by Rachel Swan
What better place to densify Oakland than MacArthur BART station, which is the central point of the city's main transit line — even if it's not the nominal downtown. Apparently, Oakland has had plans for a MacArthur Transit Village in the works for more than a decade now. Phase 1, the 400 space parking garage, got a green light in 2008. It will free up some extra yardage for the 675 housing units and 34,000 square feet of retail that developers plan to build. At present, an agency called MacArthur Transit Community Partners, LLC is commandeering all operations. It comprises two developers, BRIDGE Housing Corporation, and McGrath Properties, Inc..
The proposed transit village garnered unanimous support from Oakland city councilmembers last night, following brief discussion and enthusiastic plaudits from members of Urbanists for a Livable Temescal Rockridge Area. Oakland resident William E. Jackson Sr. was the only dissenting voice, and his objections mostly stemmed from having to relocate his business — an auto shop called Lee's Auto Laundry Detail — for the project to get underway. As SFGate blogger Laura Hautala noted, councilmembers brushed Jackson's concerns aside when they voted to approve the plans.. So much for NIMBYism.