The site that once belonged to the much-loved Albany Bowl — which had housed the iconic business since 1949 — might become a multi-unit housing project; 21 of the apartments in the 207-unit proposal are expected to be affordably priced.

With more than 7 billion people expected to live in urban areas by 2050, it’s crucial that cities repurpose any available square footage possible for housing… no matter how small those units may be. A proposal submitted to the City of Albany by Trachtenberg Architects would see the 2.18-acre site at 540 San Pablo Avenue morph into a mixed-use development (which would include two buildings of residential apartment units), helping fill that need.

Initially reported by Mercury News, the 9,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and 197 parking spots that once belonged to the Albany Bowl would be repurposed to include two apartment buildings; small storefronts are also included in the mixed-use property plan.

Per the news outlet, in addition to the 21 units that would be offered at affordable housing rates for “very low” income applicants, the rest of the 186 units would be available at market-rate prices; 29 studios, 90 one-bedrooms, and 67 two-bedrooms are included in the project.

All the available units would be housed in two separate buildings — one of them roofing over half the units and standing some 58 feet tall, while the other would include the remaining 97 units and stand 9 feet taller.

Albany’s Planning Commission is expected to review the project in a study session this coming Wednesday. If approved, the Trachtenberg Architects-spearheaded project would exist alongside other yet-built large housing projects in the Bay Area, like the 2,515-unit residential project announced in San Francisco’s Fillmore/Western Addition area last year.

Last year, the Albany Bowl announced it would close for good after COVID-19 made it impossible for the business to cover its expensive overhead costs. In December, the space officially shuttered after 71 years in business, leaving 40 employees laid off.

Related: Massive New Development Announced In Fillmore District on Site of 70s-Era Affordable Project

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