Our Businesses

There are more than 650 businesses in West Oakland, ranging from environmental services, to manufacturing, to food processing and wholesaling, and to new and innovative services. The Commercial Light Industrial Zoning, allowing office, retail and other commercial uses, makes for a diverse and flexible area in which to locate your business. West Oakland is rich in media arts, communication and technology, as well as print and publishing services, all of which contribute to the vibrancy of the community.

West Oakland’s alternative mix of commercial, light industrial, warehouse and specialty production space is available at cost-effective lease rents. The area’s concentration of versatile business-to-business supplier networks fosters value-added design and production, timely distribution, and component operations and services. West Oakland is located within an area that is eligible for significant tax incentives for hiring as well as R&D and Manufacturing tax credits from the State of California. While the average size of business is under 20 employees, many larger businesses including print and publishers, general contractors, and food producers and wholesalers exist. The area’s jobs are concentrated in Manufacturing (13% of WO area total); Wholesale (12% of WO area total); Retail (21%); Transport & Warehouse (10%); Construction (9%); and Healthcare (8%).

MANUFACTURING & THE CREATIVE ECONOMY

Specialty and Advanced Manufacturing activities are growing in West Oakland, with many industrial artists and tradespersons using digital technology including laser cutters, CNC (computer numeric control) machines and 3D printers in their work, be it for custom building materials or digital, electronic and medical devices. Print Media is changing to take on new digitally-oriented presses. Increasingly, West Oakland’s cool architectural offerings attract small custom laboratories, R&D activities and those that combine sophisticated fabrication with digital technology.

RETAIL, RESTAURANT & FOOD AND BEVERAGE

West Oakland has growing opportunities for regional retail with large corner parcels of multi-acreage as well as smaller commercial corridor opportunities. The Jack London Gateway Shopping Center is under new ownership and an improvement plan. The number of restaurants is growing, and include Brown Sugar Kitchen and the B Side Baking Co., Nellies, 10th & Wood, Pretty Lady Café, Railroad Deli, and Fuse Box. The restaurant industry complements the strong and growing Food and Beverage Production industry, with a concentration of firms in the Upper Mandela-Adeline Corridor including Hodo Soy, OCHO Candy, Coracao Chocolate, The Oakland Chocolate Company, and Starter Bakery. In the neighboring Jack London Square side of West Oakland, the Beverage industry is particularly lively, including coffee firms such as Sweet Marias, Roast Co., Scarlett City Roasting as well as other Beverage purveyors such as Linden Street Brewery and Urban Legends Cellars.

Construction, Design & Engineering

Construction, Design & Engineering business are a traditional strength of West Oakland, and include many of the new green renewable technology, green building and other specialty trades that serve the local new construction and renovation markets. Companies in West Oakland provide infrastructure construction (bridges, port terminals) and specialty design using pre-fabrication methods and new approaches to lighting and other systems. Often such companies provide in-house professional services in engineering, architecture and design.

Professional & Other Services

Increasingly West Oakland is home to creative office and R&D users who prefer the more relaxed non-downtown setting and historic fabric of West Oakland. The Professional Services sector includes attorneys, real estate brokers, financial firms who do not have frequent customer visits, software designers, and insurance professionals, as well as architects and designers. As individual firms grow, the demand for office space in the area will increase and stimulate new construction, complementing new retail and denser residential projects along West Oakland’s commercial corridors.

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