(Last Updated On: June 12, 2018)

UPDATE: 601 City Center Oakland Marketing fears to obviously show black Oaklanders.

601 City Center fills in the last giant hole in a larger project called Oakland City Center. Established 30 years ago, Oakland City Center is the end result of a California urban renewal project that started back in the early 70s, when then-Oakland Redevelopment Agency Director John Willams, oversaw the removal of the largest group of Victorian homes in that part of Oakland, ever. (And is the reason “Preservation Park,” next door, has that name.) It was a move that was controversial, and the bad feelings about that exist to this day for some.

The erasure left 12 undeveloped blocks of property that halmarked Oakland’s economic development problems of the time, all caused by institutional investor racism. Fear of the then-60 percent black Oakland casued development money to avoid Downtown Oakland for years.

But that started to change in 1988, when Bramalea Pacific Development Company proposed Oakland City Center. This author was an intern at the Oakland Office of Economic Development and Employment and fresh out of Berkeley’s Planning School in 1987. There was an excitement around the City Center Development project, and because it’s full model, with each block filled in by a building that exists today, was a statement on Oakland’s future.

Now, today, 601 City Center is the last major building to be constructed in Oakland City Center, as it was envisioned back then. It’s a hallmark moment missed by the City of Oakland because what collective institutional memory our city had is largely gone (and due to a rash of changes from Rank Choice Voting to the destruction of California Redevelopment Law, which Oakland used to finance economic development projects and counter investor racism) and replaced by the old racist tropes about Oakland and the Black Panthers, as if that was the only thing Oakland will ever be known for. But I digress.

Yes, 601 City Center is the completion of City Center, but in that, it comes with a couple of messages one disturbing, the other funny.

601 City Center Oakland Needs Black People
601 City Center Oakland Needs Black People

This is the disturbing message: the 601 City Center building by The Shorenstein Company has architectural renderings on its website that forget Oakland ever had black people! Why this is done, and considering the “BBQ Becky” Jennifer Schulte and “Jogger Joe” Henry Sintay problem Oakland has today, is beyond me. The website of the building openly has these images that show renderings only of white people using the building. That should be changed. It’s a horrible statement in a society that has come to expect and demand racial diversity.

This is the funny message: that 375,000 square feet of space is available, making the building the largest emply space of its kind avalable in Oakland or San Francisco. At a time when the office vacancy rate in Downtown Oakland’s around 5 percent, that means one thing: the space is overpriced.

It’s amazing how often real estate brokers over-price their Downtown Oakland office space when there’s demand for office space in the city. They’re going to have to come down a bit, in my view.

And embrace showing black people in Oakland.

Stay tuned.


By Zennie Abraham

Zennie Abraham is Zennie62Media, Inc. CEO AKA Zenophon Abraham Zennie62 YouTube Channel, Zennie62.com, Oakland CA News, Oakland, California, Oakland vlogger, Oakland News Now Today Blog – SF Bay Area Daily, WordPress user, full stack developer, online reputation management digital marketing expert, SEO, digital media guy, economic development , personal online content , management reputation services, east bay democratic club follower, super car stats dude, CES Las Vegas, tech news blog, OaklandNewsOnline.com, OaklandNewsNow.com, OaklandNewsToday.com, Oakland Post, Oaklandpostonline.com, Oakland restaurant foodie fan, Oakland Mayor's Office - Oakland City Council veteran, NBA Blogger, NFL Blogger, Pro Sports Blogger,Super Bowl Bid Expert, Skyline High School Oakland grad, Jeff Katzenberg Quibi App tech commenter, Texas-Arlington Alum, UC Berkeley DCRP Alum, Cal Alumni Board of Directors Alum, Oakland Raiders, The Athletic, Sports Illustrated, Leigh Steinberg Super Bowl Party, New York 21 Club, Las Vegas Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, NFL, NFL Draft Draftnik, Roger Goodell, Adam Silver NBA, media blogger, social media pioneer, college football news, coder, football strategy junkie, Oakland elections news, zenni, zenni glasses, optical, eyewear, Maria Ayerdi Kaplan, Salesforce Transit Center, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Councilmember Noel Gallo, Sheng Thao, Rebecca Kaplan, cheryl davila, Ben Bartlett Berkeley, Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker, Treva Reid, Amy Cooper, Chris Cooper, Barack Obama, Darrell Williams, Chicago, International Terminal Solutions, Sanpete County Utah, John Siegel, Autumn Wind Lending, LLC, Flowsent, Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, OBOT, Las Vegas visitor, YouTube Partner, friend of Mike Silver, Leslie Silver, Pass It Down podcast, Phil Tagami, Phil Gates, oakland harborside, Nancy Sidebotham, Henry Gardner, Davey D Cook, Ray Bobbitt, Bill Duffy, Robert Bobb, Alan Dones, Loop Capital, Shaun Tai BRIDGEGOOD, Robert G Schock, Barbara Schaaf, Marc Canter, Patricia Yerger Mom, Harrison Chestang, KPOO, Gary Schapiro, Zenophon Abraham Sr. Dad, Vloggerheads.com member, Vloggercon attendee, The Alley Cat Bar regular, Grand Lake Theater marquee fan, United Airlines flier, Walt Disney World lover, System Dynamics consultant, Eddie Van Halen, Run DMC, Rolling Stones, Old School Rap fan, Star Trek Trekker, movies buff, San Diego Comic Con Press regular, female bodybuilder fan, Wonder Woman, melissa benoist, Supergirl, Singer Associates, Spritz Marketing SF, Oakland and San Francisco Planning follower, Atlanta Georgia, Atlanta Falcons, Fayette County, Fayetteville observer, wish Tibor Lacey would stop Zenni.com playing with my name, Zennie62 YouTube Partner, Hollywood, Oakland California blogger / vlogger hire @Zennie62Media, Inc to tell your story.


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