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Fire In Downtown Oakland Destroys Under-Construction Development

UPDATE, JULY 10, 8:50 A.M., PT: Falling debris and glass prompted officials to order an evacuation of a nearby office building at 180 Grand Ave. Sunday evening.  Residents of two buildings nearby, 2343 Waverly St. and 2346 Valdez St., remain under evacuation with no word on when these buildings might open.

UPDATE, JULY 9, 11:10 A.M., PT: The crane was removed Saturday night and many local residents, who were under evacuation, were allowed back home, KTVU reports.

UPDATE, JULY 7, 11:45 A.M., PT: Several hazards remain at the site of the fire at 2302 Valdez including the tenuous position of the crane and unsafe scaffolding. A plan to deal with these hazards will be presented later today, according to Oakland Fire Department Acting and Interim Fire Chief Darin White. Evacuations for several hundred nearby residents are still in place.

Despite the size of the fire, surrounding structures only suffered cosmetic damage on the exterior, according to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. It is still too soon to say if this fire was caused by arson, but Schaaf said in light of other fires like the one in Emeryville, the city will beef up efforts to prevent illegal activities and arson within the city. She said it also is too early to understand how the loss of these housing units will impact Oakland’s development.


A four-alarm fire destroyed an under-construction residential project in downtown Oakland Friday morning. The fire broke out around 4:30 a.m. at 2302 Valdez St. near Grand Avenue, reducing the six-story, 193-unit Alta Waverly project to a pile of rubble, KTVU reports.

By 5:45 a.m., parts of the building had collapsed. A crane swung around uncontrollably during the height of the fire. Representatives from Bigge crane company have been on-site to assess the stability of the crane. Apartments nearby were evacuated because of the dangers from the crane and the high heat of the fire, according to Oakland Fire Department Acting and Interim Fire Chief Darin White.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. By 8:30 a.m., the fire was 85% contained, according to White. No injuries were reported.

The project from Wood Partners was expected to open spring 2018 and would have included 31K SF of retail. It is part of the Broadway Valdez plan. KTVU reports the project may already have had an anchor retail tenant, such as Sprouts.

The market-rate apartment building would have included a fitness room, an outdoor barbecue, a dog run and pet washing station and a rooftop deck.

This latest fire falls on the heels of several other fires in the East Bay, including a fire in March at a halfway house in West Oakland that killed four residents, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A fire in Emeryville destroyed a $35M mixed-use project in May less than a year after another fire destroyed the same project. Arson is suspected in the Emeryville fire.

This story is ongoing and will be updated.