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Old 07-11-2013, 01:34 PM
 
340 posts, read 467,023 times
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Planning and Zoning ~ City of Oakland, California

http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca1/gr.../oak032417.pdf



Listen, I'm all for development, and this stretch of Oakland desperately needs it. Prime, central location taken up primarily by auto dealers and parking lots is a travesty.

However, from what I'm gathering from this plan, they're trying to plop a suburban "Lifestyle Center" (i.e. outdoor mall) in the middle of Oakland. Single developer, big box anchors, cinema, etc.

Why can't the city simply continue the momentum that's building south of this area around Grand and offer incentives to keep it growing north? Allow it to develop into a Pearl District (Portland), Bucktown (Chicago) or Logan Circle (DC) instead of Emeryville or Walnut Creek.

Whatya think?
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:04 PM
 
Location: ABQ
3,775 posts, read 6,319,835 times
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I definitely dislike the idea of another completely unecessary mega-cinema, especially since there are two amazing independent theaters nearby in Grand Lake and Piedmont and a commercial mega-cinema nearby in Emeryville. I worry about the future fate of both Grand Lake and Piedmont already.

Sidenote: I was driving on Geary in SF last night, passing the gorgeous Alexandria Theater (closed) and coming up on the left was Bridge Theater which has now also recently closed. The side-panels of its marquee hoisted Commercial For Sale signs and the middle marquee panel read: "So long and thanks for all the popcorn." So depressing.

Patronize those gorgeous neighborhood theater houses before they all become one with the past.

/Soapbox
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:46 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,826 posts, read 81,562,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parti Rhinocéros View Post
Sidenote: I was driving on Geary in SF last night, passing the gorgeous Alexandria Theater (closed) and coming up on the left was Bridge Theater which has now also recently closed. The side-panels of its marquee hoisted Commercial For Sale signs and the middle marquee panel read: "So long and thanks for all the popcorn." So depressing.

Patronize those gorgeous neighborhood theater houses before they all become one with the past.

/Soapbox
Why have those theaters closed? The movie theater biz seems to be doing ok, judging by the number of new theaters being built. Where I live, the town's elegant old theater building was turned into a live concert venue, and is doing quite well. Maybe SF already has plenty of concert and theater venues?
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,095 posts, read 32,269,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CirclingLogan View Post
Listen, I'm all for development, and this stretch of Oakland desperately needs it. Prime, central location taken up primarily by auto dealers and parking lots is a travesty.

However, from what I'm gathering from this plan, they're trying to plop a suburban "Lifestyle Center" (i.e. outdoor mall) in the middle of Oakland. Single developer, big box anchors, cinema, etc.
Not exactly. I have been to a few of the planning meetings. And one of the key things is that no one wants a downtown Walnut Creek of E-ville in Oakland.

There is a plan to zone for an anchor store or two. (I.e. Macy's and Target) but also leave plenty of space for local stores. And also encourage organic growth. That location is also the magic triangle in term of attracting "affluent" shoppers. In the 3-4 mile radius, there are a ton of 100k+ households.

The big thing is, Oakland needs the bigger anchors for both tax revenue, and due to the retail leakage. These will help drive traffic to the area for the smaller stores.

These big boxes would be more like those in an urban shopping district, vs 100% private shopping districts like Bay Street.

Oakland doesn't really need another Rockridge or Grand Lake or Temescal......
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,095 posts, read 32,269,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Why have those theaters closed? The movie theater biz seems to be doing ok, judging by the number of new theaters being built. Where I live, the town's elegant old theater building was turned into a live concert venue, and is doing quite well. Maybe SF already has plenty of concert and theater venues?
People rarely go to single screen theaters these days. It is multiplexes or nothing.
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:11 PM
 
340 posts, read 467,023 times
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Quote:
Not exactly. I have been to a few of the planning meetings. And one of the key things is that no one wants a downtown Walnut Creek of E-ville in Oakland.

There is a plan to zone for an anchor store or two. (I.e. Macy's and Target) but also leave plenty of space for local stores. And also encourage organic growth. That location is also the magic triangle in term of attracting "affluent" shoppers. In the 3-4 mile radius, there are a ton of 100k+ households.

