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Is Oakland the New Brooklyn?

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This is not a new thought, but one that is really fun to revisit. Homes prices increased 14.4% in San Francisco. In February 2014 the average sales price in San Francisco was $1,130,000. Rental costs increased by an average of 12.3 %. Oakland has always had the spill over from San Francisco and this pattern has been seen before. In the 2005 housing bubble changes began taking shape in Oakland, but things slowed down significantly when the Great Recession hit.

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With a housing recovery and another tech/housing boom in San Francisco, prices are way out of reach for many, especially those in the arts, and those working in professions other than the tech sector. Oakland is a natural choice (not to mention less fog and more sun).

Oakland has been undergoing a renaissance and now being dubbed the Brooklyn of the West. There was even an article recently in the New York Times about this trend.

Oakland’s central location and downtown area with direct access to BART is a logical choice for businesses looking to establish themselves, or expand without having to pay the price of being in San Francisco.

Housing is also much more affordable when compared to San Francisco. Many are priced out of buying in San Francisco are gravitating to Oakland. As a Realtor, I am continually working with clients priced out of the San Francisco market. Oakland has a lot of housing options from condo to single family in a variety of diverse and vibrant neighborhoods.

With influx of new businesses, and residents the restaurant, bar scene is thriving. Many resturantuers are opening up shop here in Oakland. The Oakland Art Murmur and Off the Grid at Oakland Museum of Art are great examples of the art and food scene here in Oakland.

The changes in Oakland are far reaching with big investments in Brooklyn Basin (interesting parallel in name, no?) This development has been more than a decade in the making. This community with sit on 64 acres and promises to bring 3,100 housing units, 200,000 square feet of retail and 30 acres of parks.

Coliseum project is another major development that may be taking shape. There is still some groundwork to be completed, but if developers involved want to build this area to model Staples center in LA with 3 new sports venues. Environmental impact reports and development plan still have to be worked out, but if this comes to fruition, this will see a major change in Oakland’s landscape and offerings.

Is this all good or bad? Hard to paint it as black and white, but really think in shades of grey. Yes I think having a stronger economic engine in Oakland with more options for residents and business is a good thing. It definitely is already having an impact on the affordability of the city, which San Franciso and all major cities seem to struggle with.
It is nice to think of Oakland in a positive light.

For so long is has been the red headed stepchild of San Francisco. Guess it is starting to grow up and come into its own.

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