A complex of colorful, affordable apartments for low-income seniors is incorporated into a revitalized 30-year-old neighborhood retail center. Green design strategies reduce construction and maintenance costs and cut down indoor pollution.

According to census data, more than 10 percent of Oakland residents are 65 and older, and 13 percent of them report incomes below the federal poverty level. This project integrates critically needed housing for the aging population with a shopping center that provides necessary goods and services for the community. To make the best of its location, this mixed-use development infills an underutilized neighborhood shopping center parking lot. Its close proximity to the West Oakland BART station makes it easily accessible for urban travel. Amenities include laundry facilities on each floor, a community room with a communal kitchen, a computer lab, and a lounge area with television.

Senior Living Design

Our design team kept in mind best practices for aging in place. Apartments are wheelchair accessible and have grab bars for safety. The skylit halls on each level are painted different colors to help seniors navigate the building without confusion. A courtyard entry to the new portion of the building faces gardens where residents walk, sit, and exercise daily. The car entrance was moved to a side street to keep safe the many seniors who wait for the bus or walk along the main street. To mitigate pollution from the adjacent freeways and protect residents’ respiratory health, central air filters create hospital-quality air throughout the building.

Green Design

Jack London Gateway earned the highest GreenPoint rating ever for a multifamily building because of its green construction techniques and practices. More than 90 percent of construction and demolition waste was diverted and recycled. Environmentally friendly features include solar-powered common areas and water heaters, low-VOC interior paints and interior flooring, energy-efficient appliances, and water-saving toilets and landscaping. All of these efforts add up—the building exceeds California’s stringent Title 24 energy conservation requirements by 30 percent.

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