pyatok associates, oakland

A casual observer might think the program for Swan's Marketplace overly ambitious. In redeveloping this historic public market in downtown Oakland, Michael Pyatok, FAIA, and developer Josh Simon planned to incorporate both mixed-income housing and retail space. They wanted the project to serve as a gathering spot for the many ethnic neighborhoods that surround it. And they hoped it would attract new investors to this dilapidated part of Oakland.

After seeing the finished project, that observer could lay his doubts to rest. Pyatok designed a market-rate, co-housing complex on the building's second story for 20 local residents committed to the idea of living as a community. Eighteen affordable rental units, a children's art museum, and office space comprise the rest of the second floor. At street level, colorful vendors and specialty markets carry on the original building's retail tradition "A great example of what mixed-use can be," said one judge.

project architect: Peter Waller, Pyatok Associates
developer: Joshua Simon, East Bay Asian Local Development Corp., Oakland
general contractor: Rick Spickard, Oliver & Company, Richmond, Calif.
landscape architect: Cathy Garrett, Pattillo & Garrett Associates, Oakland
project size: 115,953 square feet (includes all commercial, retail, and residential space)
site size: 1.37 acres
construction cost: $96 per square foot
sales price/rental price: $151,000 to $329,000 per co-housing unit; $199/month to $760/month per affordable rental unit
units in project: 38 housing units
photographer: Russell Abraham, Michael Pyatok