January 11, 2014

Phoenix Commons @ Tiki Tom's

Phoenix Commons ground-breaking ceremony

photo detail by Styrous®
     

 

photos by Styrous®
     

 
On Thursday, the 9th of January, the Elder Village Development, LLC, held it's ceremonial event to launch the begining of the construction of the cooperative senior lifestyle community project, The Phoenix Commons.

In Greek mythology, a phoenix or phenix (Ancient Greek φοίνιξ phóinīx) is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. In my reality, the name of the project comes from the sad tale of the restaurant, Tiki Tom's. The site was once the location of the waterfront restaurant and bar that burned down in October 2010.  Link to article about Tiki Tom's below.

Back to the Phoenix Commons. Rising from the ashes of what was once Tiki Tom's, it is touted as the "New model for sharing golden years", it is on the Oakland waterfront, located at 340 29th Avenue, right off the Park Street bridge directly across from Alameda and across the street from my studio (there goes the rest of my view, see: The Estuary). 
 
site of the future Phoenix Commons
photo by Styrous®


The event was held in high style complete with baloons . . .

photo by Styrous®  

. . . food and coffee.

photo by Styrous®  The developer of the project, Christian Zimmerman and community facilitator, Kryspin Turczynski (say that ten times without making a mistake!), proudly showed their project to the general public for the first time. 

Christian Zimmerman and Kryspin Turczynski with the model of the Phoenix Commons project
photo by Styrous®


Phoenix Commons, architectural model (front)
photo by Styrous®


Phoenix Commons, architectural model (rear)
photo by Styrous®


They had visual representations on chairs and easels scattered around the now empty lot of what the project will look like when it is completed.

photo by Styrous®

photo by Styrous®


photo by Styrous®


photo by Styrous®

photo by Styrous®

photo by Styrous®

In attendance was councilman Noel Gallo who grew up in the Fruitvale/San Antonio District neighborhoods (Jingletown). Gallo is not a fan of medicinal marijuana. He supports youth curfews and "stop and frisk." He abhors trash and graffiti and appears to be a fan of the "broken windows" theory. He can often be seen cleaning up the neighborhoods either alone or with groups. He supported Head Start on April 2nd, 2013 at a special City Council Meeting about the budget. He also believes in the City Council holding themselves to a level of professionalism where they "speak to their differences outside of Council meetings."

photo by Styrous®


Also there was Oakland Democratic Mayor, Jean Quan. Quan was inaugurated on January 3, 2011, and is Oakland's first female mayor. She helped save the music program in the Oakland Schools and was appointed by the Clinton Administration to represent School Boards on the Title I Rules Making Committee. She led several initiatives. “Measure Q”, to prevent the closure of city libraries and increase funding for materials. The “Oakland Wildfire Prevention District”, which funded annual programs of vegetation control, safety inspections and homeowner education, and green waste/composting programs. The “Oakland Cultural Arts Funding”, a Hotel Tax to fund the Oakland Zoo, Oakland Museum of California, Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Fund for Arts. She also was behind “Measure Y for Public Safety and Measure BB”, these initiatives funded Fire, Police and Violence Prevention Programs. The measure funded 63 police officers including geographically deployed "beat officers" and programs to prevent crimes and violence.

In 1996, with Quan as president, the Oakland school board established a program using Standard English Program strategies to teach standard English to African American students. The move created national news with the perception Oakland schools were teaching students "Ebonics" because there was discussion about Ebonics being used as a teaching tool. A pretty interesting subject; worthy of investigating both sides of the issue.

Oakland Mayor, Jean Quan
photo by Styrous®



There was time to catch up on friendships before the event . . .

Oakland Mayor, Jean Quan (left) 
developer, Christian Zimmerman (right)
photo by Styrous®



First, the developers gave their speeches . . . 

 developer, Christian Zimmerman
photo by Styrous®



. . . the politicians gave theirs . . .

photo by Styrous®


 Oakland Mayor, Jean Quan (right) 
developers, Christian & Laura Zimmerman-Cook (left)
photo by Styrous®



photo by Styrous®



Oakland Mayor, Jean Quan (left)                                             Noel Gallo (right)
 photos by Styrous®



. . . the ground-breaking began . . .

photo by Styrous®



photo by Styrous®


photo by Styrous®



. . . after which there were hugs . . .

photo by Styrous®



. . . and everybody had a great time!

a future developer
photo by Styrous®
photo inset by Styrous®


Among the amenities of the future building at 340 29th Ave. will be a patio and a private dock, plus it will have a 7,000-square-foot shared space with a communal kitchen and a dining room that overlooks the waterfront. Some residents will have views of the San Francisco skyline.

The four-story building in the city's Jingletown neighborhood will have about an equal number of one- and two-bedroom units, each with a private kitchen and bathroom, from 630 to 1,100 square feet.

The price will range from $350,000 to $650,000, Zimmerman said. The residents, who will be age 55 and older, will take part in maintaining the property, including gardening. Homeowner association dues are expected to be about $450 a month. As a cooperative, the future residents/owners will have FULL control of every aspect of the community, its operations and its finances (seniors getting to create their own rules!)

Originally, Phoenix Commons was scheduled to open in fall of 2013, however, that seems to have been delayed. Kryspin told me it is scheduled to open in spring or summer of 2015.


~ ~ ~


There is the last video taken at Tiki Tom's by zennie62 on YouTube
Viewfinder article about Tiki Tom's


Styrous® ~ Saturday, January 11, 2014

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