ALAMEDA -- Homes set to be built to complete the Marina Cove development on Buena Vista Avenue will have features to make them more accessible for seniors and people with disabilities, such as ground-floor bedrooms and reinforced walls to accommodate grab bars.

Some homes also will have a "multigenerational" suite, or a unit with its own entrance, bedroom, bathroom and possibly a kitchenette, so that an elderly person can continue living with their family while still enjoying their independence.

The 52 single-family homes and 37 condominiums will be built at 1551 Buena Vista Ave. near the Fortman Marina and the historic Del Monte warehouse. The vacant Chipman warehouse currently occupies the site, which also features a paved area for parking and truck deliveries.

"It's going to be unique to wake up in the morning in a residential area," longtime neighborhood resident Nick Cabral told the Planning Board on July 28, when it reviewed the design of the homes. "It's time to move on this project because it's a wonderful, wonderful opportunity for our neighborhood."

The board unanimously supported a resolution approving the project's development and design review, though it did ask developer Lennar Homes to revise a building that will have condominiums at the project's entrance across from the Del Monte warehouse.

The building has roofs at different levels and other features that prevent it from having a "rhythm," architect and board President David Burton said.


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"It's going to be a really, really prominent building," Burton said. "I think we want to make that a great looking building and make it something successful that the community will be happy with."

Along with the Del Monte warehouse, the property is bordered by Ohlone Street, Clement Avenue and Entrance Way. Clement and Stanton Street will be extended as part of the project, while two new streets will be constructed.

The first phase of Marina Cove was built more than a decade ago on about 11 acres and has 83 residences.

The new homes will be built in three architectural styles: "Spanish," which reflects the design of nearby existing homes; "Harbor," a design inspired by the nearby marina; and "Waterfront Industrial," which also reflects other buildings in the neighborhood.

Ten of the proposed single-family homes will be three stories tall and have decks that offer views of the Oakland hills and the Oakland-Alameda Estuary.

The City Council approved a tentative map for the development in January 2013.

The Planning Board also reviewed the project in May, when it called for landscaping changes and additional "universal design" features in the homes, or making them more inherently accessible to older people and people with disabilities.

As part of approving the resolution during its most recent meeting, the board called on city officials to work with the developer to tweak some bathrooms still more to make them better accessible.

"I think it's a great step forward," resident Audrey Lord-Hausman said. "I think it's going to be welcomed by many, many people in this community -- people at this point who are in homes that are not amendable to the physical challenges that they have."

The board put off considering a transportation plan for Marina Cove so that city officials can have time to create a plan that also includes other nearby housing projects, such as at the Del Monte warehouse.

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

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