More co-working kitchen spaces and community markets are opening in Oakland, feeding an insatiable demand for space for local food artisans, small food producers and community gathering. Grand Fare Market, a combination prepared food market, beer garden, ice cream, coffee and flower shop, opened in the Grand Lake neighborhood, continuing a great Oakland tradition of neighborhood food anchors such as Market Hall in Rockridge, Fruitvale Public Market and downtown’s Swan’s Market. Meanwhile, Port Kitchens opened in the spring at the Kaiser Center, renting out workspaces for food entrepreneurs in time blocks using an online scheduler. Under construction on 26th Street is Forage Kitchen, a co-working space for food with a 2,700-square-foot kitchen, shared office and a café featuring changing resident chefs. With 500 interested people on a waitlist for Forage Kitchen’s 40 spots, expect this trend to grow.
St. Joseph’s Campus, a multigenerational affordable housing development in Fruitvale, has won the Urban Land Institute’s 2015 Global Award of Excellence. The 1912 landmark was renovated by developer Bridge Housing and architect Van Meter Williams Pollack into 146 affordable housing units for seniors and families, along with 3,200 square feet of community-serving commercial space. The award recognized the successful use of a public/private partnership to leverage funding for housing as well as historic preservation.
Earlier this month, the Oakland City Council approved $969,500 in grants to 68 arts organizations and individual artists throughout the city. The Cultural Arts funding program supports art projects, community events and arts programming across the city, including outdoor festivals, workshops, school programs and residencies, concerts, art exhibitions and murals. First-time grantees United Roots will produce the experimental film documentary “My People Are Rising,” based on the autobiography of legendary Black Panther captain Aaron Dixon, a founder of the Free Breakfast for School Children Program. For more information, contact Cultural Funding Program Coordinator Denise Pate-Pearson.
Oakland companies dominated the 2015 list of the East Bay’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies, published each year by the San Francisco Business Times. Recognized firms include two woman-owned companies: Blaisdell’s Business Products and technology manager ProActive Business Solutions; architecture firms JRDV, ArcSine and Lowney Architecture; raw food manufacturer and certified B Corp Core Foods; wine vendor Vino Volo; 3D print shop Fathom; shipping company US Perishables; West Oakland’s Anderson Carpet; and conference technology company MediaVision USA. These firms represent a cross-section of Oakland’s key industries, including manufacturing, tech, art & design, food & drink and logistics.
2015 has been a game changing year for Oakland’s downtown office market, as local expansions combined with new businesses to drive Oakland to some of the lowest downtown vacancy rates in the in the US. The San Francisco Business Times summarized the recent moves of 15 San Francisco companies to Oakland in the infographic below. While the biggest news may be tech company Uber’s decision to purchase the former Sears building in downtown, the last few months have seen a broad and diverse range of businesses moving to Oakland. Global food trade company Otis McAllister took 16,380 square feet in 300 Frank Ogawa Plaza. Real estate research firm CoreLogic signed a 24,000 square foot lease on 13th Street. After 124 years in San Francisco, the Sierra Club recently signed a lease for nearly 39,000 square feet of space on Webster Street.
Source: San Francisco Business Times