Oakland Economy Now Volume 17 January/February 2016

Masthead January February 2016

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Independent Retail Stalwarts Move to Oakland

Venerable art supply store Flax Art & Design is relocating to Oakland. Flax, which has been serving the Bay Area since 1938, will open a 14,500-square-foot store Downtown at 1501 Martin Luther King Way. The City has been seeking strong retail tenants to complement Downtown’s rich entertainment and restaurant scene. “Flax is the perfect fit for Downtown. It will be a great anchor for that area and serve our creative community,” says Downtown project coordinator Brian Kendall. The store is scheduled to open late next month. 

Flax Storefront


In addition to Flax, popular independent department store Jeremy’s will also be opening in Downtown Oakland. Following the closure of their original South of Market store in San Francisco, Jeremy’s has purchased the historic First Church of Christ Scientist building at 17th and Franklin streets. Consistent with the design of their previous stores, Jeremy’s will maintain as much of the beautiful, historic interior of the building as possible. "This store will be the largest designer apparel and shoe store in Uptown Oakland since I.Magnin closed in 1995," says founder Jeremy Kidson. "We see it as an honor and a privilege to be entrusted with the restoration and preservation of this amazing property." The store is expected to open in May. 

Jeremys Logo and Church building

Non-Profits: Get Real Estate Ready!

Resources are available to help nonprofits secure affordable space in Oakland while demand for space continues to tighten. The City of Oakland is partnering with the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) to bring a series of workshops to help non-profits assess their spaces needs, negotiate leases, purchase property and access financing. Workshops will be held January 15, February 4 and March 1 at the California Endowment Conference Center at 1111 Broadway in Downtown Oakland. RSVP here.

Non Profit Real Estate Flyer

Development Impact Fee Study Released

The Planning Department is currently studying setting new development impact fees and will present its findings to the Community and Economic Development (CED) committee on January 26. The proposed fees could go to support three categories: affordable housing, transportation and capital improvements (parks, libraries, fire, police and storm water). The City conducted a nexus impact fee study assessing maximum allowable fees and is evaluating the potential economic impacts for multiple proposals. More information is available at www.oaklandnet.com/impactfee and the full CED report will be posted on January 15

City of Oakland Launching Startup in Residence Program

The City of Oakland will be issuing a Call for Startups later this month for entrepreneurs to work on civic challenges through a new tech Startup In Residence program. Part of a regional partnership with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Innovation, based on their successful Entrepreneur in Residence  program, the four-month residency provides a risk-free space for City departments to work with entrepreneurs to co-create and test drive new digital products and services. For more information or to find out how your startup can participate, please contact Marisa Raya in the Special Projects Division.

West Oakland Jobs Resource Center Receives $850K Kellogg Foundation Grant

The West Oakland Job Resource Center, which prepares workers for careers in the building and construction trades, has received an $850,000 job training grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in partnership with the East Bay Alliance for A Sustainable Economy. The Center offers local residents a rigorous apprenticeship program requiring both school and on-the-job training. Many program participants have families, so the funds will provide financial, childcare and housing services to support them while apprentices are enrolled in the program. For more information or to partner with the West Oakland Jobs Resource Center, please contact Executive Director Julina Bonilla.

Oakland Restaurant Week January 14-24

Oakland Restaurant Week is here! For 10 days (January 14-24), restaurants such as The Half Orange, Plum Bar, Pour, Bourbon and Beef, Home of Chicken & Waffles and Italian Colors will offer special prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus at $20, $30, $40 and $50 price points. That’s two weekends of awesome deals from Fruitvale to Montclair. Check out Visit Oakland for participating restaurants.

Pizza at Forge


Opening a Business? Contact us!

New! Visit Oakland’s “Welcome to Oakland” Video

Take the Downtown B Shuttle Survey on Improvements

Business Assistance Center

Zoning & Permit Information

KivaZip Oakland

Minimum Wage Increase to $12.55

Quarterly Economic Dashboard

Foreign Trade Zone


Core Kitchen
Department of Make Believe/Chapter 510
Flax Art and Design


36 Hours in Oakland, CA
Dec 3, New York Times

15 Stories that show Oakland's Development Rise
Dec 10, SF Business Times

Experts: Oakland is growing technology hub
Dec 9, Oakland Tribune

Oakland’s Business Boom
Dec 22, KPIX

After heavy migration, Oakland's office market is now fuller than San Francisco's
Dec 22, SF Business Times

Oakland's first tower in seven years could break ground by the spring
Dec 16, SF Business Times

Oakland on the verge of change: A walking tour of the city's transformative projects 
Dec 16, San Francisco Business Times

Oakland approves public funding for two projects with more than 500 affordable units
Dec 15, San Francisco Business Times

Massive Oakland development site a block from downtown BART station up for sale
Dec 14, San Francisco Business Times

Six buildings in Oakland's Jack London Square in contract to sell
Dec 3, San Francisco Business Times

Exclusive First Look: How This Retail Center Will Transform Oakland
Nov 30, BisNow

As development pours in, Oakland is having its biggest retail revival in more than a decade
Nov 27, San Francisco Business Times


Sprouts Grocery Store Grand Opening
Jan 13 @ 3035 Broadway

Oakland Restaurant Week 2016
January 14-24 @ Multiple Locations

Winter Ready Workshop 
Jan 16 @ 81st Ave. Library

Watersong Summit
Jan 17 @ Impact Hub

CA Competes Tax Credit Webinar
Jan 19 @ Online

Website Development with E-Commerce Basics
Jan 21 @ City Hall 

SPUR Oakland Open House
Jan 27 @ 1544 Broadway

Winter Ready Workshop 
Jan 27 @ Chabot Space & Science Center

Plan Downtown Open House
Feb 1 @ 1428 Alice St.

Our City: Oakland Public Design Fair
Feb 4-6 @ Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

Women Entrepreneurs - Starting and Growing Your Business
Feb 4 @ City Hall 

Tax Tips and Strategy for Small Businesses
Feb 18 @ City Hall 

East Bay EDA Innovation Awards
Feb 25 @ Fox Theater

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