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Neighbors concerned over plans to build condos on Claremont Hotel property

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claremont (KGO-TV )

There's a battle brewing in Oakland over plans to build a condo at the Claremont Hotel. Neighbors worry the project could destroy their views and damage the look of the iconic building.

There are no plans to knock down any trees or build anything taller than the hotel. Still, many are critical of the project and worry it could alter the look of the East Bay landmark.

Robin Nebel can see the Claremont Hotel from her back patio. A proposal to build on the property has neighbors worried.

"It would be terrible," Nebel said.

They're upset about a proposed 45-unit condominium, how it would look, how it could impact their views and snarl traffic on the busy Tunnel Road.

"It's difficult for people coming out of our street to even get onto Tunnel Road in the morning and the evening," Nebel said. "So, the idea that they'd build additional housing units on that property would make it impossible for us to ever go in and out."

Flyers have been posted in the surrounding streets, encouraging a big turnout at t=night's planning meeting.

Developer Mike Ghilemtti will be there. He says a lot of the outrage is based on rumor.

"It's not a very big project in the scheme of the property. It's plus or minus an acre on 22 acres," Ghilemtti said. "We want to make sure we're not detracting views to or from the hotel. And we're also very cognizant of our neighbors. We want to make sure we are not detracting any views from our neighbors above us."

The plan is to build the condo where the three-tiered parking lot is now. Naomi Schiff with the Oakland Heritage Association will look at any safety impacts this type of project could have to more than 100-year-old hotel.

"It is true the building itself is what is landmarked. The grounds are not. Still when there's an impact on a historic resource, I think that will come into play," Schiff said.

Planning is in the very early stages and if approved it would likely not break ground for at least a couple years.

Related Topics:
realestatehotelreal estate developmentdevelopmentOakland
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