Oakland Economy Now, Vol. 14 October

Masthead Volume 14 October


Meet 70+ of Oakland’s Most Inspiring Companies during NewCo Oakland

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!

NewCo Oakland logo


Uber Invests in Downtown Oakland

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.


More Companies Moving to Oakland; Local Businesses Expanding

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.

Nordstrom's Rack Opening in West Oakland

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.


Hands-on Design Workshop and Open House for Plan Downtown

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.


Section Head Resources

Quarterly Economic Dashboard Available

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.

Quarterly Economic Dashboard

New Movie "Eastside Sushi," set in Oakland, tells a Small Business Story

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.

Section Head In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Peter Van Kleef

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.”


Opening a Business? Contact us!

Business Assistance Center

Zoning & Permit Information

New! Quarterly Economic Dashboard

Minimum Wage & Employment Laws 

KivaZip Oakland

Foreign Trade Zone


First Friday Art Murmur
Oct 2 @ Uptown

Getting to Know: International Boulevard
Oct 7@ SPUR

ACSBDC: Search Engine Optimization
Oct 7 @ City Hall HR 2

NewCo Oakland
Oct 8 @ multiple locations

Oct 8 @ Impact Hub

Plan Downtown: Hands-on Design Workshop
Oct 19 @ 1544 Broadway

Meet Oakland's City Administrator
Oct 23 @ Metropolitan Chamber

Plan Downtown: Work-in-Progress Presentation
Oct 28 @ 1544 Broadway


Brown & Toland
California Bank of Commerce
Qulture Collective
Sensiba San Filippo


EXCLUSIVE: Oakland’s premier tech office developer bets big on housing
Sept 15 @ SF Business Times

Sip and Swirl: Oakland Urban Wine Trail Launches
Sept 30 @  Berkeleyside

A Night in Oakland's Jack London Neighborhood
Sept 17 @ the Culture Trip

'East Side Sushi' opening in SF Bay Area
Sept 15 @ SF Examiner

6 century-old Oakland buildings getting new life as offices
Sept 3 @ SF Business Times

Oakland invites residents to participate in Downtown planning project
Aug 30 @ NBC Bay Area

Fresh coworking spaces bring peeps together in Oakland
Aug 18@ 7x7

360 units proposed in rare large East Oakland housing project
Aug 17 @ SF Business Times

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