Nutcracker at the Paramount? Caroling on Lake Merritt? Visit www.oaklandnet.com/celebrations for an incredible roster of over 40 Oakland holiday events and neighborhood strolls! It's also easier than ever to buy local for the holidays. Check out Oakland Magazine and the East Bay Express for local holiday gift guides and enjoy free parking at all meters and participating City-owned lots every Saturday until 2017. Whether you are singing posadas on International Boulevard or Christmas carols with the City and Port of Oakland Employees' Chorus, we wish you unity and love this holiday season.
Demand for high-quality industrial space at the nation’s fifth-busiest port is high, with industrial vacancy rates in Oakland at a low 2.6% citywide. In November, global industrial real estate firm Prologis Inc. started construction on the first of three state of the art logistics facilities at the former Oakland Army Base, part of a $1.2 billion dollar public-private partnership with the State of California, Alameda County Transportation Commission and City of Oakland. Totalling 256,000 square feet, the first facility is part of the 160-acre master planned Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center and is expected to be completed by mid-2017. Phases two and three will add another 410,000 square feet of new Class A industrial space. Meanwhile, the Port of Oakland is opening a 370,000-square-foot refrigerated "Cool Port" warehouse and distribution facility. In total, the new logistics cluster is anticipated to create thousands of new jobs while reducing truck traffic and pollution. For more information and the history of the re-use of the former Oakland Army Base, visit http://oaklandglobal.com/index.php.
Fremont High students taking a tour on Manufacturing Day
The Bay Area has an international reputation for top quality manufacturing. Along with San Francisco, San Jose and Fremont, the City of Oakland is co-anchoring the Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative (BAUMI), a three-year project to grow the manufacturing sector and tackle regional challenges facing companies, such as access to land and talent. Staffed by SF Made, BAUMI released a State of Urban Manufacturing Report and video at its inaugural summit November 17. One week earlier, Oakland celebrated Manufacturing Day with over 100 students from six Oakland high schools touring both local companies and Laney College’s state-of-the-art trade skills facilities. Thank you to Oakland’s participating manufacturers, including American Brass & Iron (AB&I), Creative Wood, Everett Graphics, KSI Key Source International, Norcal Metal Fabricators and OCHO Candy. For more information on Oakland manufacturing, contact Economic Development staff specialist Steve Lautze.
Broadway is Downtown Oakland’s spine, connecting Old Oakland, Chinatown and Jack London District to the waterfront. Running parallel to Broadway is Webster Street, a primary connection between Chinatown and Jack London Square. Oakland’s Planning Department wants to transform the Broadway and Webster Street underpasses of the I-880 Freeway into beautiful, safe, walkable, inviting, green and iconic passageways to better connect the city and the waterfront. The City of Oakland has issued an RFP for the best talent in urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, lighting design, engineering, transportation planning, acoustics, public art and community engagement to reimagine a new future under the highway. With this design challenge, the City hopes to develop new tools to address freeway underpasses citywide. Have a bright idea to enliven an underpass? The deadline for submissions to the RFP is December 14, 2016.
The City of Oakland and Sunfield Development are putting the final touches on Seminary Point, a 26,950-square-foot commercial project at the intersection of Foothill Blvd. and Seminary Ave. Anchored by Walgreens, Seminary Point is scheduled to open later in 2017 and has leasing opportunities available for other retailers and local businesses. In addition to land and tax credits, the City has invested in major public streetscape improvements along Foothill Blvd. and Seminary Ave.and provided façade and tenant improvement grants for area businesses. Seminary Point is one of several catalytic East Oakland development projects nearing or under construction, including Lucasey Lofts, Derby Lofts, 3014 Chapman St and the Coliseum Transit Village. For more information, contact Urban Economic Coordinator Theresa Lopez.
The City of Oakland will be rolling out new services in 2017 to make doing business in Oakland easier and more efficient. Beginning January 2, current Oakland business and apartment owners may file business tax returns and Rent Adjustment Program fees online. No more paper returns or waiting in line! New business applications and the ability to pay other taxes and fees will also move online in April 2017. Watch this space for the launch of more business-friendly digital resources, including a new business portal for entrepreneurs currently in beta testing. City of Oakland has convened a Small Business Task Force to identify additional partnerships and service improvements for local businesses. Business owners: take the Task Force’s six-question survey here. For more information on the Small Business Task Force, contact District 4 Council Chief of Staff Adam Simons, firstname.lastname@example.org.
On January 1, 2017, Oakland’s minimum wage rises to $12.86. This annual increase keeps the minimum wage aligned with the regional Consumer Price Index. Employers should print posters, available here, for display at work by December 15. Oakland law firm Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP will hold the following free employment law workshops for businesses:
+ Friday, December 2, 10 to 11:30 am (in English)
+ Wednesday, December 14, 10 to 11:30 am (in Cantonese and Mandarin)
+ Monday, December 19, 10 to 11:30 am (in Spanish)
All workshops will be held in City Hall, Hearing Room 1. For additional resources, visit www.oaklandnet.com/minimumwage or call the Business Assistance Center at 510.238.7952.