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5 Reasons for Oakland's Development Boom

Oakland is booming with new development plans popping up by the day. That's why we're excited to hear about the latest plans to transform the city at Bisnow's Oakland Construction & Development: Red Hot Real Estate! event tomorrow at Scottish Rite Center. Here are five things fueling the Oakland boom.

1) All About Transit


Around the Bay Area, how you get to work is nearly as important as where you work, so transit-based development is a big deal. In Oakland, it is one of the city's biggest selling points, particularly when it comes to getting between the city and San Francisco. So you'll notice our speakers are quick to point out the transit benefits of their developments:

  • TB2 Retail and Walton/Lane's tentatively named Telegraph Plaza (with immediate access to BART). Speaker Alan Dones, shown above, has called that section of downtown Oakland "prime for transit-oriented development."
  • Holliday Development's The Intersection in North Oakland/Emeryville (in what speaker Kevin Brown calls "the flight path of thousands of people in the East Bay" with easy access to transit).
  • District Development's Broadway and 19th (right above the 19th Street BART station).

2) More Opportunity for Mixed-Use Development


Oakland is far larger than San Francisco geographically, but has almost half the population, Kevin Brown (above) tells us, making it a prime opportunity for mixed-use development. The potential is there to grow jobs, housing and retail, he says.

Though some people may commute between Oakland and San Francisco, others want to be able to live, work and play in one location. Some of the mixed-use projects on the table not only bring in apartments and office space, but also retail leased by grocery stores, restaurants and coffee shops.

3) More Jobs Mean More Office and Housing


Another one of our speakers, Seth Hamalian of District Development (above) tells us venture capital funding has been shifting out of Silicon Valley and into San Francisco. He says venture funding generates new jobs and real estate follows jobs. Though Oakland is not all that close to Silicon Valley, Seth says there isn't a single major city anywhere in the Bay Area closer to San Francisco, especially with better transit connections to S.F.

4) Oakland Wants to Grow


Oakland's leaders have been outspoken about wanting to bring in development. Mayor Libby Schaaf (our keynote speaker at tomorrow's event) told us the city wants to bring in development in the right places. To encourage development in those areas, the city has been working to make it easier. Fees are a mixed bag. The city's office impact fees are significantly lower than those in San Francisco, but there's concern that proposed housing impact fees would slow new development (and the introduction of market-rate housing is already slow).

5) Recreation


Yes, the Golden State Warriors have their new arena complex planned for Mission Bay; the Oakland Raiders feel the pull of a new stadium in Carson; and the Oakland A's have weighed their options. But aside from all the sports team turmoil, there's still plenty to do in Oakland.

There's outdoor recreation (including parks, campsites, boating and fishing). Not the outdoorsy type? There are museums, the zoo, a growing number of events (several in Jack London Square, above) and festivals. That adds another draw for living and working in the city. Hear more at Bisnow's Oakland Construction & Development: Red Hot Real Estate! event tomorrow at Scottish Rite Center. Sign up here!