1973 ad Hayward Daily Review

The Van Buren Tower is located at 320 Lee St, in the Adams Point neighborhood. It was built in 1965. It is 13 stories, 68 units, with 2 underground garage levels. It is one of the tallest buildings in the Adams Point neighborhood.  The building is a condominium, with a majority of owner-occupied units, though several units are rented to non-owners.

South-facing view from VBT penthouse - (c) isaacs - CC-BY-SA

Union Tribune
06 July 1964
"15 stories"
Union Tribune
23 July 1964
Union Tribune - 29 August 1965
Article honoring Michel A. Marx,
the architecture firm that designed VBT

The deeds for each of the 68 individual condominium units in the Van Buren Tower, as recorded in Alameda County's Official Records, includes a legal description that includes: "An undivided ___ percent interest as tenant in common in and to Lot 1, Tract 3423, filed September 25, 1972, Map Book 75, pages 72 to 82."  The exact percentage interest in the underlying Lot 1 conveyed by each deed varies depending on the size of the unit, with the penthouse units having the largest share.

Assessor's Map of the area showing Lot 1, Tract 3423, where the Van Buren Tower is located

Ad in the Jan 20, 1974, Union Tribune. Note that the "15 stories" has changed to "12 stories plus 2 penthouses". Still afraid of 13.

Sample Legal Description - penthouse unit

American Architects Directory, 1970.
Lists Michel Andre Marx and Associates as the designers of the Van Buren Tower.
Now there are 16 stories.


Tragic History (content warning: violent crime)

On May 11, 2009, 97-year-old Ivarene Beatrice Lett, former owner of New Bea's Hotel, was found beaten to death in her apartment in the building. This prompted increases in security for the building as well as a focus on elder crime by the Oakland PD. The mayor at the time, Ron Dellums, offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Lett's killer(s).