downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

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.


1 das88 { 05.15.09 at 9:42 pm }

Here’s the thing about Banyan 14 — it is absolutely delicious. Please don’t go there. It is already starting to get a little crowded.

Funny, the CoCo article of my least favorites on the menu – sandwiches and lettuce wraps. Banyan 14 bar far exceeds with its salads, grilled fresh fish, and stir fry veggies.

If you are looking for a delicious sandwich in an order at the counter restaurant, I would recommend Cafe 15 a few blocks away.

BTW what is Oakland’s penchant for numbers in the name restaurants with half-service?

2 dto510 { 05.16.09 at 4:07 am }

I certainly have noticed the profusion of numerical, uncreative names. An address is not a substitute for a name. The Broadway Grand condo building is just as bad if not worse than Cafe 15. Also, 15 can refer to three completely different streets in Oakland, so it’s bad wayfinding to boot! The food is good though.

3 Ralph { 05.16.09 at 7:06 am }

i suppose you are no fan of 2022. I guess to each their own; I like the way an address can be used to ground a person.

4 kyu { 05.17.09 at 1:22 pm }

OAKLAND (KRON) – Insiders are confirming to KRON 4 that a new ball park for the Oakland Athletics could be built near the intersection of Market Street and Embarcadero West.

Sources tell KRON 4’s Haaziq Madyun the Oakland water front, not far from Jack London Square and close to the new ferry building, is the latest proposal for the new A’s stadium.

While officials could not confirm the exact location, Mayor Dellums’ spokesperson David Chai says a recent meeting between city officials and representatives for Major League Baseball proved hopeful, “They left that meeting very impressed by our overall efforts and we’re going to be in a process over the next month, making sure that our presentation and all of the details that go into it are sound.”

KRON 4 has also learned the new stadium model is similar to another big league ball park across the bay.

The next meeting between the two sides will be in June.

5 Joanna { 05.22.09 at 10:20 am }

The art installation at the parking garage is complete – it looks a bit incomplete because of the massive blank (and boring) concrete slab above the overhang. And why overhangs? They aren’t even solid to protect you from the elements. I’m really sick of non-useful overhangs.