Enabled by the Proposition 1C TOD voter-approved bond program, Station Center Family Housing is the affordable inclusionary component of the Union City Master Plan. Designed by ROMA Design Group, the Master Plan calls for Union City BART Station to be revamped into an intermodal station—a hub for BART, Dumbarton Rail, ACE, and Capital Corridor.
A brownfield site sandwiched between the existing commuter and freight lines and currently cut off from the BART station by tracks is being reclaimed for a vibrant mixed-use district including these high-density affordable family apartments.
Station Center Family Housing comprises 157 affordable rental units in two buildings framing a public playground and overlooking the new plaza and eventual direct connection to the BART station.
The building is ringed with active edges: The main entry is framed by a towering entry portal, and the face of the building is lined with retail arcade that is soon to house a corner cafe and a market. Along Cheeves Street, additional public and private entryways connect to the sidewalk. At the rear, housing "wraps" the neighborhood-serving garage, shielding it from view.
Station Center Family Housing recently won a 2015 Growing Stronger Together: Public-Private Partnership Award from the Association of Bay Area Governments. Learn more about the project and the partnership in this video.
Designed along with all the building landscaping by Fletcher Studio—features allottment gardens for residents, formal and informal seating areas, and a play yard populated by playful concrete gorillas.
The "water cannon" serve to dissipate the force of water coming down the downspouts from 6 stories above, and allow it to enter the stormwater retention swales without causing erosion. Needless to say, this idea required a lot of convincing to the client team! But it works well practically, while adding a playful element to the courtyards.
• Large operable window.
• Private decks
• High sound isolation between units
• High-efficiency lighting
• Built-in trash and recycling bins
• Contractor recycled 88% construction waste
• Over 45% cement replaced by slag or fly ash, unused manufacturing byproducts
• Wood-framed walls built off site to maximize efficiency and minimize waste.
• Building trash and recycling chutes
• Cabinets contain no added formaldehyde
• Bathroom and kitchen fans exhaust to the exterior
• Low- or no-VOC paints, coatings, and construction adhesives
• CRI Green Label Plus carpets
• Added insulation to minimize heating needs.
• Solar hot water panels pre-heat domestic hot water
• A high efficiency gas-powered boiler heats domestic hot water
• Energy Star appliances
• Corridor and garage lighting controlled by motion sensors
• Exterior sunshades reduce heat gain
• Attic insulation is R-30 and wall insulation is R-21
• Exceeds Title 24 by 20%
• Bay Friendly Certified landscaping
• Landscape irrigation controller receives weather data via a satellite connection
• All rain is captured and treated onsite in swales and large below-grade storage system
• Low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets
The low-energy building used a range of complementary sustainable strategies—including solar domestic hot water, high-efficiency boilers, and rooftop photo-voltaic arrays—to achieve LEED for Homes Mid-Rise Platinum certification. The Bay-Friendly Rated landscape design will save 193,282 gallons of water per year compared to a conventionally landscaped property.
â€śEveryone here has roots in different parts of the world, and together we grow and blossom as a community.â€ť â€”Elias, 9. Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis
San Francisco artist Mona Caron creating a towering mural on the 5-story entry tower, visible from the neighborhood and neighboring train tracks.
The mural, "Taking Root," was inspired by an intrepid local plant she found pushing through the broken concrete. While the plant reaches to the sky, it is "rooted" at ground level in multi-lingual messages of welcome contributed by new residents.
The Congress for the New Urbanism selected Station Center Family Housing as Best Building and also bestowed the building the Grand Prize for overall excellence in its 2014 Charter Awards, which recognize exceptional placemaking. Says juror Will Bruder, "It is a mastery of proportion and scale, materials and detail."
ULI Global Award of Excellence
Station Center Family Housing was awarded a 2013 ULI Global Award for Excellence. This year's 12 worldwide winners were selected for their dedication to building enduring communities.