EPS has supported the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District in efforts to redevelop two city blocks of agency-owned land adjacent to the Lake Merritt BART Station in Downtown Oakland. A team of market-rate and affordable housing developers are proceeding with a mixed-use, mixed-income project that will bring much needed housing and services to this neighborhood that features Oakland’s Chinatown and a community college.
EPS first assisted BART by providing market and feasibility analysis for development to establish realistic expectations of the type of projects that might be delivered. EPS then helped to select a developer partner through a competitive solicitation process that involved BART and City staff as well as community representatives on the selection committee. The development faced challenges from changing market circumstances as well as logistical concerns, as part of the property BART offered was still being used for transit infrastructure as well as BART police operations for which no alternative locations had been secured. EPS helped to navigate negotiations that maintained BART’s and the community’s objectives for the project, resulting in City of Oakland approval of the development project and BART approval of the financial terms. The affordable housing component has secured most of the financing required for development and plans to begin construction in 2024.