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Want to get inside Back to the Roots, Pilotly, Cutting Edge Capital or the Kapor Center for Social Impact? Thursday, October 8th is NewCo Oakland day, and over 70 Oakland businesses are opening their doors for a citywide business festival. We encourage you to take this opportunity to get to know some of the most exciting and innovative companies in Oakland. As part of NewCo Oakland, we are also opening City Hall for a one-hour Civic Innovation Open House at 1:30 PM, showcasing the Digital Front Door, Speak Up Oakland, the Startup in Residency program, West Oakland Works, Civic Design Lab, and other projects. Come and check us out!
On Wednesday, September 23rd Mayor Libby Schaaf announced an expansion of Uber’s headquarters to the historic Uptown Station building, the former site of Sears and Capwell’s Department Store. Uber expects to occupy the upper floors of the building by 2017; the ground floor will be home to Newberry Market, a locally developed grocery and food emporium. Currently, one in five Uber office employees lives in Oakland and the company counts nearly 3,000 Oakland residents as drivers. For more information, please contact Director of Economic and Workforce Development Mark Sawicki.
Biotech innovator the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine will move to 1999 Harrison Street this month, relocating from San Francisco. Joining them Downtown are Brown & Toland Physicians, who will relocate their San Francisco headquarters into the Clorox Building, and the California Bank of Commerce, whose executive team will move to 1300 Clay Street. Meanwhile, Oakland businesses are also expanding: technology and electronics manufacturer Digicom Electronics, Inc. has doubled their East Oakland facility size, adding even more advanced manufacturing equipment and additional personnel. “This new occupancy will bring Class A vacancy in downtown Oakland to below 8%; meanwhile Class B is less than 6%." said John Dolby of broker DTZ. "With just one single block of space larger than 50k sf currently available, Oakland will need to build new inventory to attract other large tenants.” The constrained office market may lead to new office construction for the first time in seven years at two sites already approved for development at 601 City Center and 1100 Broadway. For more information, please contact Economic Development Manager Aliza Gallo.
On October 22, Nordstrom’s Rack will open a 38,000 square foot store at the East Bay Bridge shopping center, currently home to Target, Home Depot, Michael’s and others. The shopping center — located at the intersection of highways 80 and 580, 40th and Hollis Streets — straddles the border between Oakland and Emeryville, and the two cities share sales tax revenue from its tenants. For more information, please contact Retail Specialist Keira Williams.
The City’s Planning and Building Department has launched Plan Downtown, a two-year planning process to develop a community-driven vision for the future of Downtown. The project team will host a week-long pop-up open house and design charrette at 1544 Broadway, the future home of SPUR Oakland, from October 20 to 27. Drop by anytime between 8 am and 8 pm. SPUR’s timely report, A Downtown for Everyone: Shaping the Future of Downtown, documents the opportunities and challenges facing Downtown today. For more details or to sign up for project announcements, visit the project webpage and save the dates for a hands-on design workshop on Monday, October 19 and a work-in-progress presentation on Wednesday, October 28. Both workshops are at 6 pm at 1544 Broadway.
Did you know that unemployment in Oakland dropped to 5.7% last quarter or that the city’s revenues from hotels increased by more than 50% last year? These and other figures are easy to access in the City’s Quarterly Economic Dashboard. In addition to Oakland Economy Now, subscribers can also receive the Dashboard as a mobile-friendly infographic that includes employment, revenue, real estate, building permit and development data on a citywide scale. The City of Oakland is continuing to pursue tools to help the public engage with and keep track of the evolving Oakland economy. For feedback and suggestions, please contact Economic Analyst Marisa Raya.
New movie release Eastside Sushi tells the story of Juana, a Latina chef trying to break into the sushi industry. The story of this cross-cultural entrepreneur was filmed in Oakland and features scenes shot in Fruitvale, Lake Merritt, and other local spots. Eastside Sushi has won over a dozen festival awards and is currently screening at the Grand Lake Theater.
The City of Oakland remembered Peter Van Kleef, owner of the Uptown bar Café Van Kleef, who passed away on September 8. The area in front of the bar between 16th and 17th Streets on Telegraph Avenue closed to traffic for his memorial service on September 12, as family, friends and Oaklanders gathered to remember the man that they believe helped foster a new era of art and music in Oakland. Gil Duran, a friend of Van Kleef’s and the spokesperson for former Oakland mayor and Café Van Kleef regular Jerry Brown, said, “A lot of people considered him the godfather of Uptown because he was such a booster and generous person,” Duran said. “He had faith in Oakland and he always believed he was at the front end of a gold rush in this city that nobody else knew about.”