ALAMEDA -- Members of the Planning Board and the Historical Advisory Board will tour the Del Monte building on Buena Vista Avenue on Wednesday, when they will also host a public workshop and learn more about plans to transform the city landmark.

Developer Tim Lewis proposes to build about 300 lofts, flats and townhouses and about 10,000 square feet of commercial space on the property.

While the red brick exterior of the approximately 240,000-square-foot warehouse would be maintained under the proposal, the inside would be opened up so that two four-story structures could be built behind the walls.

A new paseo would also be cut through the historic building's center to allow public access to both the Oakland-Alameda Estuary and proposed shops and restaurants that would face the waterfront.

About 300 parking spaces would be built under the homes and shops.

The upcoming tour and workshop follows those behind the project briefing the Planning Board on March 10. The board is also expected review the project again in May. The goal is to have it before the City Council for final approval in June, City Planner Andrew Thomas said.

The tour and workshop are the only items on the agenda for Monday's joint meeting of the two city boards.

Built in 1927 for the California Packing Corp., the 1,000-foot long warehouse was used by the company after it became Del Monte through the 1960s. Efforts to transform the property, which the Roseville-based developer bought last year after previous owner Peter Wang declared bankruptcy, have been underway for more than a decade.


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The warehouse is one of 30 designated landmarks in the city, Thomas said. Among previous redevelopment plans was one that called for demolishing the warehouse and using its bricks for a new building, he said.

The current design proposed by San Francisco's BAR Architects suggests turning the site's former loading docks into patios and having the shops and restaurants inside the building face the Estuary's Alaska Basin.

A business currently rents a portion of the warehouse as a distribution facility.

Along with apartments and townhouses inside the historic building, about 100 more housing units and another 15,000 square feet of retail could be built on other parts of the 11.5-acre site, which is bordered by Sherman and Clement streets.

At least 15 percent of all homes built there would be designated as affordable for people with low or moderate income, according to city officials.

Developer Tim Lewis Communities is also behind Neptune Pointe, the proposal to build single-family homes on former federal property near the Crab Cove Visitor Center at Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach.

The East Bay Regional Park District is suing the city over the decision to rezone the neighborhood for housing, and a citizen's group is campaigning to place a measure on the November ballot that would designate the area as open space so that the park could expand.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.

If you go
The Planning Board and the Historical Advisory Board will tour and host a public workshop at the Del Monte warehouse, 1501 Buena Vista Ave., at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Anyone attending can enter the building via the parking lot on the property's Sherman Street side.