downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Posts from — November 2007

Redevelopment review

November 30, 2007

Next Tuesday, the City Council will hear a report (PDF) on the progress of most of the city’s redevelopment areas. Here are some highlights from the downtown report (which is the Central District), on the last three fiscal years:

  • The UCOP’s parking garage cost the RDA $3.9m, and gross revenue fell 13% despite the removal of downtown parking for new development. The city expects the garage to operate without public subsidy in the future.
  • All downtown residential projects that had public subsidy included affordable units.
  • The DTO’s Façade Improvement Program is winding down, a victim of its own success.
  • A very small amount of discretionary money to aid commercial ventures was distributed to the At-large and District 2 councilmembers.
  • A new program is a $3m fund for site acquisition for redevelopment of small sites in “targeted areas.”
  • Lincoln Recreation Center and the adjoining park are being upgraded. There are no other park projects downtown, aside from Measure DD, which is not a redevelopment project.
  • $29.7m was generated from the housing set-aside in the last three years alone.
  • The state forced us to give up $9.1m to the schools and other agencies, to balance their budget.
  • Of $66.5m spent on projects, $51.9m (78%) went to the Uptown district, primarily to Forest City and the Fox Theater.
  • The Central District map is downtown up to 27th Street (including 48% of the area slated for retail redevelopment), the Jack London Square area above Embarcadero, and some very suspicious holes carved out around the Kaiser Center and Lake Merritt BART station.

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Uptown Transit Center opens

November 9, 2007

Proving once again that Oaklanders need only the flimsiest excuse for a party, AC Transit held a bash this morning for their new Uptown Transit Center on 20th (Berkley) between Broadway and Telegraph. No mimosas, but a great neo-soul band made up of talented downtown students. Councilmembers Larry Reid and Nancy Nadel, AC Transit Board President Greg Harper, and State Senate President Don Perata all congratulated themselves on securing funds for what amounts to a fancy bus stop. Meanwhile, downtowners may have noticed that bus service to Jack London Square and Grand Lake was recently cut.