On Tuesday morning, the final beam on the six-story tech campus and future home of the expanded OSIsoft company was laid in a “topping out” ceremony,
The city hopes the building on Alvarado Street behind the downtown BART station will be expanded to a multi-phase three building campus and attract tech businesses to San Leandro.
Mayor Pauline Cutter said the new tech campus is part of a decade of progress in San Leandro. She cited the downtown transit oriented development strategy, the broadband data loop, and the opening of the office space known as the “The Gate” on the second floor of the Westgate shopping center as examples of progress.
City leaders have been predicting a big tech revolution in San Leandro for five years and they say it’s going to finally come together now.
“And there is much more to come,” said Cutter, who thanked city employees and council members past and present for their work. “We all shared a vision and are all committed to making it happen.”
The tech campus and the “transformation” that they say San Leandro is about to undergo are examples of the ways cities and communities are changing all over, said Gaye Quinn, the managing director of Westlake Urban, the developers behind the project.
Quinn was a planner for the City of San Leandro for five years in the 1990s, and was the chair of the board of directors of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce. She is also the founder of the Quorum Real Estate Group.
“We couldn’t be more excited, we’ve planned this day for a long time,” said Quinn. “It’s an extraordinary moment we are living in. It’s time to begin a conversation about how cities evolve and committees come together.”
One feature of the new campus will be the 55-foot steel and LED statue of a nude woman called “Truth is Beauty,” which has already caused some controversy, though it won’t be installed until next year.
Among the speakers at Tuesday’s ceremony was Marco Cochrane, the artist who created the statue and two other “sister” statues based on the same model.
Cochrane said that he was inspired to celebrate the “beauty and power” of the female form. Cochrane said his piece is designed to “de-objectify” the body.
“I want to create art that shows what the world could be like when women feel safe,” said Cochrane, who said he was in part inspired by the sexual assault of a childhood friend and his life-long hope of seeing an end to sexual violence.
“It is beautiful and powerful and commands attention in the way women do,” said Cochrane of his statute.