Construction in Oakland is picking up speed. There are currently 1,900 residential units under construction and approximately 10,000 additional units approved. This approval pipeline includes two residential towers that have recently pulled building permits: a 206-unit building at 1700 Webster Street by Portland-based developer Gerding Edlen and a 240-unit tower by Lennar at 1640 Broadway. See a slideshow of Oakland’s proposed highrises and for more economic indicators, check out our Quarterly Economic Dashboard.
Recently named one of the world’s most innovative food companies, Impossible Foods recently signed a lease for 66,000 square feet of industrial space at 550 85th Street. The company’s first product is the Impossible Burger, which looks, smells, tastes and sizzles like meat but is sourced directly from plants. The Redwood City-based food startup raised $108 million in funding last year, on par with Oakland-based Blue Bottle Coffee, which has also raised over $100 million. In the last two years, the lion’s share of venture capital in Oakland has been invested in food and beverage manufacturing. For more information on food production in Oakland, please contact Senior Economic Development Specialist Margot Prado.
On May 12, Beneficial State Bank and Foundation hosted The 10th Annual Oakland Indie Awards, recognizing businesses that are making a positive impact on the local economy. Winners and their award categories included repair service connector Repair Revolution (Greenie), restaurant and grocer Spice Monkey | Howden Market (High Road Employer), dancer Deborah Vaughan/Dimensions Dance Theater (Pillar), cultural anchor Betti Ono Gallery (Social Changemaker), caterer and educator The Town Kitchen (Youth Opportunity), event curator and organizer SKIN Oakland (Oakland Soul), cooperative business accelerator Uptima Business Bootcamp (Innovative Newcomer) and artisan marketplace Show & Tell Concept Shop (Ripple Effect). Congratulations to the winners!
Pro Arts Open Studios, the region’s longest running open studios event, will take place over two weekends: June 4-5 (West and North Oakland) and June 11-12 (East Oakland and Lakeshore). This free annual event connects visual, sound, video, literary, traditional and performance artists with the public. This year's lineup includes over 400 individual studios, galleries, exhibitions, involving more than 500 contemporary artists and locations. For more information and to download the event app, click here.
The Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF), in partnership with the City of Oakland, is offering trainings this month to give Oakland-based arts and culture non-profit organizations some of the tools they need to remain and thrive in Oakland. Participants will learn how to negotiate stable, long-term leases; assess if their organization is ready to purchase space; access financial resources; and much more! The first training will be held on Wednesday, June 8th, from 2pm - 5:30 pm at 1330 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Oakland, CA. For more information and to register, click here.
Oakland-based investors and Startups were well represented at the Vator Splash Spring tech conference on May 12th by Lake Merritt. Morning Keynote speaker Mitch Kapor described Kapor Capital's Founders Commitment to increase diversity, and an afternoon panel featured the heads of VSCO, Mayvenn, and Dictionary.com discussing building their companies in Oakland. Five local startups won the Oakland Rising Stars competition: open source code sharer NPM, security startup Clef, education designer Qeyno Labs, VC networking site Angeloop, and cutting-edge online retailer Saint Harridan. Taking home the coveted People’s Choice award for Vator's main competition was yet another Oakland startup, innovative storytellers The History Project. For more information on tech in Oakland, contact Marisa Raya.
LocoL is an ambitious new food business created by two of California’s most prominent chefs — Oakland's Daniel Patterson (Plum Bar, Haven) and the Los Angeles-based Korean taco pioneer Roy Choi. After launching in Watts, the team chose Oakland for their second location, opening May 25th at 2214 Broadway in Uptown. LocoL’s mission is to serve healthy, affordable, and delicious fast food – a much-needed niche for area residents, workers, and students. LocoL is also planning restaurants in East Oakland and other Bay Area locations. “Oakland I'm off to give you all I got,” stated founder Roy Choi en route to the opening. Follow the launch of LocoL on Roy Choi’s Instagram feed.