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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 (ORES) was completed in 2008, which:
- Comprehensively looked at all 55 retail nodes in Oakland.
- 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) and the I-880 Loop area (Oakport Street and Coliseum Way between High Street and Hegenberger Road).
- 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
- Illustrative Design Plan -- low resolution
- Illustrative Design Plan -- high resolution
- Upper Broadway Strategy
Since 2008, Economic Development staff have been at work implementing recommendations from the plan, including:
- Supporting Planning staff and consultants and providing retail real estate know-how to the Broadway/Valdez District Specific Plan, the main thrust of which is to create an unparalleled regional urban shopping place to serve Oaklanders and others from the area. Working with Redevelopment staff to acquire control of sites in the area.
- Inventorying properties in the 880 Loop area to identify where retail development might be located.
- Supporting Oakland’s valued auto dealers—on Broadway and elsewhere—in their efforts to remain where they are or expand elsewhere.
- Reaching out to grocers to locate in East and West Oakland where there are few or no supermarkets. (There are deals in the works to create two supermarkets in East Oakland and one in West Oakland.)
- Increasing marketing to consumers about Oakland shopping, dining, arts and entertainment by supporting Cultural Arts & Marketing staff and the Oakland Merchants Leadership Forum in the creation of Oakland Grown, a compendium of what’s hot and happening now.
- Facilitating creation of an Oakland Retail Advisory Task Force, housed at the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce to guide Chamber and City leaders on retail development best practices.
- Preparing retailer recruitment training for leaders of business improvement districts and merchants organizations.
- Facilitating an in-house CEDA retail working group which meets monthly or as needed to ensure information and the retail perspective is being shared on major projects.
- Ensuring that the ORES findings are used in subsequent City plans, such as the Central Estuary and Lake Merritt BART Station Specific Plans.
- Continuing to provide “ombuds” services to retailers and retail property owners or delegate those projects to the Oakland Business Assistance Center. Staff provide demographic, traffic, sales tax and data to help businesses make decisions, and staff helps clients navigate the regulatory process.