October 24, 2008
The Trib’s Night Owl, Angela Woodall, reveals details and dates of Ozumo‘s venture in the DTO, on the smoking-hot corner of Broadway and Grand. Ozumo and Pican, who signed leases months ago but did not begin work until recently, will share the intersection with Luka’s, the Franklin Square Wine Bar, newly-glam Vo’s, and next year, Bakesale Betty.
The original Uptown investment that sparked the district’s revitalization, The Uptown Apartments, celebrated the first residents and the broader community by opening a new Oakland park last night. The park, built and maintained by Forest City but operating as a city park, will soon be home to Remember Them, a colossal bronze monument a friend called “Mt. Rushmore for liberals.” Check out the park before it’s overwhelmed by “art.”
The Trib also writes about the Fox Theater, which has received tens of millions in donations and is now going to reopen as a fully-restore, full-scale theater, a far cry from “The Ruins” plan developer Phil Tagami floated to get the city interested in its restoration, which promised a usable building on the cheap. The School for the Arts is planning to move in at the end of November, so the building will appear occupied and revitalized at that point.
All the talk about the city’s budget over the last week explains why many neighborhoods are working to provide their own services and not rely on the city. Before the recess, the City Council approved several new Business Improvement Districts, including three downtown, two of these in Uptown (Uptown, which includes the Lake Merritt office district, and Koreatown, which includes part of Uptown and several blocks to the North). The Uptown bid is currently looking to hire security guards for the district. Much of the controversy before Tuesday’s vote focused on cuts to the Cultural Arts and Marketing Department, and the Oakland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau was mostly defunded. Next week, the OCVB will propose a hotel BID (PDF) to fund its activities in the future.
In other downtown news, the Barbary Lane retirement home in the historic Lake Merritt Hotel opened for long-term residents. I’m not sure whether the restaurant overlooking the Lake will be again open to the public.