Oakland Economy Now - News from the City of Oakland - September Issue Vol. 33

September Masthead Oakland Economy Now news from the City of Oakland with images of lake merritt cranes B shuttle and marshawn lynch

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Oakland Launches Citywide Cultural Plan

The City of Oakland’s Cultural Affairs Division invites the public to engage in the creation of Belonging in Oakland: A Cultural Development Plan, Oakland’s first comprehensive citywide plan focused on arts and culture. This plan will create a snapshot of Oakland’s unique cultural assets, define cultural priorities for the city, foster opportunities for economic benefit and community engagement, and enhance the quality of life for Oakland residents, businesses and visitors. The plan launches this month with a series of community conversations and cultural dialogues to envision how to support and strengthen the cultural and creative life of Oakland. For the schedule, locations, and additional ways to participatevisit www.oaklandnet.com/culturalplan

Alice Street mural
Alice Street Mural by the Community Rejuvenation Project. Photo by Vanessa Whang.

Spotlight on Small Business Resources: Oakland Grown

Oakland Grown works to grow the market share of locally-owned businesses through professional development, strategic networking, and marketing. “We bring the world to Oakland businesses, and bring Oakland businesses to the world,” says CEO Jody Colley. Oakland Grown accomplishes that through individual attention to business members, its website and social media channels, guides, digital galleries, cooperative branding, and messaging campaigns, sharing the stories behind beloved local businesses, innovative and diverse entrepreneurs and the creative tastemakers that make Oakland so vibrant and unique. For more information or to join, please visit www.OaklandGrown.org or email OaklandGrown@gmail.com.

Find more resources for small businesses and join City Business Development staff at the Small Business & Nonprofit Fair hosted by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce on September 13. Register here.

Oakland Grown logo

Join the Plaid Friday Weekend Promotion!

holiday season shopping campaign to encourage shoppers to discover Oakland’s many commercial neighborhoods - and meet the merchants that make our city a special place to live and shop - kicks off with Plaid Friday Weekend, November 24-26. Studies have shown that retailers in cities with a "buy local" campaign do significantly better in sales than ones in cities without one. It is free for merchants to join the campaign and receive marketing toolkits and ideas on how to make the most out of Plaid Friday Weekend and the holiday season. The roster of special offers, entertainment and activities will be hosted on www.OaklandGrown.org starting in November, with updates posted throughout the holiday season. Registration closes on September 22. For more information on registration, please contact Townsquared Community Manager Kira Pascoe

Plaid Friday Logo

Downtown and Lake Merritt Uptown Community Benefit Districts Seeking Feedback

Oakland has 11 community benefit and business improvement districts, formed by businesses and/or property owners in special commercial areas to assess themselves for maintenance, security, management and physical improvements beyond those normally provided by the City. Among these are the Downtown Oakland Association and the Lake Merritt/Uptown District Association, which first formed in 2009 and are set to be renewed in 2019. As part of their renewal process, Downtown and Lake Merritt/Uptown are seeking feedback on priorities and improvements. Please complete their survey by September 15 and share your thoughts on the future of Downtown and Uptown Oakland. In appreciation, the districts will enter you into a drawing for a gift certificate from a fabulous local, independently-owned business! 

To learn more about how the City of Oakland helps facilitate the creation of business districts in neighborhood commercial areas, please contact Business Development Coordinator Aliza Gallo. 

Latham Square event sponsored by the Downtown Oakland Association
Third Thursday Concert Series in Latham Square sponsored in part by the Uptown and Downtown business districts.

Unique Restaurant Openings in New Neighborhoods

Answering a request for more dining options in the Dimond District, the City of Oakland is selling its former Fire Station No. 14 to Domenica Rice-Cisneros, the owner of the popular Cosecha restaurant at Swan’s Market. The remodeled fire station will house a new full-service, 4,500-square-foot restaurant, named Bombera Bar & Grill, that will specialize in Latin fusion dishes. Meanwhile, as part of the Oakland Zoo's $80 million expansion, the newly-opened Landing Café, accessed by a gondola ride over the Oakland Hills, provides diners on its observation deck with panoramic views of six Bay Area counties. For more information on City-owned Real Estate opportunities, please contact Real Estate Manager James Golde.

A gondola over the Oakland HIlls on the way to the Landing Cafe
The gondola ride to the Landing Cafe is part of the Oakland Zoo's $80 million expansion.

Section heading: nonprofits

Oakland Nonprofit Goes Solar By Crowdfunding

As commercial real estate becomes more expensive, nonprofits are finding innovative ways to save costs. One such organizationHarbor Househas served the Oakland community since 1972, offering after-school programsyouth leadership trainings, English-as-a-Second-Language classes, job skills training, and a food pantry. In partnership with RE-volv, another nonprofit organization that brings solar to under-served communities through crowdfunding campaigns, Harbor House successfully raised $26,620 to install a new 11.76kW photovoltaic system. This system will save them 39% of their electric bill in the first year and around $110,000 over its lifespan. Harbor House is now offering excess office space to other local nonprofits. For more information on nonprofits in Oakland, please contact Economic Analyst Marisa Raya.

