OAKLAND (KCBS)— A major residential development near Oakland’s Jack London Square is starting to take shape. Signature Development Group, the developer, behind the Brooklyn Basin says interest in the East Bay is still growing.

Since the groundbreaking in March along Oakland’s Embarcadero, crews have been cleaning up past industrial contamination of the former ship and lumber yard and are now finishing upgrading. Next up is the installation of the infrastructure.

“We should see buildings going up sometime next summer,” said the developer’s president, Michael Ghielmetti. He said the project is great and transformative and said it’s along the lines of San Francisco’s Mission Bay.

“The open space is the number one attraction here and the size and scale of these haven’t really been seen here in the Bay Area. It would be like Battery Park in New York City, which is obviously quite famous.

Ghielmetti said the idea is to reunite and reconnect this part of Oakland’s waterfront to the rest of the city. In addition to the open space, Brooklyn Basin will bring 3,100 new homes, and 200,000 new feet of retail.

The change in office space vacancy rates in Oakland indicates to him a coming demand that arena within the next one or two years.

“It was a little over 30 percent a year ago. Now, it’s somewhere around 13 to 14 percent. That’s quite predictive for future development, when it starts getting down to that single-digit number.

He said the entire Brooklyn Basin Project should be complete in the next 10 to 12 years.

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