The success of Lampwork Lofts is remarkable in light of path it has taken. When John Protopappas first saw the building in 1986, he immediately recognized the potential and made an offer to purchase the property. Eighteen years later in 2004, Madison Park finally entered into contract and four years later the project was entitled. The 1989 earthquake caused severe damage and the building sat neglected for years. Then came the recession. Faced with the economic downturn, Lampwork Lofts experienced several starts and stops along the way. Through cooperation with the City of Oakland as well as creative financing, Madison Park was able to keep the project entitled until investor and lender confidence returned.
DEVELOPMENT & HISTORIC TAX CREDITS
The project faced other significant challenges including securing Federal Historic Tax Credits. Balancing building codes with National Park Service (NPS) guidelines for historic rehabilitations is a challenge, and that was especially the case with Lampwork Lofts. It took two years negotiating with the NPS and extraordinary design work from the project team to agree and move the project forward.
The project also faced a changing Federal Historic Tax Credit landscape that threatened to jeopardize the completion of the project. Through focused effort, Madison Park was able to structure a deal that would work within the new federal guidelines. As a result of the creative thinking of the development team, patience of the investors and capital partners, and confidence from the lenders, Lampwork Lofts was the only market‐rate multifamily project to deliver and lease up in 2014 in Oakland.
Madison Park seismically retrofitted the building, careful to match original details including new hand crafted wood windows. A modern entry was added as well as new polished concrete floors. The lofts feature 14’ to 25’ high original oak beam ceilings, exposed brick walls, and excellent views of San Francisco and Oakland.
Madison Park certified the building as a National Historic Landmark, and received Federal Historic Tax Credits to supplement investor returns. With an exceptional team including Levy Design Partners and DCI Construction, rehabilitation was completed in 15 months and 100% leased three months after completion.