Slash: “my Oakland suggestion”…
Call me crazy, but here is kind of how I see Oakland:
Why would you not develop that place?
Granted, I have only spent three weekends in San Fran – like, total – one of which was really only 24 hours… aaaaand only one of which during which I actually saw Oakland.
Even in those few hours of my “Oakland Immersion Program,” I really could not help but look around and ask, in a slightly manic way: why would you not develop this place?!
Think of it this way: there is a whole market for Oakland. I am absolutely positive about it.
What if you work in the financial district? That’s the first assumption here. Run with it.
Because here is the thing: plenty of people work in the financial district – plenty. Like, enough to constitute a demographic for development. Like, enough people to be a group.
And then, on top of that: think about the fact that most of those people work long hours.
And yeah, not all. But run with it. Lots of people work in the financial district and lots of those people work long hours.
And. Many of them are young. Not all of them. But many. Many of these people who work in the financial district and work long hours are also “young” – young enough that they do not have families and mortgages. Their residences are important only to the extent that they are not in crappy areas and they do not yield ridiculous commutes. Mostly.
Financial district. Non-ridiculous commutes.
It takes a little more than 20 minutes to get from Oakland to the Financial District by the BART. Let’s imagine that that 20 minute commute sounds pretty rad to a group of people. Let’s just look at that for a minute.
And let’s consider other places within 20 minutes… you can also get to Castro. Mission. You can definitely get to Pacific Heights. Sunset’s out of the question.
So, you’ve got a handful of neighborhoods to consider here. You have the typical ones: Castro, Mission and Pacific Heights (pretend with me, here. I realize that a person looking at one of those places would not necessarily be looking at another. I realize that.) But now let’s throw Oakland into the mix.
And let’s consider this: you care about budget. Maybe you have student loans (you’re young, remember?) Or you are saving for a down payment (you are renting, after all.) Either way, you want to save.
Or… you simply don’t care as much about having one of the iconic neighborhoods because you work long hours, remember? Remember? You’re almost never home. You want the short commute, and for at least one year of your life, you recognize that you can live most anywhere, because you’re almost never home.
Or: consider this… although you work in the financial district, you are also a bit of trend-setter. You like to pave ways. You like to explore new frontiers.
Whatever. Again, I have only spent a few hours in Oakland. I do not really know what I am talking about… but… even I know that it is not one of the, uh, “typical places.” Meaning: to live there is to, perhaps, eshew the, you know, “San Francisco experience.” Or whatever.
And I may be wrong, but here’s this: I only saw Oakland for two hours – or whatever – but I would live there.
I would live there.
And I am a target market. If I lived in San Fran, I would be the “financial district, short commute, long hours, low budget” tenant. I would be that.
And if I exist and I would live there – maybe, probably – then others in my demographic would as well.
Oh yeah, and you’re gonna play the “crime card,” probably. Right? Am I right? Welp. I am a mid-20’s female; professional (i.e., not part of any weird subculture, per say) and, again: I would live there. Have you been over there? Like, lately? They have a Whole Foods, people. A Whole Foods. I could go further, but I can stop there. I have lived in places that don’t even have Whole Foods.
Oakland ain’t all bad, people. Maybe it was – I don’t know – but there are many, many decent areas now. Many. Just waiting to be grabbed – by developers and tenants alike.
And if that is the case, then I think all that can be said here is: