Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Uptown Oakland is a Boomtown

Last weekend, I spent some time in the Uptown section of Oakland. It is just a few blocks away from where former Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano is living the pimp life .

It is truly a booming area, there are many new shops and restaurants opening. Some will make it some will not, but what really caught my eye is construction going on at two locations. At one location, a retailer is expanding, at another a bar is expanding. What is significant about this is that these businessmen are already in the area and apparently see enough business to be willing to aggressively expand. These aren't businessmen launching a completely new effort on speculation, these are businessmen who must be seeing strong sales on a daily basis now.

The bar that is expanding is Dogwood. In the picture what you see on the right is the current bar. The boarded up windows mark the area where work is being done to expand the bar.

The retailer that is expanding is an optometrist's office. He currently operates out of this location.

He is moving next door to this space, which appears to be approximately three times larger.

Part of this boom is for sure the result of Ben Bernanke-printed Silicon Valley money crossing the East Bay from San Francisco. The uptown area is only two BART stops away from San Francisco. But I also suspect their is a secular growth trend in San Francisco and in this part of Oakland that goes beyond the cyclical trend. It reminds me somewhat of a much smaller version of the boom going on in Brooklyn in the neighborhoods that are closest to Manhattan.


  1. Friend of mine lives right down the street from there and I recently drove by the Napolitano Penthouse. I actually know some of the people who destroyed property during the whole Oscar Grant trouble making parade- which is where most of that damage comes from. Where is that infinite money that evil business owners have to fix this stuff?

    1. Oh whoops, I thought that was the department store which still hasn't been fixed. I didn't realize THAT was the expanding bar. Its hard to tell in Oakland on the surface if boarded up windows are going to stay that way or not.

  2. Several parts of Houston would match or exceed this description of a "boom"...just moved down here from Boston a few months ago.

  3. Green shoots........