In spite of all of the critiques and pessimism of the author and commentators, I think it will be nice to have the gash in the middle of the city covered. Glad that the city was smart enough to put together a credible proposal for the $19 million.
Cheese and rice, look into this project a little deeper.
Housing is irrelevant to this project because it is federally funded through a TIGER grant, which comes through the Dept. of Transportation specifically for transit projects. This cap project has been an idea for years and the DOT didn't initially see it relevant as a transit project at first; it took several years of applications by state representatives to coherence agreement.
It is not just a slab of concrete. The proposal will build up terra and support vegetation in a highly exposed, hot and uncomfortable link between Uptown, the Hill, and Downtown.
The 28-acres "someday, maybe" will be developed; wouldn't creating physical access, outdoor congregation space, preformative space, and commercial space that bridges the largest obstruction to existing vibrance create a more inciting and commercially viable prospect for the Lower Hill? Developmental energy will come from Downtown toward the Hill, regardless of how ideal it seems to be in the inverse.
And FYI: it's LaQuatra Bonci Associates and Walter Hood is a landscape architect, not an architect.
Clear-eyed analysis beats blind Chamber-of-Commerce cheerleading every time. And let's not forget all of the Hill District connections to Uptown (the Fifth/Forbes corridor). Knitting together those two neighborhoods would be a boost to both Oakland and Downtown.
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