Oakland Economy Now - News from the City of Oakland - Dec-Jan 2014/15

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Oakland parking wreath

Happy Holidays!  

Happy holidays from the City of Oakland’s Economic and Workforce Development Staff! In support of our local businesses, the City is offering free parking every Saturday until New Year’s, including at City lots and garages. Shop Oakland Grown for the holidays!



Co-Working Booms in Oakland, Reinvents
Work Culture

First came Tech Liminal at City Center. Oakstop added artists to the mix in Uptown, and Kitchener Oakland brought commercial kitchen access for food startups. LOL (Liberating Ourselves Locally) Hackerspace brought Maker space to East Oakland. Co-working spaces have continued to expand and evolve throughout Oakland, and the end of 2014 brought several innovative developments. Upper Broadway’s Impact Hub is adding the Youth Hub to connect young innovators with Oakland businesses. The Port Workspaces added to their two Jack London Square locations with new facilities at the Kaiser Center and Pacific Law building, including a second commercial kitchen. In Temescal, Omni Commons provides shared resources to a community of collectives and supports decentralized, open governance. Look for the newest project, an innovative co-living and co-working space that blurs the lines between social and professional communities called the Canopy, to open east of Lake Merritt in February 2015. 



City Unleashes $1M in Cultural Arts Grants 

The City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program is awarding nearly $1M to dozens of artists, arts organizations and schools in Oakland. According to Program Coordinator Denise Pate-Pearson, “Oakland is one of only two U.S. cities that offers grants to individuals, providing vital seed money for underserved artists.” Recipients for the highly competitive grants include the Community Rejuvenation Project, the Oakland Ballet and Bandaloop, the vertical dance company that performed over Art + Soul attendees this year. 

Bandaloop on City Hall


Oakland Adopts Third Specific Plan this Year: Lake Merritt

In November, the City Council adopted the Lake Merritt Station Area Plan to help guide development and investment in the half-mile area around the Lake Merritt BART Station. Similar to the Broadway Valdez District Specific Plan and the West Oakland Specific Plan, which were adopted earlier this year, the plan creates a streamlined entitlement process for new development projects. It identifies opportunity sites for new jobs, services and housing, while helping balance the neighborhood’s broad range of uses. The Plan, which encompasses Chinatown, Laney College, the Oakland Museum of California, Alameda County offices and parts of Eastlake, is a long-range vision for the area that allows up to 4,900 new residential units, 4,100 new jobs, 400,000 square feet of additional retail space and 1.2 million square feet of office space, along with improvements to parks, recreation centers and streets over time.

lake_merritt_plan


2014's Office Market Ends with Largest Deal: New Investment in 2015

In the largest office market deal of the year, the UC Regents purchased the LEED-Gold Certified office tower at 1111 Broadway, calling it a “core asset” for their investment portfolio. New companies continue to lease office space in Downtown Oakland, including EVB Advertising, which is relocating from SOMA in San Francisco. “The Oakland scene feels energetic and real,” EVB Founder & CEO Daniel Stein stated. “Being part of this incredible movement and momentum will enable EVB to continue to grow into a more dynamic and creative agency.” On December 5, the San Francisco Business Times hosted a sold-out Oakland Structures breakfast, with more than 600 attendees listening to a developer panel that featured Strada Investment Group, Signature Development, City Ventures, Lane Partners and the Renaissance Companies talking about their Oakland investments ahead for the new year.

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RESOURCES

Opening a Business? Contact us!

Business Assistance Center

Zoning & Permit Information

Foreign Trade Zone

Green Your Business!


UPCOMING EVENTS

Legal Services for Entrepreneurs
Jan 8 @ Oakland BAC

City Camp
Jan 10 @ Oakland City Hall

Oakland Restaurant Week
Jan 15 - 25

Inside Oakland—New Councilmembers
Jan 26  @ Oakland Chamber

AlterConf – SF/Oakland
Jan 31 @ Impact Hub


NEW BUSINESSES

The Growlers’ Arms 

Clove and Hoof

The Half Orange

Mad*Pow


OAKLAND IN THE NEWS

Merchants Head Downtown as Oakland Gains New Luster
San Francisco Chronicle, Nov 28

Oakland Among the Top 10 U.S. Destinations for 2015
Lonely Planet, Dec 10

Tech Companies Eyeing Sears Building in Downtown Oakland
San Jose Mercury News, Nov 4

No. 6 Among Top 20 US Cities for Tech Startup Funding 
National Venture Capital Association, Oct 24

Top 10 U.S. Retail Markets
Retail Info Systems News, Nov 17

The 15 Hottest American Cities For 2015
Business Insider, Nov 19 

Bay Area Hipsters Find Oakland Affordable, Edgy Refuge
Bloomberg, Nov 20

U.S. Treasury Awards $610,000 Contract To Oakland EdTech Startup, MindBlown Labs
WRCB TV, Nov 20

Oakland Organizations Help Small Businesses Thrive
Oakland Local, Dec 14


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