Are Oakland housing projects being targeted by arsonists?

 

OAKLAND (KRON) — The recent construction site fires are raising concerns about whether the projects are being targeted by arsonists.

An Oakland housing advocate says his phone has been ringing off the hook on Friday since the massive construction site fire that left 700 to 900 people displaced.

Those calls were from concerned developers looking for answers.

“They are alarmed that they’re taking increased steps to secure the construction sites,” Jobs and Housing Coalition President Gregg McConnell said. “They are rattled. They are wondering if this is the work of some anti-development arson group of individuals. We don’t know yet. We have suspicions but we don’t know for sure.”

McConnell says if an anti-development group is involved, people should know the goal of adding complexes is to help housing, not push people out.

Right now, there are about 4,000 development projects in Oakland. The building that caught fire was going to house more than 100 units.

Called Alta Wavery, it would have also included 31,000 square feet of retail space.

The developers expected to have construction completed in 2018.

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