At their Feb 28, 2013 meeting the Planning Commission listened to a proposal by Rick Holiday to retain and upgrade the former Maz Building at 3800 San Pablo Ave. into a mixed use new project with retail and residential. Rick Holiday is shown in the video below..
Most of the comments were very positive. However, the request by the Commission to include THREE bedroom units was difficult to swallow. It flies in the face of marketing for the project. The whole city evolves around ECCL these days. Certain members of the Planning Commission and City Council have decided Emeryville must become a family friendly city. Every project must have THREE bedroom units, even though statistics continue to show three bedroom units in Emeryville are too expensive for families to live here. There are already enough kids in Emeryville for the schools, but the parents send the kids elsewhere. The real problem, which no one mentions, is the high school is predominantly Black, and many White and Asian parents won’t send their kids to an almost all Black High School. It is unstated reasons for putting the elementary and high school grades in the same building at ECCL. Holiday indicated, in a non offensive way, the THREE bedroom requirement is an obstacle. It is also unknown if the project can achieve all of the new requirements, just recently added, for any project seeking greater density than what is allowed. The new “bonus” point system is almost an insult. since the additional benefits of higher density should be considered on its own merit. The City has not yet adjusted to the loss of the redevelopment agency, where the City was able to contribute money, which put the City in a better position to ask for more. We will watch to see how this project evolves.