OAKLAND — Downtown Oakland will get its first new hotel in more than a decade with a project planned for the East Bay city’s bustling Uptown district, developers said Wednesday.
The hotel would mark the entry into the Bay Area of West Elm Hospitality, a unit of retailer West Elm, which is a Brooklyn-based subsidiary of retailer Williams Sonoma.
“The New York City hotels of West Elm are very much boutique-style hotels, all four stars, and they should do really well in Oakland,” said Dharmesh Patel, executive managing director of the hotels unit of Colliers International, a commercial realty brokerage.
West Elm intends to open a 150-room hotel as part of an expansion of the developments and businesses in The Hive complex in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood.
“We feel right at home in Oakland, a city undergoing tremendous change and growth,” said Peter Fowler, vice president of West Elm Hospitality. “Its influences are felt in technology companies, a wonderfully diverse maker culture and art scene, and of course, its pioneering food movement.”
The hotel will be built at 2401 Broadway near 24th Street and is expected to open by 2020. A venture of Signature Development Group and Jordan Real Estate Investments is developing the hotel.
“We have been a part of the transformation of this neighborhood from underutilized lots to what is now a bustling scene of activity, with local entrepreneurs, artists and chefs, creating a thriving environment,” said Michael Ghielmetti, president of Signature Development.
West Elm Hospitality operates hotels in Detroit; Minneapolis; Savannah, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Indianapolis.
The hotel will be built in part of the old auto row of downtown Oakland. The hotel, its rooms and decor will reflect the influence of the old auto industry, the developers said. A number of car dealerships operated in the vicinity for decades, and the area also once housed Chrysler’s first West Coast vehicle assembly plant.
“Pandora, Uber and other tech companies have located in downtown Oakland, and they are definitely driving the demand for more hotels,” Patel said. “You are seeing more tech employees working in downtown Oakland, and companies are getting priced out of San Francisco and are migrating over to the East Bay.”
Among those: Blue Shield, which in March disclosed it would move its headquarters and 1,200 workers from San Francisco to downtown Oakland.
No new hotels have opened in downtown Oakland since the Courtyard by Marriott opened in 2002.
“Downtown Oakland hasn’t had a new hotel in a while,” Patel said. “West Elm is looking to bring in more of a millennial theme into the Oakland market. Millennial guests are looking for a unique experience, and Oakland can provide that.”