The big thing is, Oakland needs the bigger anchors for both tax revenue, and due to the retail leakage. These will help drive traffic to the area for the smaller stores.

These big boxes would be more like those in an urban shopping district, vs 100% private shopping districts like Bay Street.

Oakland doesn't really need another Rockridge or Grand Lake or Temescal......
Downtown Walnut Creek is one of the studied precedents and there's an entire report on it. Worrying.

My primary concerns are:

1. Single-developer. Generally means monolithic, characterless design. It also tends to lead toward corporate leases.
2. Residential. For it to feel like an actual neighborhood rather than a "shopping destination", it needs to incorporate a lot of condos and apartment buildings.
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:19 PM
 
Location: ABQ
3,775 posts, read 6,319,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
People rarely go to single screen theaters these days. It is multiplexes or nothing.
Yeah, this.

It's unfortunate. It's just not what it used to be. Even Grand Lake, which is easily my favorite theater in the Bay, turned their main auditorium c. 1926 into two separate auditoriums by making the balcony level its own screen as well. It's still such a gorgeous venue and the experience beats a multiplex for so many reasons.

It also became popular to turn old cinema houses into concert venues, but due in large part to the fact that the single screen theater that once took that space no longer saw it profitable. I'm always thrilled when they save the building and turn it into a concert venue, though. There are many others that just sit and rot, or like in SF's Mission, get turned into a 99 cent store.

Anyway, no new multi-plexes in Oakland please!
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
8,554 posts, read 4,597,137 times
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I grew up living above my parents 'mom and pop' tiny grocery store, in pretty poor circumstances. My heart breaks when I think how my parents worked all their lives, struggling to compete with the big supermarket chains. So I will always patronise those stores. I love, love, love Piedmont Ave and College Ave.

So this may sound at odds with that, but if Oakland is going to improve I think it desperately needs the support, revenue and input of the chain stores as well. I'd love to see Broadway have a big facelift. Sorry, I know I'm probably unpopular here, but I'd love to see a clean well paved shopping street, like Bay Street in Emeryville or Walnut Creek.
I'd still definitely shop at the independents, same as I do now. I think there is room for both. It would be nice if the area could have a mix of both.
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,095 posts, read 32,269,432 times
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[quote=CirclingLogan;30436048]That's good to hear, except downtown Walnut Creek is one of the studied precedents, and there's an entire report on it.

I'm not against big box stores, but they are a signal that it will be a corporate-driven development. The singe-developer focus is what really worries me.
/QUOTE]

Well there is already a separate developer for Sprouts on the table already in the area. And the parcels have tons of different owners.

I have at least skimmed most of the materials, WC is an ok model. The broadway plaza development spurred other dev nearby and activated the entire cooridor. The regular downtown WC is independently owned and has few chains. From what I gathered in the meetings, there could be a section that is private but the intention is not to have 100% private from 24 to MacArthur. They do want to piece together a few parcels suitable for a big box. Pedestrian oriented shopping/dining/living is the plan

Get on the mailing list for public meetings. They are about every six months.



I am on my phone, please forgive the typos.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:16 PM
 
343 posts, read 399,057 times
Reputation: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by CirclingLogan View Post
Downtown Walnut Creek is one of the studied precedents and there's an entire report on it. Worrying.

My primary concerns are:

1. Single-developer. Generally means monolithic, characterless design. It also tends to lead toward corporate leases.
2. Residential. For it to feel like an actual neighborhood rather than a "shopping destination", it needs to incorporate a lot of condos and apartment buildings.
Is there any indication this will be a single developer? I think that's obviously a stupid idea for lots of reasons. There's already the Sprouts grocery store hopefully going in at 30th (Shops at 30th and Broadway), which is a one off development, not part of any master plan.

The stretch is too large to ever be something like Bay Street fortunately. The city should encourage different developers and different uses and different building types. I can't imagine a theater would be a part of that - the New Parkway is already there on 24th. Between that and the Grand Lake and Piedmont and more people spending time watching at home, there's no demand for another.
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