown while on a humanitarian mission to Bosnia.

Complete article here

VISION - New West Oakland lofts in old Pacific Cannery
West Oakland is undergoing a transformation with Central Station, a series of housing developments in the neighborhood around the historic Southern Pacific Train Station.

Approved by city leaders five years ago, the plan calls for more than 1,000 homes to replace 26 dusty acres. They'll be clustered around the restored Beaux Arts-style 16th Street Train Station, the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad.

The area has long been a sort of no-man's-land. West Oakland was cut off from the rest of the city on four sides by the Oakland Army Base, West Oakland BART, the West Grand Avenue freeway entrance to the Bay Bridge and a lumbering double-decker portion of Interstate 880 called the Cypress Structure.

Then 20 years ago, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck, rendering the Cypress a pile of rubble. Shortly afterward the Army base was shuttered and an area that had long been cut off from the rest of Oakland was suddenly a lot the way it used to be - a regular neighborhood of Victorians and warehouses, easily accessible and well placed.

The area changed slowly, just as Jack London Square did. The artists infiltrate first, moving in for the cheap live-work space; then the hipsters arrive, coming for its rough-edged authenticity; and finally the developers.

One of the first entrants, Holliday Development, is building the Pacific Cannery Lofts in the initial phase of the Central Station community.

The 163-unit project is an adaptive reuse of a historic warehouse, the 1911 Pacific Coast Cannery building, which was shuttered during the Great Depression and has sat empty for 50 years.

Complete article here

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