WA Rose Construction turned an old studio apartment into a sleek, beautiful pied a terre.

Loft, Uptown Oakland

W.A. Rose will be remodeling the Montclair home of one of our clients, so we retrofitted a space that he can live in during the construction. The loft is located in the heart of Uptown Oakland, a neighborhood known for its First Fridays/Art Murmur event and vibrant restaurant and bar scene. We turned the dark 1,200 sq.ft. space into a sleek, inviting, masculine studio apartment that will be our client’s interim new home. The apartment’s color palette is in beautiful soft shades of blonde, bronze and brown.

Project Challenges

Our overarching challenge was making the most of a small space, and we worked closely with designer Darlene Isaacs to execute her design. We needed to accommodate a dishwasher and washer/dryer. To create a new kitchen area, we moved the sink, installed Cambria quartz countertops with a bronze tiled backsplash. We added a dishwasher and created enough space for a full-sized refrigerator. We adjusted the HVAC, plumbing and electrical for the new configuration and kept the original fluorescent lighting except for new LED lights in the bathroom. We also built in cabinets, a peninsula and installed a new range.

With an eye toward green construction, we were able to repair the lower level’s tongue and groove Douglas fir floors. The owner wanted to retain the rich look of the wood, so we removed those areas that were worn, infilled them with new fir, sanded and added a clear finish.

We completely reconfigured the bathroom. The owner wanted a roomy shower, so the sink and toilet were relocated to accommodate it. A pony wall on one side creates separation, while allowing light into the space. We laid new tile in the shower and floor, including accent tile in the shower. We installed carpeting in the upper bedroom area and reconfigured the closet to accommodate a stackable washer and dryer.

Because we had found some leaking during one of the Bay Area’s winter storms, we did some rooftop water testing to pinpoint the problem areas and made repairs.

The Results

Attractive, functional and accessible, our client is delighted with his cozy new loft.

WARose Construction retrofitted space for Leading the Pack in Oakland's Temescal neighborhood

Leading the Pack

Leading the Pack owner Caitlyn Schleifer is an unabashed animal lover and spent years working in other people’s grooming studios. When she decided it was time to start her own business, she was delighted to find a space in Oakland’s bustling Temescal neighborhood that fit her requirements.

Ground-floor retail in a new residential building with plenty of foot traffic

A huge open space that had yet to be divided into individual shops, we began with framing and insulating the interior walls between the wet room, where theWARose Construction creating durable, waterproof space for Leading the Pack animals would be bathed, and the grooming area, where they would be dried and trimmed.

We installed several vent fans, added sheetrock to the new walls and painted them. Our subcontractors installed plumbing for the wet room, and the electrical team completely wired the new facility.

Project Challenges

Leading the Pack’s unique needs included lots and lots of tile. To accommodate the challenges of bathing and grooming dogs, we installed tile on the floor and eight feet high on the walls; we also tiled the grooming area up to the bottom of the windows. Anyone who’s ever bathed a dog knows it can be a messy affair, so this area needed to be durable, able to tolerate a constant flow of water.

The Results

Final steps included the installation of appliances, wash tubs and custom shelving for retail products. Caitlyn opened her doors to her furry new neighbors in early 2018.

WARose was the contractor for the renovation of 2 kitchens and 4 bathrooms at the Martinez UFCW facility, to include new countertops, cabinets and flooring

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)

W.A. Rose Construction remodeled the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) building in Hayward a few years ago, so we were delighted to be selected to remodel the UFCW meeting hall in Martinez.

Project Challenges

The project scope included two kitchens and four restrooms. We reconfigured the main kitchen’s layout by removing an entire exterior rock wall and installing a large insulated window, letting light into the break room. The UFCW is located on a busy street, so we used insulated windows to help cut down on ambient noise.

We installed new cabinets, interior doors, drywall and painted the walls a neutral khaki color to synch with other UFCW chapters. The kitchen required all new electrical to bring it up to code, and new HVAC included a kitchen hood exhaust fan. We also installed a new water heater, light fixtures and energy-efficient LED lights, along with durable Caesarstone countertops and luxury vinyl tile floors.

The Results

These upgrades represent significant improvements to a facility that had become dated and worn. It’s now safer, sunnier, more inviting and accessible. The upstairs kitchenette and gender-neutral restrooms were finished in 2017 and the W.A. Rose team completed the remainder of the work on the downstairs kitchen and restrooms in early 2018.

