This design concept of a 26 story residential tower at Jack London Square furnished by Ellis Partners.

Recently, Oakland Tribune writer Matthew Artz wrote an article relating that the development company Ellis Partners is interested in placing two residential towers amid the current hustle and bustle of Jack London Square shops and restaurants.  One tower would be 17 stories tall, and the other is projected to be 26 stories.  (see above)

Sides have been drawn up among supporters, and those not in agreement with the project.  Downtown Oakland has been, over the years, slowly growing and changing.  Within the last 7-10 years, the Fox Theater area, the Jack London area and adjacent neighborhoods have seen new homes, restaurants, entertainment and artistic venues that have attracted visitors from all over the Bay area. 

Those in favor of the project's projected 665 units feel that it will bring more of the growing vitality to the waterfront area which already has  shown that it can appeal to both Oakland residents and tourists.  Those against, raise objections to the potentially large view-blocking appearance that each of these units would create.  At present, under current city planning regulations, no housing is allowed in the area that Ellis Partners wish to build.  They would like the 17 story  tower to be located at the mouth of Broadway, and the 26 story tower to be placed close to Harrison and Alice Streets.

This issue has begun its passage through the Planning Commission and will also involve the City Council.  In the meantime, opinions are as varied as the parties involved. 

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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