The city of Oakland has a dangerous past. One of drug abuse, violence, and corruption. To many, the place feels devoid of the vibrancy its nearby Golden Gate city seems to contain. However, with San Francisco real estate prices soaring, many find themselves turning Oakland, into the new San Fran.
Priced-out San Franciscans have been crossing the Bay since at least the Pets.com launch, but in the last few years, that city’s hyper gentrification has pushed even the relatively rich to Oakland. Gentrification has sparked a cultural wildfire: housing prices have shot up, policing is more aggressive in some areas, and the city has lost a quarter of its African American population.
Meanwhile, monstrous recent revelations about sex trafficking, sex abuse, and racism within the Oakland PD, and the firing or resignation of three chiefs in the span of about a week, have exposed the level of dysfunction and bias embedded in the city’s institutions.
But while city officials have been extraordinarily accommodating of its new tech workers and tech companies—the city actually has a tech industry specialist in its Economic & Workforce Development Department—they’re also at least making gestures toward softening the blow for longtime residents. In early April, the Oakland City Council passed an emergency moratorium on rent increases, although it only applied to units built before 1983 and it’s about to expire after only 90 days. Later in the month, they made the “long overdue” decision to phase in impact fees on new developments, which can be used to build affordable housing.
This collection of stories is an attempt to capture the “there” of Oakland as it is in this moment, from several views: a hipster flip in hot West Oakland, an unassuming building with a rich past in still-untouched East Oakland, a brand new neighborhood that will appear out of nothing on the city’s waterfront, some of Oakland’s most notable landmarks, the homes of residents, and the colossal new Uber headquarters downtown. Take a good look now, while it’s there.
Are you selling in the Oakland area? We’d love to hear from you!
Read the full article here.