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Economic Development works closely with the Redevelopment Agency to spur growth and development in Oakland.
Tenant Improvement Program and Façade Improvement Program - These programs offer architectural assistance and matching grants for improvements to commercial property on targeted streets within Redevelopment Areas. The Tenant Improvement Program provides grants for interior spaces and the Façade Program provides grants for the improvement of building exteriors.
Brownfields Programs: Property Reutilization
A top priority of the City of Oakland is to encourage in-fill development by reutilizing brownfields, which are underutilized sites where reuse is complicated by the real or perceived threat of environmental contamination. Several innovative programs are in place to encourage and foster development of brownfields.
The Cal ReUSE Environmental Site Assessment Loan Program provides loans for site assessments of brownfields parcels. The program allows for loan terms of up to five years and maximum loan amounts of $300,000. Loans may be used for site assessments and characterization costs, technical assistance, and other costs necessary to provide an understanding of the extent of contamination, and to assist in the remediation planning and regulatory process.
The City of Oakland was an inaugural partner for the Cal ReUSE Loan Program and was the first in the state to process a loan when one was awarded to the MacArthur Transit Village project in July 2002.
The City of Oakland has also developed the Oakland Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund with funds provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the cleanup of brownfields sites. The goal of the program is to put these sites back to beneficial use, thereby regenerating sections of the city, creating jobs, and enhancing tax revenues. Allowable uses include removing, mitigating, or preventing the release or threat of release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
Through the Urban Land Redevelopment (ULR) Program, the City of Oakland provides a well-defined process for addressing contamination at development sites. The ULR Program takes a pragmatic approach towards site cleanup, emphasizing common sense, scientifically sound solutions that base cleanup standards on the actual risk posed to current and future site users. This approach can save time and money. For more details on these brownfields programs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the City of Oakland Brownfields Action Team Hotline at 510.238.3741.
OBDC Finance manages all business loans under $249,500 for the City of Oakland. OBDC provides business assistance to entrepreneurs who may not qualify for traditional bank financing. To learn more about its loan products, business assistance services, and business resources, visit the OBDC website or call 510.763.4297.
Enterprise Zone Tax Credits
The Enterprise Zone program offers businesses that reside within its borders the opportunity to reduce their State business income tax through a variety of tax benefits. Businesses located in the Enterprise Zone are automatically eligible for Zone benefits. There is no certification process. For example, a business located in the Enterprise Zone can receive tax credits every time it hires an eligible new employee or purchases qualified new machinery or pollution control devices. Tax credits are also available to lenders who make loans to businesses in the Zone, and to low income employees who work in the Zone
For more information go to the Economic Development Enterprise Zone webpage.
EB-5 Visa Program
Oakland is home to two EB-5 regional centers which seek to attract entrepreneurial immigrants to engage in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and directly create at least ten full- time jobs. To learn more, visit the EB-5 Visa page.