On the Drawing Boards
A number of development projects are currently being proposed. Some have been approved and are awaiting construction, while others are still in the planning stages. North of the Amtrak station, Wareham Development is proposing a "
North Bayfront Area
The 1st phases of construction are expected to begin within the next few years. BRE developers have acquired the office building constructed by Lathrop in the late 1960s near the corner of Powell and Christie and plan to replace it with a mixed use project to include residential, hotel, and retail uses. Several residential projects have received approval and are waiting for better economic times to begin construction. These include:
- Paper mill project, 168 units at Powell and Hollis Streets
- MacArthur-San Pablo project, 94 units at San Pablo Avenue and West MacArthur Boulevard
- 39th and Adeline project with 101 units on Adeline Street just north of San Pablo
- Bakery Lofts IV project, 18 units on Adeline near 47th Streets
- 4520 San Pablo townhouses, 29 units at the corner of San Pablo Avenue and 45th Street
For the latest status on major projects being processed by the city, check the Planning and Building Department's major projects page.
In addition, planning of a number of city projects is underway. A new Arts and
For several years the city, school district, and Emeryville community, through the Education and Youth Services Advisory Committee, have been planning for a new multipurpose multi-generational facility called the
In April 2008 the city hired an architect to prepare a conceptual plan showing how the various program elements could fit on the site. The resulting plan includes athletic fields, plazas, and several 3-story buildings with space for all school grades (K-12), recreation and fitness programs, Senior Center functions, sports and recreational programs, arts, performance, food service, community services and family support programs.
A series of meetings are being held to solicit support and feedback from all segments of the Emeryville community, and an architect is to be hired soon to prepare a final design. Construction is anticipated in 2010. This important project has become a symbol of the spirit of cooperation and mutual support of the city and school district for the betterment of Emeryville citizens of all ages. For the latest information on the
Following the city's 1st general plan in 1966, subsequent general plans were adopted in 1974, 1979, 1987, and 1993. The current plan dates from 1993 and is essentially a repackaging of the 1987 plan. In 2003 the City Council determined that the vision presented in the 1993 plan of transforming the city into a mixed use urban center had largely been realized, and that it was time to create a new plan to ensure that future development focuses on quality of life issues for the Emeryville community.
They appointed a 16-member General Plan and Zoning Update Steering Committee, representing diverse segments of the Emeryville community, to guide the effort. The committee began meeting in October 2004, and conducting an unprecedented public participation effort including stakeholder interviews, a citywide mail-in survey, several newsletters, 7 community workshops, and over 50 public steering committee meetings, most of which were televised live.
Draft Plan Ideas
From this effort, a draft General Plan has been crafted that calls for:
- Preservation and enhancement of existing residential and industrial areas
- High-density, high-rise core in the central bayfront area that steps down in scale and intensity in all directions
- 4 neighborhood centers to serve the local needs of the community
- Regional retail district along 40th and Shellmound Streets
- Transit oriented development at the Amtrak station and the 40th / San Pablo transit hub
- Redevelopment of shopping centers into high-density urban neighborhoods
- Expanded street grid to facilitate walk ability and finer-grain development
- Transportation system focused on alternative modes such as public transit, bicycling, and walking, while still accommodating automobile travel
- Comprehensive open space system including 2 new large centrally-located community parks with playing fields, additional smaller parks throughout the city, and a new east-west greenway with water features to celebrate Temescal Creek
- Urban design policies to promote design excellence, emphasize pedestrian amenities and establish gateways at major city entrances on Powell Street and San Pablo avenue
- Sustainability policies balancing the 3 "E's": environment, economy, and equity
Population Projections & "Smart Growth"
Throughout the early 20th century, Emeryville's population hovered at around 2,500. With the development of Watergate,
These policies are part of a regional strategy of "smart growth" developed by the major regional planning agencies including the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). This regional effort, called "Focus", is intended to promote high-density infill development in the urban core area in order to discourage suburban sprawl on the regional fringes, thereby preserving agricultural land and open space; and to allow people to live closer to their jobs, thereby reducing vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.
To learn more about the Focus regional planning effort, visit their website. While Emeryville may be small, at only 1.2 square miles of land area, it is doing its part to help save the planet by subscribing to "smart growth" principles.
The City of
Emeryville Historical Society
Much of the information on this page about Emeryville's early (pre-1960) history comes from the Emeryville Historical Society. They can be contacted through their website at emeryvillehistorical.org or by mail at:
6389 Racine St.
Oakland, CA 94609
A $20 annual membership includes a subscription to their quarterly printed journal.
In 2005, Historical Society authored an excellent book with many photographs of early Emeryville, as part of Arcadia Publishing Company's "Images of America" series. The book can be purchased at local bookstores including Barnes and Noble at Bay Street and Borders Books and Music at the Marketplace, or directly from Arcadia's website.