Every year I look forward to what I believe is the best recap event of the year, Oakland Structures. The event takes place at the Oakland convention center. It is sponsored by the San Francisco Business Times, key sponsored by Wendell Rosen, and supported by the City of Oakland and top local developers. After well-spoken Mary Huss, President and Publisher of the San Francisco Business Times, makes a very positive, reflective introduction (it goes something like, “I remember when…, and now look at this amazing town…”), highly respected and tenured Wendell Rosen Business and Land Use Partner, Zack Wasserman, gives the “wise old owl” perspective of where caution should be taken, and support should be focused…and then there is Libby Schaaf.
Our mayor is a wonderful speaker, and a gifted story-teller (a trait I hugely admire). She told a heartfelt story about the late hero Bernard Tyson. She told us of his repeat calls to her mobile phone during his morning commute as he drove past the homeless encampments on 27th St. under the freeway. She emphasized the “we” in his regular statement of ”what are we going to do about this”. Bernard Tyson lived to see the camp dismantled, and a Tuff shed shelter created with Kaiser Permanente as a large contributor to this program. This is a small step towards getting the homeless population off our streets, but a step in the right direction. Then Mayor Libby segwayed to the incredible development that has occurred in the last year, and will be continuing in to the next several years. There was an unusual shift from the tone of last several years. For the first time ever we consistently heard the city of Oakland has arrived, or perhaps revived, and growing at great speed.
Here are the highlights:
Kaiser Tower- Kaiser Tower will be the most massive building seen in Oakland, and even over powering the new iconic biggest, baddest , building in San Francisco, Salesforce Tower. Thrive Center will replace the 70 million sqft. of real estate that is current spread over 7 buildings, housing approximately 6500 employees. The new building will be located at 2100 Telegraph, taking an entire block between Broadway and Telegraph. The tower is designed at 28-stories with 1.6 million square feet of office space. Kaisers anticipates it housing approximately 7200 employees.
TMG Partners- TMG is a 35 year old leader in urban high-rise development both with residential and commercial properties largely in the San Francisco market. It wasn’t until 2015 that TMG doubled down on Oakland. TMG plans to break ground this summer on 2201 Valley, in the Uptown neighborhood. This should be a spectacular class-A 28-story, 875,000 square foot, commercial tower with ground floor retail. The architecture will be notable with high-ceilings, 11.5 foot vision glass, and extraordinary balconies.
Brooklyn Basin- The biggest news on the residential development side is Brooklyn Basin. The purchase of Brooklyn Basin occurred in 2001, and was finally approved by City planning in 2011. Orion, the first residential building built by Signature properties is currently leasing. 60+ new tenants occupy the property, with beautiful views and an exciting new community soon to ignite around them. The second building is underway, and the preserved Terminal Building will open this spring with Grocery and retail, followed by a 9 acre park. The park will be the first of the 30 acre parklands that will surround this waterside neighborhood.
“Overall, Oakland currently has 9,277 residential units under construction, and another 10,097 residential units in the pipeline”, according to the San Francisco Business Times.
According to Darin Ranelletti, policy director for housing security at the Oakland Mayor’s office, “In 2016, the city set goals of protecting 17,000 households from displacement and building 17,000 new homes by 2024, targeting 12,240 of those new homes to be market rate. As of the end of 2018, the city had added 9,341 market-rate homes, or more than double the number needed by that point to be on pace for its 2024 goals.”
I could go on and on about the excitement we see in this great city currently, and in the coming years. Our growth and unconstrained energy does not come without challenges, but Oakland has surely arrived, and Kim Cole Real Estate is thrilled to be a part of it.