Del Monte development plan before board

Del Monte development plan before board

Michele Ellson


Photo by Michele Ellson; renderings courtesy of the City of Alameda.

The public will have a chance to weigh in at Monday's Planning Board meeting on a draft plan to refashion the iconic Del Monte warehouse into hundreds of homes and shops on a new waterfront promenade that would be open to public use.

Developer Tim Lewis Communities hopes to begin construction on the development in 2015 and to welcome its first residents and shop owners in 2017.

Initial plans for the brick warehouse, which was constructed for the former California Packing Company in 1927 and ultimately designated a city monument, call for 309 one, two and three bedroom townhomes, lofts and flats and as much as 18,000 square feet of commercial space to be constructed within its 5.4 acres.

To create those, the developer proposes to “re-skin” the outer sections of the warehouse and to remove roofs of two middle sections to construct four stories over a level of parking. The developer would retain the building’s exterior and its second-floor windows and refashion its loading docks into private patios for residents; 50 new openings would be created in the first floor of the warehouse to let in light and air, and a 1950s-era storage and labeling shed would be demolished.

Ultimately, the 11-acre site could hold a total of 414 rental and for-sale housing units and up to 25,000 square feet of commercial space, with some of the development taking place along the Sherman Street side of the property, which is at the corner of Sherman and Buena Vista Avenue.

The draft plan also shows a waterfront promenade that allows for walking and bicycling, fishing and watercraft access, anchored by a retail core. Most of its outdoor space would be set up in the form of common gathering areas, the draft plan for the project says, since it sits between Littlejohn Park and the to-be-developed Jean Sweeney Open Space Park.

The project would be offer a “new standard” in energy efficiency and accommodate unspecified water- and land-based transit, the draft plan says.

A public tour of the building and discussion of the Roseville-based developer’s plans for it took place Wednesday. Tim Lewis representatives believe planning and permitting for the development could take up to a year, the draft plan says.

The Planning Board meeting begins at 7 p.m. Monday at council chambers in City Hall; the agenda is posted below.


Submitted by Tom (not verified) on Fri, Apr 25, 2014


What will the City of Alameda receive for the Belt Line Railroad Property which borders Buena Vista Avenue and seems to be included in the redesign and repurposing of this Historic Building?

Does Tim Lewis get it for free?

Submitted by Liz T (not verified) on Fri, Apr 25, 2014

Wondering how this will impact the island's aging infrastructure, traffic, and limited water resources. Alameda needs more businesses ahead of more housing.

Submitted by Aaron T (not verified) on Fri, Apr 25, 2014

I totally agree with Tom's comment. The Beltline land in front of the building has been intended to be used for the "Cross Alameda Trail". We cannot give this to the developer. The plan should include the trail as envisioned.

Submitted by Tom (not verified) on Fri, Apr 25, 2014

415 units
650-800 cars?
Lots of traffic on Buena Vista in the future…
Not even considering Chipman development etc etc
What Plans?

Submitted by Les (not verified) on Fri, Apr 25, 2014

To much Density, A four stories high addition this will bring in a additional 1000 plus people and car and will look like a monster.
If you lived in this area in the 1950 when Del Monte, Encinal terminals, the project ( government housing )were going strong, you would know what gridlock is all about.

Richard Bangert's picture
Submitted by Richard Bangert on Fri, Apr 25, 2014

It looks like mismatched architecture - like a faux Hollywood brick facade has been rolled into place. The modern innards may not be visible from Buena Vista, but from the waterfront the mix and match will be noticeable.

Submitted by Jack (not verified) on Fri, Apr 25, 2014

Horrible idea. The traffic during commute hours will be completely backed up from the tube to park street.
It would be nice if the "planning board" came up with plans that didn't include new housing. The retail space might be OK but adding tons of new housing to an already dense island makes no sense at all.

Submitted by Pat (not verified) on Fri, Apr 25, 2014

I, too, am concerned with the appearance of the added architecture especially from the Buena Vista, south, side. The flat top, aluminum sided fourth story addition, and modern windows cut out of the brick walls should have some relevance to the Art Deco architecture.

Submitted by old timer (not verified) on Sun, Apr 27, 2014

So, since we all seem to be against it, it will probably happen anyway.
Let's not forget to put a Walgreen's on the corner. Lord knows we need another one.

Submitted by Kernal Blanders (not verified) on Tue, May 6, 2014

Several important points: 1) this is perhaps the highest density housing allowed in Alameda history. 2) there will be INTENTIONALLY fewer than necessary parking spots, ostensibly to encourage mass transit use. 3) as a result of item 2, PERMIT PARKING will be mandated in the surrounding neighborhoods. And this will not be "like Berkeley" -- it will be worse because it will have to be 24-hour enforcement!

The density and permit parking situation create dangerous precedents for the entire city.

Submitted by Karen (not verified) on Tue, May 6, 2014

The no housing crowd would like this historical landmark to sit vacant for another 20 years while the region is suffering from one of the worst housing crisis.

Submitted by Kurt MacDonald (not verified) on Wed, Jul 9, 2014

While I am for change and new business housing etc the traffic impact on the neighborhood and tube will be insane. The politicans see tax dollars and live on the other side of the Island. Why don't we put a new retail complex on rabbit hill? And for that matter eliminate the toy plane park and put a new housing development there?