Oakland Economy Now - News from the City of Oakland - Vol. III

Oakland Economy Now - News from the City of Oakland - Vol. III

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

New Business

Bay Area Architecture Giant Gensler Relocating to Downtown Oakland

Global architecture and design firm Gensler announced they are moving their East Bay Office from San Ramon to Oakland, joining Pandora in the LEED-Certified building at 2101 Webster Street. Gensler says of the move, “Oakland is a dynamic, economically strong and influential place, and we want to be a part of it.” Gensler is currently designing the Broadway Uptown Station project, rehabilitating Oakland’s historic downtown Sears building into creative office and retail space. They also recently completed the design of the e.l.f. Cosmetics new headquarters in Old Oakland.


Photos: Gensler and Jasper Sanidad Photography

Visual Supply Co (VSCO) Pulls $40M Series A, Launches Journal, $1 Million Artists Initiative

VSCO, a creative platform for photographers, designers and artists is building its new headquarters at 1500 Broadway, shortly after bringing in $40 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners.  “Oakland embodies the grit and creative spirit of VSCO,” says CEO Joel Flory. Through the development of photography tools (the VSCO Cam® app and VSCO Film®,) and beautiful curated platforms (VSCO Grid and VSCO Journal), the company is redefining the process around creating, editing, and sharing images.  VSCO is supporting its international creative base through the VSCO Artist Initiative, a $1 million scholarship fund providing artists with resources to pursue their projects. The fast-growing start up is also looking to hire smart and inspired individuals.


Photo of the view from VSCO’s new home by CEO Joel Flory

Industrial Leasing

New Class A Industrial Space Opens Near Airport, Welcomes Benjamin Moore

Demand for industrial space in Oakland is high, and a new, strategically-located Class A building has landed its first tenant, Benjamin Moore & Co. The renowned paint company, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is leasing 141,844 square feet at the new Goodman Logistics Center for its regional distribution center. Goodman Logistics Center is close to highways, Oakland International Airport and the Port of Oakland, making it easier and cheaper to supply the paint company’s Northern California stores. The lease amounts to more than one-third of the space at the 375,000-square-foot project. For more information about industrial space in Oakland, contact specialist Margot Prado.

Local Talent

Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program Expanding to Year-Round; WIB receives $1 Million for On the Job Training

More than 2,100 Oakland youth participated in the 2014 Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program. Oaklanders ages 16-21 spent six weeks working for employers including the Port of Oakland, BART, Turner Construction and the City. The City recently funded a youth employment coordinator to expand the program to offer year-round employment opportunities.  Last month, the Oakland Workforce Investment Board received a $1 million grant to provide companies with incentives to create on-the-job training (OJT) opportunities for unemployed job seekers. For more details on how your business can participate in these programs, please contact Tamara Walker.

Oakland Youth

Food and Drink

Enjoy the Last Days of Summer at Oakland’s Beer Gardens

September is a beautiful month in Oakland and the perfect time to check out one of the city’s many unique new beer gardens. Powered by a biodiesel boiler, Ale Industries’ Fruitvale Fermentation Factory  just opened the Jingletown Jazz Room, featuring musicians from the neighboring Norton Factory Studios artist complex. Oakland’s second production brewery follows on the success of West Oakland’s Linden Street Brewery, which has also stepped it up with top-notch food offerings from the Dock at Linden Street.  Lost & Found wins the notable garden award for its gorgeous flowers and plants maintained by graduates from a gardening program at San Quentin. Other new beer gardens include the doughnut- and First Friday-friendly Telegraph Beer Garden, butchery bastion Brotzeit Lokal, and Beer Revolution in Jack London Square.

Lost and Found Beer Garden

Visit our newsletter archive to view past issues of Oakland Economy Now


Business Assistance Center

Zoning & Permit Information

Foreign Trade Zone


2.Oakland Demo Day
Sept 10 @ Tech Liminal

Economic Development Forum:
Strada Investment Group
Sept 10 @ Metro Chamber

SfunCube Solar Hackathon 
Sept 13-15 @ SfunCube

Nonprofit Roundtable
Sept 16 @ Metro Chamber

Visit Oakland Open House
Sept 17@ 481 Water St

Impact Investing
Sept 24 @ Impact HUB Oakland

ACSBDC/Chevron "Grow Your Business"
5 Seminars throughout Oakland


Avison Young Real Estate

Bay Grape

Café Underwood



Longitude Tiki Bar

Puremoxie Brand Innovation Agency

Pop-Up: Regina’s Door


The Bold Italic: 
An Illustrated Guide to Lake Merritt

San Francisco Chronicle: Lake Merritt Pop-up Picnic Builds Community

City of Oakland Logo - Black