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Oakland Retail Enhancement Strategy
While Oakland is home to scores of independently owned retailers and a number nationals, it has been considered vastly “under-retailed” since the 1960s, not providing the breadth of general merchandise expected for a city of its size.
The Oakland Retail Enhancement Strategy, completed in 2008, was the first ever citywide assessment of the City's retail potential. It examined ways to strengthen the City's retail base at both the citywide and district-wide scale, to promote vibrant commercial districts with a broad range of retail businesses, and to create expanded opportunities for locally-owned, regional and national retailers. The Strategy:
- Assessed the nodes’ current and potential retail capacity (mix of stores and other uses, customer base, sales, prospective development sites, etc.).
- Looked at citywide retail gaps, such as the $1 billion in “comparison goods” sales Oakland loses to other municipalities—representing $10 million in sales tax revenue to Oakland and the potential for 10,400 jobs.
- Confirmed the viability for major new retail development in the Broadway/Valdez area (Broadway Auto Row and environs).
- Compiled results of a shopper survey and three public meetings, which indicated that respondents consistently wanted to see a balance of locally-owned and national retail in Oakland at a variety of price points.
View the ORES components and staff report:
- Oakland Retail Strategy Implementation Plan
- Existing Retail Sector Performance
- Upper Broadway Strategy
The City of Oakland continues to guide its retail work using recommendations from the Strategy:
- Building awareness among consumers via Oakland Grown, Visit Oakland and numerous privately run blogs about all the city's spectacular shopping, dining and entertainment options.
- Creating an unparalleled, fashion-oriented urban shopping place, primarily mid- to upper-income price points, in the Broadway/Valdez District. A specific plan, adopted in July 2014, lays out the retail vision for this area, provides a regulatory framework and makes it simpler and less expensive for development projects to gain approvals. Housing, hotel, office, streetscape and other projects are likely be a part of the area as well.
- Recruiting national supermarket retailers to open three stores, two in East Oakland and one in West Oakland. Since the Oakland Retail Enhancement Strategy was completed, a Target store with significant food offerings opened on the Emeryville border, and Foods Co opened at Foothill Square.
- Advising business improvement district and merchant organization leaders on retail recruitment
- Working with City staff in CEDA, Fire, Police, and the City Administrator’s Office as well as other government partners to share information, maximize opportunities and resolve regulatory issues for retailers.
- Assisting in implementation of and marketing of the Broadway/Valdez District Specific Plan, the main thrust of which is to create a regional urban shopping place to serve Oaklanders and others from the area.
- Ensuring that the Oakland Retail Enhancement Strategy findings are used in City plans.
- Continuing to provide “ombuds” services to retailers and retail property owners. Staff provides demographic, traffic, sales tax and data to help businesses make decisions, and staff helps clients navigate the regulatory process.
For assistance in finding information, locations and funding for your retail, restaurant, bar or entertainment business, contact Keira Williams, at email@example.com or (510) 238-3853.