Groundbreaking Next Month On 260-Foot MacArthur BART Tower

Groundbreaking Next Month On 260-Foot MacArthur BART TowerArchitectural rendering: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Scott Morris
Published on April 11, 2018

Construction will begin next month on a 260-foot residential tower on land next to MacArthur BART, the final phase of a project that's transforming the station’s eight-acre parking lot into a mixed-use development.

Aaron Fenton, a senior project manager with developer Boston Properties, told Hoodline that construction work will last about two years.

Boston Properties primarily focuses on office space with 164 office properties, but also owns five residential properties. 

The MacArthur Station Residences will have 402 apartment units (45 of which will be permanently affordable) and 13,000 square feet of retail space.

The building’s 24-story height required special zoning approval by the City Council. When the body took up the matter last year, many expressed opposition to its height and density, while supporters said it would create construction jobs and serve as a model for similar developments.

While some residents were in favor of adding as much new housing as possible, others were concerned that it was too tall for the neighborhood, which is zoned for a maximum height of 90 feet. Others wanted a larger proportion of affordable units than the 11 percent in the final design.

BART Board President Rebecca Saltzman tweeted her enthusiasm.

BART Board President Rebecca Saltzman tweeted about the project today, saying she was “thrilled that construction is starting.”

The entire MacArthur development will have a total of 877 units of housing once complete, including the 402 in the tower, another 385 units in the MacArthur Commons building, already under construction, and 90 affordable units in the Mural building, which was completed in 2016.

The Mural building opened in 2016. | Photo: Scott Morris/Hoodline

As part of its transit-oriented development strategy, BART intends to build on all stations that have developable land, replacing surface parking lots that were built in the agency’s early days. The agency is also in the early stages of developing the West Oakland BART station with a Chinese government-backed developer proposing a large office complex and about 180 units of housing.

BART’s policy requires 20 percent affordable housing at its station developments, though the MacArthur station falls a bit short of that with about 17 percent. That’s because initial plans didn't account for the height of the Boston Properties project, which added much more market rate units to the overall project.

The agency has a goal of making 35 percent of the units across all its station developments affordable, which is accomplished through having some projects that are 100 percent below market rate, such as a development under construction at the Oakland Coliseum station.