Skip to comments.Could Oakland Become the Next Silicon Valley?
Posted on 02/19/2014 5:02:07 PM PST by nickcarraway
We've had several reports that Silicon Valley is moving north to San Francisco, but one report asks, "Why not Oakland?"
Oakland is cheaper than San Francisco and easy to commute to and from, argues GigaOm editor Tom Krazit, and despite its problems boasts a central location and a "vibrant" community. Krazit doesn't oversell Oakland, in fact, he mentions it "isn't exactly paradise." However he does tout the culture, restaurants, weather and plenty of vacant commercial real estate.
The main commercial district of Oakland which for the sake of this discussion well consider the area roughly bordered by Jack London Square, Lake Merritt, I-980, and Grand Avenue is already home to a few tech companies, including Pandora and whatever is left of Ask.com. But there are an awful lot of spaces that could accommodate a rapidly growing tech company, and a few places like the old Sears store at Broadway and 20th right above BART that used creatively could house much larger enterprises.
Krazit offers Oakland as a way to stop the tech sector polarization of San Francisco -- mainly by moving it to Oakland.
While it is true that Oakland would benefit from more businesses, jobs and a bigger tax base, steeper real estate prices and rents may not benefit Oakland residents. At least one article, which appeared in the Guardian (U.K.) told about Oakland residents disliking techies setting up shop. In it, Oakland's Mayor Jean Quan said the city would absorb the new residents to the city even if they were "white people from the Midwest."
The reality, and Krazit only touches on it, is that most tech workers are young and want to be with other young, driven people. San Francisco provides city living and geeky young things, but Oakland also has youth -- and if Oakland isn't enough, Berkeley certainly is close enough, too.
Oakland has become a beacon to younger artists and professionals that live there because San Francisco is too expensive, and they have created a youthful culture and vibrant nightlife across the Bay.
Well, if they can redevelop Oakland, which has a lot of blight, it woulf be a good thing.
No. Ever been to Oakland?
This will get real interesting.
Land is cheaper in Oakland...so is life.
It sounds crazy but this area of Oakland has some very good restaurants and a few tech companies. The issue is that you never feel totally safe, but with a few more companies I believe that could change.
Oakland is more like the next Detroit
But this year, Kopff became a scorned symbol of the angst over Oakland gentrification. He wrote an online essay describing his diverse, working-class neighborhood east of Lake Merritt as "mostly undiscovered" and a "virtual food desert" in need of an organic supermarket, better restaurants and "a coffee kiosk with patisserie bites."
I thought about posting this article, and I probably will.
I was in Oakland a few months ago. They are crazy if they want to move there.
Oakland residents are highly in favor of bringing in moneyed professionals on a daily basis, considering California’s strict gun and carry prohibitions.
You’ve gotta have a lot of courage to go to Oakland these days. A lot.
The more companies, the more money earned, the more the criminals will have a field day (and move into the upper class in the criminal world).
Oakland - a good target for a Neutron bomb.
With all the talk about nanotubes it should be called Carbon-Town.
What part of “Mexifornia” do those dolts not understand?
It’s either immigration, progressives, the Bug One...or combinations of the three that doom the future third world nation.
Sorry, Dilbert, but you're wrong on this one, Redevelopment is a scam to loot taxpayers.
The best plan would be to sterilize Oakland.
Oakland has every thug who can’t afford San Francisco and every communist islamoNazi community organizer pinko lesboqueer street person and academician who can’t afford Berkeley. Plus a horrible heavy drug gang problem and they kill and maim to protect their turf. Town can’t afford even minimal police either. Just a perfect place for the next busload of computer game metrosexual nerds. Like tossjng Christians in the coliseum with hungry lions. Might be fun to watch on the local NSA spy drone camera channel , however. Let’s do it!
I stayed in Piedmont Hills for a couple of weeks in 2004, where the back yard was filled with lemon and fruit trees and you could see the lights around Merritt Lake from the windows at night and would have to rest half way up, walking up the hills, after shopping in the shops/bookstore (radical leftist one) at the bottom of the hill. (You wouldn’t walk at night, though.)
