The Thomas L. Berkley Square development team was elated after receiving an historic unanimous vote for Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson’s motion to approve a $70 million dollar mixed commercial-retail-housing development planned at the junction of San Pablo Avenue, Thomas L. Berkley Way (20th St.), and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.
When completed, the project will be the largest development by blacks in Oakland history and the first local-led small enterpriser contribution to the development of Uptown. Development team members at Tuesday’s meeting our picture here: (from left) John Guillory, Ray Dones, Mary King, and Alan Dones.
More than 50 members of the Oakland Black Caucus (OBC) attended the meeting. Some suggested the OBC meet with members of the preservationist community to find $6 million dollars in 60 days from the city or the private sector to fix the seismically-challenged ten-story Royal Hotel into affordable housing and prevent its demolition. Lead developer Dones said he would remain open to any possibility to save the historic structure within the 60-day period.
Originally posted in the Oakland Post on January 4, 2004