downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — office

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.


DTO reading file: waiting for the Fox

January 23, 2009

Oscar Grant’s death at the hands of a BART police officer, violent protests downtown, and OPD controversies hog the headlines, but there is much more to learn from the news this week. With so much recent discussion about public safety strategies, Oaklanders are increasingly aware of today’s tactics. But Oaklander Online gives us a glimpse of policing in the past, gleaned from her great-grandfather’s diary of walking the beat in 1918′s DTO.

Though transportation giant American President Lines is shipping hundreds of jobs from downtown Oakland to Mesa AZ, Shorenstein paused construction on 601 City Center, and several struggling construction projects finally went into default, other forms of investment are finding the DTO hospitable. Levende East secured permission to serve alcohol with a limited menu at a new cafe in Old Oakland, and it was only one of three such hearings at the Planning Commission Wednesday night (the other permits were granted for restaurants in the Laurel and Eastlake Districts).

Souley Vegan has left 13th St because of code compliance issues, but the owner tells me that she’s hoping to reopen in a better-equipped space downtown this summer. Around the corner, the Trib’s Night Owl reminds us of continuing developments at DeLauer’s Super Newsstand.

Folks continue to discover the DTO’s new restaurants, and even Montclarions are vowing to come down here moreOakland Goods reviews Ozumo, BixChix visit Miss Pearl’s, Living in the O reviews Dazz Thai and other Thai outlets, and the Single Guy Chef likes the Red Door Cafe.

There are only 12 days until the Fox explodes onto Telegraph, but the week’s news shows there’s much more to the DTO’s growing vibrancy.