Oakland has pockets of really neat Victorian houses (with maid quarters) and is very artsy. I actually was thinking of moving there at that time. I have close relatives in Alameda-—the island right off of Oakland there. Alameda is a really cool area, but more expensive than Oakland.
You got that right, I keep a nine mile moat between me and Oakland.
When has that ever stopped anybody?
I know a tech company that wanted to move to Oakland when Moonbeam was mayor. It was a billion $ company. Moonbeam demanded a two million $$$ bribe, under a different name of course, I forget what it was called, but it was above board, like many transactions of this type in this banana republic. The company moved down south closet to San Jose.
Oakland is on its way to being the next Detroit.
The Black Panthers will enjoy all the new targets. Easy pickings.
I could grow a third nipple.
It will be a dark day when Silicon valley moves to Oakland. Kinda like the fashion industry moving to Detroit
No pun intended BTW
Oakland, Texas or Oakland, Tennessee maybe. Oakland, California? No thanks.
It might turn the wimps into actual manly men. Good idea.
Depends, I guess, on what would be done.
I'm actually from and in the Oakland area, though I've never lived or done regular work in the actual city and therefore get to avoid it.
There are pockets of development, which tend to look like dense "smart growth" and may bring with them "streetscape improvements" that are supposed to make the area more "vibrant," with as many other New Urbanist buzzwords as you can cram in.
I'm not afraid to visit Oakland at all, and within the past year I've actually driven through the middle of West Oakland and East Oakland multiple times, even at night, but I began a little boycott of the city after it began a regime of road narrowing, which is being advocated from high levels of government under various euphemisms, because we can have a shiny new city if we make it green, and hip, or something.
This is not at all to say that a city has to pour all its resources into taking care of its worst problems, with nothing left over for lesser priorities. It's just that I don't care to pay for inducing road stenosis.
Meanwhile, my problem isn't just with civic priorities. I still wouldn't care to drive through Oakland's rougher neighborhoods for fun, much less walk or ride on one of those new bike lanes. If you're trying to restore an old Victorian, construction workers are regularly robbed, and even the nicer neighborhoods are increasing in crimes like burglary and even armed robbery. Some neighborhoods have begun hiring private security.
Do I REALLY have to say anything about Oakland???
Oops: “I’m not afraid to visit Oakland at all” was intended to be more like “I’m not afraid to visit Oakland in general.”
Putting the nerds in Oakland is more likely to turn them into beef jerked than Clarence Beeftanks. But it’s definitely worth a try.
“Land is cheaper in Oakland...so is life.”
So true. There is a reason the land is cheap in Oakland. Also Detroit.
That bus that takes tech workers to their job in San Francisco would have to be up armored and equipped with a pair of chain guns in Oakland.
Actually the carry provisions just got loosened up by court decision. It could be a good thing for Oakland over time.
Read my tagline, then tell me if you'll be holding your breath till you get one.
Contemplate that, for a moment, will you?
Oh, I’ve had mine for a couple decades. We had concealed carry before concealed carry was cool, before FL even. I don’t live in CA, I just visit every now and then.
Private security guards are visible in Oakland's Rockridge district.
Be sure and bring your gun.
Unfortunately, that isn’t very practical. So I avoid Oakland.
Why a neutron bomb? Couldn’t it benefit from an old fashioned 10 megaton blast to clear out all the blight.
It would leave the buildings standing, and trees, etc. Then maybe in a couple thousand years American patriots could reclaim the city.
Big holes have a tendency to fill up with water and breed mosquitoes, snakehead fish, and Godzilla. We wouldn’t want that, would we?
On second thought, they are definitely a better choice than Democrats and lefties.
Humm! Gotta rethink my weapon of choice position.
I’m looking at a pack of “The Big Bang Theory” trading cards. Are they trying to influence my decision?
Scorned Oakland ‘gentrifier’ accepts the label but calls for truce
San Jose Mercury News | 02/13/2014 | Matt O’Brien
Posted on 2/19/2014 8:17:26 PM by Lonely Bull