A few things to read about downtown Oaktown
May 15, 2009
In case you missed them.
Mignonne, an Old Oakland boutique featuring vintage and French housewares, furniture, and gifts, is moving to West Berkeley. This weekend the shop holds a moving sale, at 10th and Jefferson across from Lafayette Square Park. Other shopping opportunities include a new gallery in Uptown, and 17th St has been on the upswing this year. A recent business article reports that Oakland’s retail vacancy rate is much lower than the national average. Of course, it’s hard to subtract from zero.
Much was made of an empty Uptown lot where pedestrian advocates successfully delayed a plan to build a parking lot. The alternative, integrating the lot into the Uptown Unveiled public-art program, must be ruled feasible by Tuesday for it to proceed. Meanwhile, here in Old Oakland we have our own empty lot, the site of a high-rise office tower known as 601 City Center. Unlike the Uptown lot, construction started and then stalled, leaving a huge hole in the ground. But Oakland and the developer, Shorenstein, have agreed to, among other things, create a “a public art program to increase the attractiveness of the security fencing.” Funny that just a few weeks ago city staff argued that decorating construction fences with art is unattractive!
The East Bay Express reviews Pican, which, alongside Ozumo, is fast-becoming a premiere destination for its California-meets-Atlanta cuisine, epansive bourbon selection, and warmly handsome interior decor. The Coco Times reviews Banyan 14, while Becks reviews nice outdoor spots downtown for this beautiful weather.
An SFer posted a sweet blog about how much he (or she) likes working in the DTO, which to him feels like a secret. One reason we’re not seeing new highrises like 601 City Center or 1100 Broadway being built is that, despite the low vacancy rate, there aren’t new tenants moving into the market (and a source reports that Kaiser is consolidating at lot of its operations to Pleasanton). But big block of space was just leased: a “neutral” office for BART to conduct its negotations with its union.