Urban Bloc Has a New Home on Alvarado Street
If you drive on Alvarado near Marina Boulevard you may notice that the building located at 2350 Alvarado Street has received a recent face lift. This is part of an impressive improvement effort to prepare for its new tenant, Urban Bloc, who recently moved its headquarters from the Gate to this facility. Still a relatively young company, Urban Bloc transforms used shipping containers into vibrant spaces for eating, shopping, working, or playing. Urban Bloc began its manufacturing in San Leandro in 2014 and learned that many of their suppliers are also locally based, making San Leandro an ideal home for the business.
Urban Bloc’s unique vision has been embraced in the Bay Area, most notably by the San Francisco Giants, whose pop-up village, the Yard at Mission Rock, has attracted much press, and positive response from the public. The business model is anchored in collaboration, as Urban Bloc thrives on working closely with clients to address challenges, and is particularly sensitive to the specific needs and parameters of each individual project. Urban Bloc’s services range from design and consulting to project administration. The shipping containers are modular, and can be stacked and configured to suit a variety of needs. They are also movable, which allows an established business to literally pick up and relocate its facilities.
Relocation to the new facility has enabled Urban Bloc to work more efficiently with its local suppliers, house inventory, and work on several containers simultaneously, while also being able to store additional containers in its one-acre yard. The property owner has also made a significant investment in renovating the building and adding ADA-accessibility for Urban Bloc’s arrival.
Urban Bloc’s business is unique, innovative, and a practical solution to many logistical challenges. While the containers are designed with permanence in mind, they also have potential for temporary place-making and Phase Zero projects. This type of venture is a fresh concept, and Urban Bloc is in a unique position to pioneer and lead the development of this building model going forward.