OAKLAND (KCBS) – BART has begun the process of drafting plans for its former headquarters site in downtown Oakland, above the Lake Merritt Station.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

The building had slowly been dismantled over the last few years, leaving behind a hole in the skyline.


BART has said it is willing to entertain ideas from the public about possible new uses for the area. However, at this point, no firm plans have been made.


“Do we put up another headquarters? Do we expand upon the area where we dismantled the building and create more services for the community?” pondered chief spokesman Linton Johnson. “That’s all part of the discussion. I mean, this is in the very preliminary stages.”


One factor to consider: BART’s center control and police headquarters is immediately underground.


“We’re also looking at trying to connect the parts of Lake Merritt that aren’t near transit or specifically BART, which would be the other side of Lake Merritt, to BART,” said Johnson. “Do we use buses, trolleys, what is it that will bring people to BART when they’re not really in walking distance of it?”


In addition to community comment, BART planned to work with the City of Oakland, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Peralta Community College District to come up with plans for the half-mile area it planned to overhaul.


By some estimates, that overhaul would be completed over a 20-year period.


The public was invited to attend a workshop Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Laney College Student Center, 900 Fallon St., Oakland. A second workshop was scheduled for March 5.


(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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