Oakland, CA

Oakland, California:
Creating the Environment for Retail by Defining Broadway

Broadway is one of the main commercial corridors in Oakland, encompassing 3.25 miles from the base of the Oakland Hills to the Oakland Waterfront at Jack London Square. The commercial corridor mainly follows Broadway, although in certain areas it expands half a mile to capture Telegraph, Webster, Franklin and number of other streets that run parallel to the main artery.

Broadway has been identified as the city’s Rose Fellowship land use challenge because it encompasses 10 identified retail nodes, including one or two additional commercial project developments that can be weighed on their own. Oakland has been experiencing a significant leakage of retail. In 2008, the Oakland Redevelopment Agency completed the Oakland Retail Enhancement Study, which comprehensively identified and studied 55 retail nodes in Oakland, assessing their current and potential retail capacity, including the mix of stores and other uses, customer base, sales, prospective development sites, and other analysis factors. The study also confirmed the viability for major new retail development in the Broadway/ Valdez area, part of the land use challenge study area.

The popularity of certain nodes within the Broadway study area has risen due to the completion of redevelopment funded projects such as the restoration of the Fox Theater, the construction of the Uptown Apartments and Fox Courts developments and the continued investment in the Façade and Tenant Improvement program. Broadway has the possibility of being the thriving commercial center that it was in the past. As the largest city to the east of the Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland has the potential to be the retail and entertainment venue capital of the East Bay.

The Oakland fellows would like to focus on the Broadway/ Valdez area, the Pill Hill Kaiser area, the Uptown Arts and Entertainment District, City Center and Jack London Square and the ways that they can be linked for the entire Broadway study area, to complement and not compete with each other, including best practices on the following:

  • catalyzing the retail market in an infill-development situation
  • aggregating and managing properties with multiple owners within a city center
  • fully defining distinct yet complementary retail nodes
  • creating “downtown place” strategies and priorities to enliven downtown Oakland through exciting and creative approaches to achieve fully defined nodes
  • View the study visit panel’s presentation

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About the Rose Center

Learn more about ULI’s work with public officials to support excellence in land use decision making.

For more information, email rosecenter@uli.org.