WARose was the contractor for SOJA Mind/Body Studio

SOJA Mind/Body

When Peter Ajemian decided to consolidate his mindful fitness classes in a new SOJA studio on Berkeley’s San Pablo Ave., he reached Peter Ajemian of Soja Mind/Bodyout to W.A. Rose Construction. W.A. Rose advertises on Marty Lurie’s weekend show on KNBR during baseball season, and Peter did a testimonial for us. Hear what Peter had to say about W.A. Rose Construction!

Project Challenges

W.A. Rose worked closely with the owner, property manager and architect on this project to meet stringent requirements. The space wasTestimonial from Peter Ajemian from Soja Mind Body on the ground floor of a building that was zoned for residential, with retail on the ground floor. Peter wanted a large, open room that was accessible to foot traffic and visible from the sidewalk. In a new location, he wanted people to be able to see the constant activity in his studio where he teaches not just martial arts but whole-body fitness and flexibility.

The Results

We created a metal-framed wall that separated the new SOJA space from other retail businesses, applied a double layer of drywall to both sides, which we primed and painted a neutral shade of ivory. We left the ceiling open, with exposed pipes; which gives the space a rustic, warehouse effect. The focal point of the room is the unique SOJA logo.

To comply with Title 24 requirements, we built two new single-occupancy ADA restrooms and installed an ADA ramp leading to the garage. We also installed new HVAC that would keep the space comfortable for its active users, a fire-alarm system and a fire suppression tie-in to the existing system.

LED lighting throughout the facility ensures that the new SOJA Studio is energy-efficient. We finished this project on time and on budget.

Sandis Civil Engineers

This was a two-story remodeling project for Sandis Civil Engineers, a rapidly growing engineering firm in downtown Oakland.

Project Challenges

Faced with an aggressive timetable of just three months, a key challenge for this project was structural. The building on 9th Street had at one time been WARose Construction rehabbed a commercial building in Oakland for Sandis Engineeringused as a manufacturing facility, so a significant amount of structural work had to be completed before the actual construction could begin. An additional challenge included building two new staircases that had to be specially reengineered to fit small spaces.

The Results

The work was completed on time, as promised, and included two ADA-upgraded bathrooms, an upgraded ADA-entryway with a ramp from the parking lot into the building and a new reception area. The space was designed with an open floorplan with workstations, and we added two offices, a kitchen and two conferences rooms.


Viator is an innovative online travel company now owned by Trip Advisor that sells travel adventures, so we needed to build an office space that reflected the company culture. The result is a bright, open, modern workspace.

Project Challenges

The client was looking for an open warehouse look with a modern twist. Viator wanted an open workspace, but we also needed to make sure that it didn’t create chaos—the open space had to be well-managed for optimal productivity.

The Results

  • To accomplish this, we tore out the ceiling to expose the pipes; this gave the space a warehouse effect, and we further accentuated the feeling withWARose Construction Viator/TripAdvisor Remodel indirect lighting.
  • We installed large barn-style rolling doors to the executive office so that when open, the office would become more integrated with the overall space.
  • The color scheme was driven by the company’s bold orange and teal corporate colors. The lobby is a wall of glass beads with the company name and logo floating on top.
  • The cheerful lunchroom, which overlooks San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, is bright and fun with its modern orange Lucite chairs and bar stools.

Nancy Callahan, Callahan Design Group, was the designer on this project.

Viator Update: May 2015

When an opportunity opened up to move into the space next to their existing one, Viator seized it!

Project Challenges

For a company that works virtually, keeping their computers up and running is critical; Viator necessarily hosts all of their own servers, and we customized a new server room.

The Results

  • We added a new office, two meeting rooms, additional open space for workstations and an editor’s room for watching and editing travel videos.
  • Two new doors connect the original office with the expanded new space.
  • An updated kitchen quickly became the favorite gathering place for the hardworking Viator team.
  • We also added a mother’s room to accommodate nursing moms.

This was our third engagement with Viator, and we’re proud of our long, successful partnership, delighted to be helping Viator accommodate growth!


With a tagline of Lettuce Rock Your World, Baygreens is a restaurant that burst onto the Oakland food scene in 2015 to serve the health-conscious appetites of its Uptown neighbors.

Project Challenges

The restaurant required a minor demolition to make it suitable for its new life as a restaurant serving a wide variety of healthy salads. We replaced missing ceiling tiles, painted the walls white with bright green trim, installed a subway tile backsplash and built a pony wall for the counter. As with other projects in these old Uptown buildings, Baygreens required extensive electrical upgrades to accommodate industrial restaurant equipment and meet Title 24 requirements. W.A. Rose also installed energy-saving LED lights that contribute to the feeling of a light, airy environment.

The Results

A bright, open, modern space for this primarily takeout restaurant. We worked closely with the designers and the client on this project to create a fresh, light, clean environment that accommodates its on-the-go clientele.