Oakland Shows No Signs of Slowing Down. Here's Why.
It's been a huge year in Oakland, with major corporate relocations and a shift in the city's reputation. From blue collar to high-tech, Oakland has become an epicenter for innovation in the Bay. More than 550 commercial real estate pros gathered at Marriott City Center yesterday for Bisnow's 2nd Annual Oakland State of the Market to tell us how.
Allen Matkins' Elizabeth Clark moderated, and asked our panelists questions about the changing vision of Oakland, sustainability and community involvement that could create a more prosperous city. She pointed out how panelists have worked not only with each other but also nonprofits and community groups like SPUR and Community Benefits Districts.
Swig Co EVP Deborah Boyer says more sustainable developments are crucial to attract the top talent in Oakland. She says the young workforce that firms covet wants to feel engaged and wants to feel like they're making a difference. In addition, Deborah says the vision for Oakland continues to be positive, with investor interest and property values going up by the day. More companies are relocating HQs to Oakland not just because it's lower cost but because it's preferred.
Polaris Pacific principal Paul Zeger says Oakland condo projects are approaching $800/SF. And given the tight supply, this may continue above $900 in the not-too-distant future for high-rise properties. Paul says capital is now getting more comfortable investing in Oakland, as area housing values are accelerating at one of the fastest paces in the US.
On the community involvement front, Madison Park Financial CEO John Protopappas says development is about much more than construction. "Yes, we're bringing in capital, yes we're providing housing," John says. "We're in the community-building business."
The winner of Essel Environmental's Apple Watch giveaway wished to remain anonymous. (Who doesn't want to get free press? We don't get it either!)