Oakland Broadway/Valdez District Specific Plan
Through WRT’s integrated practice of planning and design, the Broadway / Valdez District Specific Plan provides a vision and redevelopment strategy to guide the ongoing transformation while preserving the historic fabric of the historic Auto Row district. Located in the north end of Downtown Oakland, this plan looks to create a new transit-oriented regional retail destination and mixed-use neighborhood. Through its implementation, it has reduced the outflow of jobs, tax dollars, and vehicle trips; increased housing opportunities; and leveraged existing and planned transit options, including improving connections to the existing BART stations.
The project was the recipient of a FOCUS grant, a regional incentive-based development and conservation strategy to encourage future growth in areas near transit. The Plan was developed during a time of great economic uncertainty and with the historic Auto Row gradually shifting to other locations in the City, an opportunity was created to add new retail. Flexibility was key when approaching the policies and urban design guidelines to accommodate alternate housing and retail strategies. The Plan will provide approximately 1,800 housing units to meet the demand for housing adjacent to transit and in the amenity rich vicinity of downtown Oakland.
In addition to identifying the distribution and extent of future land uses, infrastructure standards, urban design guidelines, and financing mechanisms for public improvements, the Plan also includes an innovative system of development regulations and incentives designed to ensure that new development provides the destination retail uses needed to build the City’s tax base. In addition, the Plan also identifies detailed strategies to redesign public street rights-of-way to create more balanced travel ways that promote walking, biking and transit; more attractive streetscapes that support a pedestrian-oriented retail district; and new plazas that accommodate a more vibrant public life. To ensure that the Plan reflected the community’s vision for the corridor, community outreach included regular input from a Community Advisory Council, a Technical Advisory Committee, and the City’s Retail Advisory Committee, as well as and numerous focus groups and community workshops.