Oakland Economy Now - August Issue -News from the City of Oakland

Oakland Economy Now masthead August issue volume 32 Happy Summer!

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Art and Soul

Goapele, Angie Stone, Los Rakas, and Local Artists Headline Art + Soul August 19-20

On Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20, Oakland’s magnetic Art + Soul festival celebrates local spirit, style, creativity and pride. The festival kicks off Saturday with Oakland artists Goapele, Los Rakas, and Adrian Marcel, and continues Sunday with festival favorite Angie Stone and rising star Sydney Nycole. Festival goers will also enjoy the popular artisan marketplace, world/urban dance stage featuring some of the hottest urban and ethnic dance troupes, a must-see Turf Dance Battle, food booths,   a huge Family Fun Zone with rides and interactive arts, the standing-room-only Kinetic Arts Circus Stage and an interactive public mural painting project. Centered in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and encompassing 10 strollable city blocks, Art + Soul runs from noon to 6 p.m. Oakland’s festival calendar is full in August, with the Umoja Festival and Pan-Africa Soccer Tournament, The Town’s Half Marathon, the Oakland Triathalon, and the Oakland Chinatown StreetFest all happening this month! For more information, contact Marketing Coordinator Harry Hamilton.

Goapele and Art and Soul Crowd shot

Oakland songwriter Goapele performs at Art + Soul on Saturday, August 19.

Retail section heading

Local Vs. Online Retailing: What’s Happening in Oakland?

The retail industry is changing, affecting both our neighborhoods and how we buy our daily goods. City of Oakland’s Retail Specialist Keira Williams was recently interviewed on KQED to report on how Oakland retailers are faring. While traditional shopping malls have struggled more against online retail, Oakland’s neighborhood shopping districts, like Rockridge and Fruitvale, are still doing well. In fact, in commercial corridors in Oakland with an established business improvement district, sales tax revenue grew by 1.6 percent from 2015 to 2016, faster than the rest of the city. For more information on how to make your retail business succeed in Oakland, contact Retail Specialist Keira Williams.

Sustainable Clothing, Locally Manufactured

Oakland’s local sewing industry is directly producing clothing sold at some of our most innovative retail boutiques—both brick and mortar and online. OwlNWood, KaliMade, Lesley Evers, and Kosa are all offering locally-made clothing lines that are both designed and produced in Oakland. At Calculated Clothing, you can see the end-to-end manufacturing process at their in-house design studio. Many local clothing manufacturers got a boost from Kiva Oakland to finance their lines. For more information on resources for both local retail and manufacturing, contact the Oakland Business Assistance Center.

Owl and wood model local clothing

Photo Credit: Bethany Hines Photography

Celebrate Black Business Month in August

Did you know that the number of Black-owned firms in Oakland grew by 50% from 2007 to 2012? The Black Arts Movement and Business District, which covers the 14th Street corridor from Lake Merritt to downtown, includes over 20 Black-owned businesses, including newcomers Benny Adam Grooming Parlor, 310 Gallery, and Indie Award winner Town Biz, which carries goods by Oakland-based artisans. Many more are listed in a new online directory by BAOBOB, the Bay Area Organization of Black Owned Businesses. On August 17-19, the California State Black Chamber of Commerce will also host its annual conference in Oakland. For more information on Oakland demographics and business growth, contact Marisa Raya.

Red Bay Coffee photo

Photo courtesy of Red Bay Coffee

Oakland’s Real Estate Development Opportunities are Online at OppSites

How do investors find underexposed real estate development opportunities in Oakland? The City of Oakland has partnered with OppSites, a local firm with an online real estate platform, to help attract investment to development priorities in Oakland that might otherwise go unnoticed. You can view more than 100 Oakland sites currently listed here. Many of these sites, including properties that are vacant, underused, or may be appropriate for adaptive reuse, were identified in neighborhood planning processes as top priorities to implement community goals. If you own a property that you would like added to OppSites or are interested in learning more about any of the sites currently listed, contact Economic Development Specialist Zach Seal.


