Chinese-backed developer submits proposal for Oakland’s tallest tower

oakland tower
A drawing showing the proposed building at 1261 Harrison, Oakland’s highest tower. (Image source:

Pinnacle RED, a San-Jose based realty firm serving as a unit of China-based Hengshan Corp., has submitted the project proposal of Oakland’s tallest tower to city officials on Oct. 27.

Standing 440 ft. tall, the tower called 1261 Harrison has 36 stories offering 185 units of affordable housing, 120,000 sq. ft. of Class A office space, and 12,000 sq. ft. of commercial or retail space. It also includes a “locavore” market hall which will feature regionally-sourced food and maker-entrepreneurs.

“The public market will have a mix of retailers, including some we expect from within downtown, drawing people in from the 13th St. and flowing through the building to a unique pedestrian alleyway for relaxing, dining or events,” says Ronnie Turner, Pinnacle RED development manager.

Sidewalk and streetscape improvements are also included in the project to accommodate pedestrian and bike traffic as well as add connectivity to nearby Chinatown, Broadway and Lake Merritt.

Lowney Architecture has designed the tower to appear as two towers to break up the building’s mass. The slender structure also features recessed curves to prevent the tower from looming over shorter adjacent buildings. Color scheme is drawn from surrounding cityscapes and street-level elements match those of nearby structures.

The tower is expected to house an economically diverse community as it plans to avail of the density bonus program that adds height to make room for housing below market rate. Official and residential spaces will have separate elevators. An automated underground parking garage will also be available for tenants.

Moreover, developers plan to tap local artists through public and private commissions to work on 1261 Harrison. Their artwork will revolve around the theme of the tower being “the Gateway to Chinatown.”


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