Why West Oakland?

Welcome to West Oakland. Explore its distinctive neighborhoods and architecture, meet our growing business community and enjoy the community’s rich artistic activities. West Oakland, population 25,000, is home to more than 1,700 businesses, ranging from home offices to manufacturers with over 100 employees. Neighboring the Port of Oakland, West Oakland is home to many international businesses, as well as local ones and has historical roots as a turn-of-the century manufacturing, logistics and transportation center.

Central Location

West Oakland is strategically located within the regional Bay Area with excellent access to downtown Oakland & the Jack London Square district, the Port of Oakland, UC Berkeley and major office and research centers, and to San Francisco via the West Oakland BART Station (serving four Transbay lines), ferry and adjacent Bay Bridge. West Oakland is easily accessible from multiple freeways (I-880, I-980, I-580). The West Oakland district comprises about 400 acres, with about 270 acres of those dedicated to commercial-industrial land uses.

Creative Landscape

The City of Oakland is second only to New York City in known artists per capita – the creative mindset flows throughout West Oakland’s business environment. Home to cultural centers and galleries, West Oakland is best known as home to two of the Bay Areas most distinguished industrial art centers: The Crucible, at 56,000 sf, offering industrial art education and training, and American Steel Studios, a 120,000 sf arts and industrial entrepreneurial hub currently home to over 100 businesses. West Oakland artists are producing world-recognized art works and earning recognition as performing and recording artists.

Demographics

The community of West Oakland is diverse. African Americans (53%) comprise about half of residents with the remaining split amongst Hispanic (22%), Whites (15%), Asian, Pacific Islander & American Indian and Other (10%). Owners occupy 26.3% of the housing units, and renters 76.4% although the recent spike home prices has upwardly affected home sales in the area. About 60% of the estimated 8,450 Households in West Oakland have children under the age of 18. Typical household size is 2.9 persons. 2011 Median Income for a household of 4 persons in West Oakland was about $27,055, compared to $83,050 for the City of Oakland for the same size household.

Attracting Investment

Mandela Parkway, West Oakland’s main north-south artery along with historic Adeline and Peralta Streets, connects the West Oakland Seventh Street corridor, BART Station and the Port of Oakland with the city of Emeryville and its thriving business campuses, through to the city of Berkeley and the UC Berkeley campus. The Parkway experienced a $12 million transformation, with funds dedicated by the State after the tragic Loma Prieta Earthquake, and is welcoming pedestrians and cyclists through its designation as a part of the regional Bay Trail system. West Oakland has seen investment of over $6 million to infrastructure on Seventh Street around the West Oakland BART station, and is poised to see more development in the historic Central Station/Wood Street District. Recent real estate acquisitions will add several thousand new market-rate units to the area.

West Oakland Economy

West Oakland’s contributes more than $2.5 million into the local revenue stream via sales tax (portion collected by the City), with over $1.5 million of that coming from industrial-related sources such as business-to-business sales. Traditional and emerging industries in green design, engineering & construction, creative tech & media, publishing & printing, arts, and custom manufacturing, including a flourishing specialty food & beverage sector, already occupy many of the industrial facilities. Future adaptive reuse of older industrial structures will bring new modern industrial activities and a range of commercial opportunities. Technical, scientific ventures will follow with the construction of new commercial facilities along the district’s major thoroughfare, as heavier traditional industrial uses relocate to other industrial zones to the west (adjacent to the Port) and the east.

Diverse Business Development Opportunities

West Oakland’s alternative mix of commercial, light industrial, warehouse and specialty manufacturing real estate, including a mix of historic brick and timber warehouses, is available at cost-effective lease rates, currently between $0.60-1.00/month industrial gross. 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 credits and Foreign Direct Investments (Targeted Employment Area), as well as R&D and Manufacturing tax credits from the State of California.

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Form & Reform—Jon Sarriugarte

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