Oakland, California: Revitalization and Retail Expansion on Broadway
As recognized by the city itself, “Oakland has long been the nation’s largest underserved Trade Area for comparison goods… export(ing) 75% of its potential sales… or roughly $1 billion in sales every year, to the neighboring communities of Emeryville, San Leandro, San Francisco, and Walnut Creek.” The city hopes to begin resolving this issue with the Broadway Valdez District Specific Plan (BVDSP); the planning framework for an upcoming mixed-use development of destination retail and housing on the main street of Broadway between Grand Avenue and Interstate 580.
Land-Use Map of the Broadway Valdez District Specific Plan
Public transit services, including two BART stations, a major AC transit bus route, and the free B shuttle make the site ideal for a retail district that will create a tax-base for the city. The close proximity to downtown, Lake Merritt, adjacent residential housing, and the medical campuses of Kaiser and Summit/Alta Bates, are also key features of the site’s location. The overall vision of the plan entails revitalization through open public space, local artist installations, reuse of structures to preserve historical character, pedestrian and bicycle pathways and amenities – all grounded in sustainable design strategies.
Outreach for public input throughout the project has received involvement from the general public, interest groups and the creation of the Better Broadway Coalition. This network of community groups has advocated for key points the coalition seeks in the plan.
These key points involve:
- The mix of local and destination retail providers;
- Mixed housing with an emphasis on low-income and below-market rental rates;
- Parking management that promotes transit while preserving community character;
- The creation of quality local jobs;
- Attractive walkable streets framed with compact development;
- “Green” buildings and infrastructure;
- Pedestrian and public transit options; and
- Adaptive reuse of existing architecture.
Site of Historic Preservation: 1892 Queen Style mixed-use commercial and residential apartments on 29th St. and Broadway Ave.
Among the adaptions made through the coalition partners, the BVDSP now stipulates a minimum of 1,800 homes with 15% of the units priced for low to moderate income housing and also now calls for a parking benefit district to fund future area improvements. The review and comment period for the plan is still open to the public until November 4th, 2013.
Comments should refer to case number ER12-0005 by mail, email or fax. In writing, address to Laura Kaminski at 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 3315, Oakland, CA 94612. By email, to email@example.com and by fax use (510) 238-6538.
How do you think the open public comment period will actually affect the development project and what ideas for revitalization would you offer?
Credits: Images by Gina Kiani and linked to sources. Data linked to sources.
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