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5701 International

Live-Work projects are especially unique and can be quite challenging. Here we had a concrete building with a full-depth brick veneer. Cutting through old concrete and brick without causing damage is a real challenge, so cutting new door/window openings must be kept to a minimum. 

This project also had the unique distinction of being designated as a Historic Landmark Building which made exterior alterations much more challenging, even in places where we wanted to reinstate windows that had been removed.


This incredible building was originally constructed in 1928 for the Mutual Stores Company, one of the first cash and carry stores in Oakland. What began as a dairy quickly became a bakery. In 1930 it became the headquarters for Safeway.  We were lucky enough to have the original blueprints for the building to aid in our work. The terra-cotta details at the top of the tower included cows to reflect the original creamery use.

When we started work here, there were 17 illegal units along with over 20 commercial spaces which were also occupied as housing spread across over 60,000 sf of space. Unlike many other live-work buildings we've worked on, this one was very close to safety compliance. Most of the units had windows fronting onto the street, private bathrooms, kitchens, heating, and corridors that all led to clearly marked exits.


The historic warehouse-style windows were heavily rusted and didn't open in a way that complied with egress requirements, so we knew we needed to replace them. We focused on finding a steel window replacement that matched the same style, muntin pattern/scale, and could also create egress size openings.  We had MANY meetings with the Oakland Preservation team to ensure acceptance of this system.

Thanks to the terrific bones of this building, we were able to create 59 live-work units in this building; most with a 2-story loft design thanks to the tall ceilings on each level.

If you're looking for a great loft to rent, please look at their website!


Live-Work Conversion

59 Units






Engineering Sketch

Structural Engineer

DeSimone Consulting Engineers


Image by Evgeniy Alyoshin

MEP Engineer

Acies Engineering


Image by Andrew Hutchings


Mutual Lofts


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