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City of Oakland Contacts:

Harry Hamilton,
Public Information Officer


Samee Roberts,
Marketing Manager


Discover the buzz that has invigorated Oakland’s vibe. Downtown has burst onto the nightlife scene in a big way. Scores of new restaurants, clubs and venues have sprung up and more are on the way.

With thousands of new residents pouring in as part of Mayor Jerry Brown’s 10K Initiative, new streetscapes coming alive to complement a rich stock of historic buildings, and Uptown transforming into Oakland’s arts and entertainment district, you can literally feel the energy of a true renaissance in the making.
  • As of July 2005, Mayor Brown’s goal of attracting 10,000 new residents to downtown Oakland is nearing fruition. With 100 percent of the 6,600 needed housing units already constructed or in process, the 10K Downtown Housing Initiative has literally changed Oakland’s skyline and jump-started 24-hour activity in downtown.

  • Oakland’s office market is ranked 12th best in the U.S. “Oakland continues to be the strongest of the Bay Area office markets.” (Marcus & Millichap’s 2005 National Office Report). “The Oakland CBD (Central Business District) continued to be a hotbed of activity, especially Class A space.” (Grubb & Ellis, as reported in the January 11, 2005 issue of The Oakland Tribune).

  • Class A office vacancy rate has dropped to around 6 percent in some parts of downtown – the lowest since the dot-com boom. (BT Commercial, April 2005). Major new tenants include: Matson Navigation, Ask Jeeves and Adelante Management Capital, among others.

  • National retailers, attracted by downtown’s growing residential base, have opened or are in the process of opening locations in downtown Oakland. Examples include Gap, Starbuck’s, Men’s Wearhouse and Whole Foods Market. In addition, a wave of new restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, and cultural arts venues have popped up all over downtown and more are on the way.

  • Uptown plans call for the long vacant Fox Theater to be transformed into a 1,000-seat cabaret-style performing arts venue. The Oakland City Council recently approved $65 million for the massive Uptown residential development project that will include 700 apartments, a 250-unit condominium tower, retail shops, outdoor cafes and other new businesses.

  • The City of Oakland is investing more than $7.3 million in five large-scale streetscape projects in downtown and Uptown. New sidewalks, street tree plantings, pedestrian amenities, historic lighting, street furniture and sidewalk widening will encourage downtown patrons to stroll and explore our vibrant downtown. Infrastructure improvements will be made along Broadway, Telegraph Ave., Washington St. and Latham Square.

  • More than 55 percent of the 296 eligible buildings have participated in the Downtown Façade Improvement Program and generated $7,167,000 in private investment on exterior improvements.

  • Additionally, the City’s Downtown Tenant Improvement Progrm has awarded 34 grants totaling $885,000 that resulted in $2,780,000 in private investment on interior buildouts.

  • Downtown is centrally located at the junction of BART’s transit system. Downtown is easily accessible by the 12th Street/City Center, 19th Street and Lake Merritt stations. There are more than 21,000 parking spaces in downtown, with a new parking structure currently under construction at 17th Street & San Pablo Avenue that will accommodate up to 350 cars in the Uptown district.

  • More than 500,000 people are drawn to downtown Oakland annually to attend special events, street fairs, civic celebrations, concert series, outdoor cinema, cultural performances and other activities. The City of Oakland’s flagship festival – Art & Soul – attracts 70,000 people over Labor Day Weekend.

  • The Meet Downtown Oakland campaign highlighting evening and weekend dining and entertainment options launched in July 2005. The campaign features 100,000 printed 25-page guides to key downtown venues, an interactive website, television public service announcement, movie theater announcements, as well as print and outdoor advertising.