by Emma Leonard, Program Associate Center for Creative Land Recycling
On March 21, CCLR had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of Mural—the first residential building of the MacArthur Transit Village pioneered by BRIDGE Housing. CCLR's partnership with BRIDGE Housing and ongoing support of the project over the years has precipitated over $37 million in grant funding. And while the project has been over a decade in the making it has finally paid off. The complex has been named a "model" for the creation of dense, transit-rich and inclusive communities. With the development of more units currently underway, it can only get better and we at CCLR are thrilled to have been a part of it!
BRIDGE Housing is a leading nonprofit developer and manager of affordable housing in California and the Pacific Northwest, specializing in the development of family and senior affordable homes and an array of revitalization, transit-oriented, urban-infill and mixed-use developments. Since its founding in 1983, BRIDGE has participated in the development of over 16,000 homes, with Mural as the newest (and shiniest) of completed developments.
Mural includes 90 rental apartments for low and very-low income households with incomes ranging from 30% to 50% of the area median income. Monthly rents for studios, on-, two- and three- bedroom apartments range from approximately $460 to $1,134. The building itself displays a locally commissioned mural of reclaimed wood in the front entryway and even features a playground/common area that CCLR’s Evan Reeves had the opportunity to take for a spin!
Mural is one piece of the master-planned, transit-oriented development at Oakland’s MacArthur BART station, a project poised to transform 8-acres of BART surface parking into a vibrant and viable mixed-use transit center. The development, once complete, will bring together the critical mass of retail, housing and community uses necessary to support a much-needed 24/7 neighborhood center. At build-out the Village will include 624 residential units (of which 108 units will be below market rate), 42,500 square feet of neighborhood serving retail space, 5,000 square feet of child care facilities, and a the 400 space structured parking garage for BART patrons which has already been completed.
CCLR’s assistance and expertise were instrumental in securing over $37 million in state grant funds in 2008 to finance the new parking structure and additional site infrastructure needs, including environmental cleanup of significant soil and groundwater contamination. We often joke that the work we do at CCLR is about as “un-sexy” as environmental work gets—there is a long lead time in seeing measurable results and there are no adorable endangered mammals to help communicate the issues. So, while it’s not often that we at CCLR have the pleasure and opportunity to witness the completion and transformative impact of developments we catalyzed, it is even less often that we see such a clear need for more work to be done. The demand for affordable housing in California is amongst the highest in the country. BRIDGE senior project manager Joe McCarthy said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Mural that 4,800 people applied for a lease, but only 90 families could be chosen, leaving 4,710 people that still need a place to live, work and play. Let’s get to work.
The Center for Creative Land Recycling is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to catalyzing the redevelopment of contaminated or underutilized land by applying specialized knowledge to accelerate results-focused, community-driven revitalization. For the past twenty years, we've worked with communities and infill developers to provide guided navigation and hands-on assistance to unblock obstacles and realize the benefits of redevelopment. Learn more about our work at www.cclr.org. Find us on Facebook or on Twitter @LandRecycling.
Photo courtesy of Scott Morris