Measuring the Impact of Telegraph Avenue’s New Street Design

In April 2016, OakDOT made changes to the layout of Telegraph Avenue between 20th Street and 29th Street in the Koreatown-Northgate (KONO) District, including crosswalks, bike lanes, and the removal of one traffic lane. Perhaps best known for First Fridays, the KONO area is home to art galleries, restaurants, bars, and neighborhood retail and services. As a result of the new street design, the area has had no pedestrian crosswalk collisions reported for the first time in five years. Another trend in the right direction: a 78% increase in people biking and a 100% increase in people walking during peak hours. The KONO District has seen a 9% increase in retail sales and the addition of five new businesses since the completion of the Telegraph Avenue project. For more information, read OakDOT’s Telegraph Avenue Progress Report.

Telegraph Avenue aerial view showing new street design


Opening a Business? Contact us!

Business Assistance Center

Zoning & Permits

Quarterly Economic Dashboard

Minimum Wage & Employment Laws 

KivaZip Oakland

Foreign Trade Zone


Degrees Plato
Elemental Alchemy
Fremont Bank
Roses’ Taproom


David E. Glover Summer of Innovation Ceremony
Aug 3 @ 6948 Foothill Boulevard

First Friday/Art Murmur
Aug 4 @ Telegraph Ave.

Legal Services for Entrepreneurs
Aug 10 @ Oakland Business Assistance Center

The Town’s Half Marathon
Aug 12 @ Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

East Bay Express Best of the East Bay Party
Aug 17 @ Latham Square

CA State Black Chamber of Commerce Business & Economic Summit & Women’s Symposium
Aug 17-19 @ Oakland Airport Hilton

Waterfront Hotel Pool Party
Aug 18 @ Waterfront Hotel

Non-Engineering Careers at Bay Area Tech Companies
Aug 22 @ Impact Hub Oakland

Freelancer Accelerator Deadline
Aug 25 @ Uptima Business Bootcamp

Inside Oakland Breakfast
Aug 25 @ Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Umoja Festival and Pan-Africa Soccer Tournament
Aug 26 @ Lowell Park 

Oakland Chinatown StreetFest
Aug 26 & 27 @ Chinatown

Oakland Triathalon
Aug 27 @ Jack London Square


How the CEO of Firebrand Artisan Breads has his bakery on the rise
July 28, San Francisco Business Times

Developer aims high for 1,000-unit apartment project in West Oakland
July 28, San Francisco Business Times

Another San Francisco office tenant gears up for major Oakland expansion
July 27, San Francisco Business Times

Bay Area real estate: Home prices leap to yet another record high
July 26, East Bay Times

Can Chinese developer bring $565 million megaproject to an Oakland BART station?
July 26, San Francisco Business Times

Video: One of Oakland's oldest markets celebrates turning 100 years old
July 26, San Francisco Business Times

Developer to restart Oakland housing project destroyed by fire, plans second project
July 25, San Francisco Business Times

Carmel Partners moves to break ground on second-tallest Oakland tower
July 24, San Francisco Business Times

Former A’s boss Lew Wolff gets permission to build hotel in downtown Oakland
July 24, San Francisco Business Times

Oakland picks new planning director from New Orleans
July 21, San Francisco Business Times

Take a Gondola to Eat at the Oakland Zoo
July 19, SF Weekly

A Modern Guide to Uptown Oakland: The Best Restaurants, Bars, Live Shows, Shops + More
July 17, 7x7

Bay Area rents: Oakland rises, San Francisco and San Jose decline — but little relief
July 12, East Bay Times

Kitchener Grateful for Help During Oakland Fire
July 12, Berkeleyside Nosh

In Demand: Oakland Workforce Development Board
July 8, Vision Hispana

Proposed 18-Story Oakland Hotel Closer to Reality
July 5, SocketSite

Degrees Plato opens with heart, art, SRO crowd in Oakland’s Laurel district
July 5, East Bay Times

Oakland overflowing with beer gardens
July 3, San Francisco Chronicle

Here are 5 East Bay cities pulling in major VC money
July 3, San Francisco Business Times

It's time for tech to fix the wealth inequality problem in the Bay Area, says start-up CEO
July 1, CNBC

San Jose, Oakland homes sell faster than in any US city
Curbed SF June 30

Prolific Oakland developer is bullish on new apartments in Jingletown
June 28, San Francisco Business Times

Engineering Firm Expands Office Footprint Into Oakland
June 26, BisNow

Massive development may come to long-blighted East Oakland site
June 24, San Francisco Chronicle

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