Lowney Architecture

Tag Archives: Mixed Use

The Future of Oakland

This month, Ken Lowney spoke at a forum hosted by Bisnow regarding Oakland development trends. Along with other prominent industry experts, Ken explained the Bay Area's shift from traditional construction of multifamily housing to more compact housing with shorter construction times.

Ken explained that as construction and living costs continue to rise, so too does the popularity of modular housing in the industry. The resulting trend is the repositioning of living room space from inside to outside. Apartments have a smaller focus on living rooms, tenants have lower expectations of living spaces, and public space is more meaningful as a result. Shared workspace, open space, and semi-public space serve as substitutes to personal living rooms. In other words, as individual living spaces get smaller, not only are there increased pressures on public resources, but developers are paying more attention to the amenity portion of the program. Developers are more likely to include these spaces in the program while also becoming more creative in their programming.

This harmonious relationship between public and private space is creating a strong demand for mixed-use buildings in Oakland, thereby furthering the opportunities for unique design of public space. An example of this can be found at The Hive on Broadway as well as on the servers of Oakland architecture offices everywhere.

For more information on the discussion, you can follow this link.

Kwik Way Plans Receive Broad Community Support

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle
By Rachel Swan
Photo: Michael Short

After years of scrapped plans and benign neglect, Oakland’s moldering Kwik Way Drive-In is on the brink of demolition.

The midcentury diner, which over the last decade has intermittently shuttered and reopened on Lake Park Avenue, may soon be replaced by a five-story housing and retail development that will stand as tall as the nearby Grand Lake Theater. Though the project is still in its early stages, it appears to have near-unanimous support from a neighborhood where residents have quibbled for 12 years over what to do with the site.

“This site has been pretty controversial in the past,” said Councilman Abel Guillen, who represents the Lake Merritt district. “But you fast-forward to now, and we’re in this housing crunch, and this (property) is way underutilized.”

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