Lake Merritt Station

The San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA


Lake Merritt Station was designed in collaboration with Lane Partners, Strategic Urban Design Associates, and Gensler developed the strategic plan for the transformation of Oakland’s Lake Merritt Bart Station.

Development Program. The master plan provided a visionary approach for creating density at a key transit district, and creating an intimate neighborhood focused urban place. The program included 534 new units of housing, and 750,000 SF of creative office. The community program included retail and flexible maker-space local businesses, a culinary incubator to support small-scale food operations, and office space for non-profit organizations. A Community Arts Center located at the BART Station Mezzanine will support and showcase a wide range of arts programs and artists working in various media, including photography, fashion, film, sculpture, dance, performance, and theater.

A Vital, Urban Center. The Design of the site at the Lake Merritt BART Station envisions a vital new urban center that acts as a catalyst to transform this key Oakland neighborhood. Providing housing, Class A office, retail, transit access, and public spaces on two formerly underutilized land parcels, the Lake Merritt BART Station Development adds to—and extends—the dynamism and energy present at the adjacent Lake Merritt park, Laney College, and the Chinatown and downtown Oakland neighborhoods.

Building a Center for Creative Companies. The master plan was designed to attract new economy businesses to this pioneering urban district. Drawn to urban areas for their robust amenity base, transportation access, and availability of large floor plates the plan is designed to build a new economy ecosystem. Surrounded by a multi-generational and diverse demographic, the development is programmed and designed to provide a mix of day-to-night lifestyle experiences for the local community, tenants, and riders. The eclectic mix includes cafes, bars, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment.

Creating Affordable and Workforce Housing. Our development team supports affordable housing as a basic right and believe it to be a cornerstone of smart urban growth. Our proposal brings dignified affordable housing that will deliver the same quality of design as the market rate housing— both of which are seamlessly integrated into the Lake Merritt BART community. The affordable housing building presents an opportunity for public art. The face of the building framing the BART plaza and entrance to the Market Hall along Oak Street is designated for a mural or installation of the selected artist’s interpretation.

Reclaiming the Street. The master plan is designed for pedestrian, providing ample opportunities to create meaningful experiences enable them to contextualize and approach the development on a human scale. Streets are repurposed as shared community spaces, which include an extended public plaza and wider sidewalks that encourage interaction and chance encounters. These shared spaces are complete with ample seating that, in most cases, are outdoor extensions of restaurants and cafes that line the street level, where the sight of people dining and conversing over food and drink contributes to area’s visible buzz. By reclaiming the streets to create highly visible, shared spaces that invite people to gather and connect, the proposed development at Lake Merritt serves as a model for a rounded, sustainable approach to placemaking and urban identity.

Lane Partners
Strategic Urban Development Alliance, LLC (SUDA)
JRDV Urban International
Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA)
Thornton Tomasetti
Ashara Ekundayo, Hiroko Kurihara, Joyce Gordon
Fehr & Peers
360 Total Concept