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.
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.
Oakland News Now @OaklandNewsNow is by Zennie62Media, Inc. with CEO Zenophon Abraham AKA Zennie62 YouTube Partner, Oakland California blogger / vlogger Zennie Abraham @ZennieAbraham . Hire @Zennie62Media, Inc to tell your story.
Zennie62Media uses smartphones enabling our 98-blog network, specially-made blogs, website, social media platforms covering politics, news, sports, and tech, @Oaklandcitynews, Oakland City Council, North Oakland, East Oakland, Montclair, Adams Point, Uptown Oakland food culture, BBQ Becky Jessica Schulte, Jogger Joe Henry Sintay, Oakland crime news, Bank of America loans, COVID-19 updates, homeless news, SF Bay Area news, @breakingnewsbayarea, Atlanta news, Chevron Ecuador, Steven Donziger, Fayetteville GA news, @FayettevilleGA Fayette County Georgia, San Francisco news, San Jose news. Also, Academy Awards / The Oscars entertainment,Tom Hanks, Skyline High School, Oakland Sports, Oakland Panthers, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland Arena, Oakland Raiders, Las Vegas Raiders, Las Vegas Stadium Construction, Allegiant Stadium, NBA, NFL, NFL Draft, NFL Combine, CES Las Vegas tech, San Diego Comic Con sci-fi. @GrandLakeTheater @LasVegasHotels
Zennie62Media has content development and online reputation management clients like Insight Terminal Solutions @InsightTerminalSolutions and The Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, with California Capital Investment Group Managing Partner Phillip Phil Tagami @PhilTagami co-developer, @JohnSiegel John Siegel as ITS CEO – exposing coal and Oakland fake news. Zennie62 has helped Maria Ayerdi Kaplan @MariaAyerdiKaplan, developer of Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco, Kofi Bonner, and Flowsent capture the Oakland Cannabis Delivery Dispensary @OaklandCannabis market with fitness model female bodybuilder Laura Ehlen and weedmaps help. We’ve partnered with CoLoursTV, CNN, YouTube, Google, NBC, Vice, Oakland Post / Post News Group, Landis PR, and other media organizations. Competition: The SF Chronicle, Las Vegas Review Journal, East Bay Express, Oakland Tribune.
Zennie62 interviews celebrities like Lars Frykman, Bill Boyd, Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, Raiders Owner Mark Davis, Raider Legend Raymond Chester, NY Giants Owner John Mara, @SportsTalk Tony Bruno, Sports Agent Leigh Steinberg, Oakland’s “Jogger Joe”, Cam Newton, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Scott Kidd, Actors Richard Dreyfuss, Lou Ferrigno, Lindsey Vonn hot legs, Blake Neely, SDCC’s David Glanzer, Publicist Edward Lozzi. Topics like Oakland Apartment rents, WordPress, CVS Mail Order and Pharmacy, Kaiser Permanente, Rosa’s Home Cooking Restaurant, The Studio Cafe, @OaklandCityCouncil, Mountain View, CA, London, England, Moscow, Russia, blacks in tech, Tackett Bartlett LLP @TackettBartlettLLP, Jameis Winston, Pinewood Studios Atlanta, Jeff Miller, Joceyln Moore, Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Yanqing Ye, UC Berkeley, NFL Owners Meeting, NFL Annual Meeting, Eli Lilly Coronavirus COVID-19 vacine, Summit Bank Oakland, Bank of America.
Also Pat Abraham Yerger, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf @LibbySchaaf, Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas, Dan Kalb of District 1, Loren Taylor, Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Sheng Thao, Noel Gallo, Robert Bobb, Rebecca Kaplan, Larry Reid, Tech Entrepreneur Sarah Lacy, Personal Trainer Megan Avalon Buffed Barbie, Social Media Pioneer Marc Canter, SF Mayor London Breed, Scott McKibben, CA Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, Schools Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett @BenBartlett, Raiders Charles Woodson, 49ers Jerry Rice, Grand Lake Theater Oakland Owner Allan Michaan, Irvine City Manager John Russo, Guy Fieri, Oakland CAO Edward Reiskin, Raiders Coach Jon Gruden Running Back Josh Jacobs, Stanford HC David Shaw, Tri Ngo, Falcons Coach Dan Quinn, Michael Mina, and NFL Draft Mr. Irrelevant Head Melanie Fitch and Paul Satala. Subscribe to Zennie Abraham’s @Zennie62 YouTube Channel, today!