Exclusive: Signature Development's Eric Harrison Talks Oakland Development
Several projects are underway in Oakland, bringing much-needed housing, retail and office space. We caught up with Signature Development Group VP Eric Harrison to discuss the opportunities Oakland offers. Find out more at Bisnow’s Oakland Construction & Development: The Boom Continues! Nov. 10.
Eric tells us Oakland is seeing more opportunities for housing because demand in the Bay Area is directly related to a significant increase in employment.
“Oakland has been underserved in retail and similar uses where we realize and see significant growth opportunities,” Eric says. “It’s a maturing market as opposed to one that’s mature."
Eric says the work Signature Development is doing harkens back to when former Oakland mayor Jerry Brown envisioned 10,000 new residential units in the city. The idea was to bring not just more housing, but a diversity of residents with different socioeconomic backgrounds. These residents would create a demand for retailers and restaurants, which has been largely underserved in Oakland.
Signature Development typically targets mixed-used, residential and commercial projects. Its current projects in Oakland include the 64-acre Brooklyn Basin project and 100k SF Hive mixed-use project.
Development in Oakland is not without its challenges. Eric says obtaining competitive bids tied directly to the availability of and access to a skilled labor force needed to get the project completed on time and in budget is one of the biggest challenges.
“A lack of competition with the various subcontracting trades is resulting in pricing which has escalated quickly,” he says.