Uptown Oakland | Creative people, places, and spaces

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March 6, 2017

By: Kristi Childers, Senior Associate, JLL

The American Planning Association’s choice as one of the hottest neighborhoods, Uptown Oakland is culturally diverse, artistic, and harbors an entrepreneurial spirit unique to the city. It’s also one of the country’s hottest ‘fringe’ markets according to a recent JLL research report.


Photo credit: Sky High Oakland

The formerly quiet commercial and industrial neighborhood on the fringe of downtown has seen a dramatic revival of fortunes in the last few years with a spate of residential development, new restaurant, bar and café openings, as well as significant retail and commercial development.

It’s this transition to a true live-work-play environment that has attracted a host of companies from start-ups and nonprofits to architects and engineers as well as symbols of the New Economy, such as Pandora and Uber.  The neighborhood’s easy access to rapid transit is a major magnet too.

Coworking trend

Uptown’s creative developments such as The Hive are possible, in part, due to their proximity to the 19th Street BART station, which puts tenants just 13 minutes from downtown San Francisco. Signature Development’s visionary conversion of an entire city block of historic structures into The Hive’s social impact coworking space, alongside a microbrewery, restaurants, bakery and event space plus 105 residential units is a perfect example of Uptown’s changing face.

Nearby, at the iconic one million square foot Kaiser Center office complex, a vacant ground floor mall area which long ago housed a department store has been revived by The Port Workspaces as a multi-discipline coworking facility complete with a commercial kitchen.

Office rents on the rise

Office rents in Uptown Oakland have skyrocketed by more than 41 percent in the last 12 months, from $36.49 to $51.51 per square foot, but are still highly attractive when compared to rents across the bay in San Francisco.  Uptown’s renaissance was fueled, in part, by companies fleeing that high priced office market and, despite a recent respite in the pace of rent growth across the Bay, Uptown is positioned to continue to appeal to a wide range of tenants looking for ready access to transit as well as the amenities this ‘hip’ area of the city now delivers.

Read our entire 2017 Fringe Market report here.

About the author:

KC headshot black and whiteThe Oakland Metro area is quickly becoming a hub of innovation and a destination city. Kristi specializes in working with start-up and high growth companies in technology and life sciences. She helps them navigate the market, find office space and create strategies to attract top talent, reduce operating costs and mitigate risk.

Contact Kristi directly by phone at+1 (510) 465-9408 or via email at kristi.childers@am.jll.com.





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