Volunteers at Harbor House celebrate their new solar panels


Opening a Business? Contact us!

Business Assistance Center

Zoning & Permits

KivaZip Oakland Interest-free Business Loans

Nominate a Business for the East Bay Innovation Awards!

Foreign Trade Zone

Quarterly Economic Dashboard

Minimum Wage & Employment Laws 


Ability Now Bay Area
Atomic Fiction
Bentley Systems
Clean 360
Craft & Spoon
Grocery Café (relocation)
Hugo’s Tours & Travel
Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
just Be Oak 
The Landing Cafe
Oakland Sharp
Paradise Park Cafe


Uptima Business Bootcamp Application Deadline
Sept 8 @ Impact Hub Oakland

Oakland Pride
Sept 10 @ Downtown

Tell Your Story Oakland: Storytelling for Business and Job Opportunities
Sept 12 @ Impact Hub Oakland

Demo Oakland
Sept 12 @ The New Parkway Theater

Legal Services for Entrepreneurs Advice Clinic
Sept 14 @ Oakland Business Assistance Center

Doing Business with the Oakland Unified School District
Sept 15 @ Oakland City Hall

Entrepreneurship Readiness Program
Sept 15 @ Centro Community Partners

Inclusion in Entrepreneurship Summit: accessing federal funds
Sept 15 @ UC Berkeley

Circuit Launch Grand Opening
Sept 18 @ 8000 Edgewater

OPIC 2017 Expanding Horizons Conference
Sept 19 @ Oakland Marriott

Business Referral Network
Sept 20 @ Oakland Metropolitan Chamber

Finance Your Business panel discussion
Sept 20 @ Oakland Business Assistance Center

Eat Real Fest
Sept 22-24 @ Jack London Square

Oaklanders Talk Tech
Sept 29 @ Pandora


Oakland airport adds new East Coast flights
Aug 29, East Bay Times

Longtime jewelry store Folks Art relocates to Montclair Village
Aug 29, East Bay Times

Oakland tower site for sale in hot downtown district
Aug 28, San Francisco Business Times

Oakland comes out ahead despite Uber's exit
Aug 28, San Francisco Business Times

Lane Partners’ Oakland Towers Project for 344 Units Advances
Aug 24, The Registry

Hawker Fare to see new life as Oakland pop-up
Aug 23, San Francisco Chronicle

KBS Capital Advisors Buys Downtown Oakland Office Towers
Aug 22, BisNow

Why This Cycle Is Different For Oakland Multifamily
Aug 21, BisNow

Oakland: Next Phase Of Brooklyn Basin Project OK’d
Aug 21, East Bay Times

An East Bay business on the go
Aug 22, East Bay Times

Investors flip Oakland office towers three times in four years
Aug 21, San Francisco Business Times

Red Door Catering in Oakland opens an unexpected career
Aug 15, San Francisco Chronicle 

Here are the next hottest retail markets in the Bay Area
Aug 11, San Francisco Business Times

A Modern Guide to Jack London Square: Hearty Eats, Strong Drinks, History on the Side
Aug 11, 7x7

What Gets Shipped Through the Port of Oakland?
Aug 10, KQED

Three Oakland artisans stake their claim in the East Bay
Aug 10, San Francisco Chronicle 

Port of Oakland sets all-time record for imports in a month
Aug 9, American Journal of Transportation 

​​Federation Brewing Settles in to Oakland’s Jack London Neighborhood, a Burgeoning Brew District
Aug 9, East Bay Express

How Oakland housing developers are avoiding escalating fees
Aug 7, San Francisco Business Times

16-Story Residential Tower Proposed For Jack London Square
Aug 7, Hoodline

Early Stage: Oakland startup delivers lunch, pulls young people out of poverty
Aug 6, The Mercury News

West Oakland Acreage to Be Auctioned next Month
Aug 4, SocketSite

West Coast landlord proposes tower near Oakland's Jack London Square
Aug 4, San Francisco Business Times

Closed Oakland fire station to become restaurant
Aug 4, East Bay Times

Port Workspaces CEO Joel Pool predicts coworking market could increase by 30x
​Aug 3, ​San Francisco Business Times​

Made in the Bay Area: Dozens of cities have banded together to help revitalize local makers
Aug 3, San Francisco Business Times

These 10 zip codes are the hardest places to build housing in the Bay Area
Aug 2, ​San Francisco Business Times 

Oakland Launches Downtown Plan 2.0
Aug 2, Next City

Oakland airport expands as international arrivals increase
July 28, East Bay Times

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

Oakland to improve pathways from downtown, Chinatown to waterfront
July 27, East Bay Times

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

Bay Area home prices hit another record in June
July 26, San Francisco Chronicle 

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

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