Photo: Jesse Richmond/Flickr
New housing and office space aren’t being created quickly enough to accommodate Oakland’s rapidly growing population. That’s the message delivered by a recent Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce poll that asked 600 potential voters about the rate of local housing and office development in the city. In total, 36 percent of respondents said development is too slow, while 26 percent said it’s too fast and 27 percent said it’s just right.
Much of Oakland’s recent population growth has been the result of the current tech boom. Alameda County, which encompasses the East Bay, gained 25,365 new residents between 2014 and 2015, beating out all the other counties in the Bay Area, SF Gate says.
The influx of tech companies has created friction regarding gentrification and displacement, but Barbara Leslie, president and CEO of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, told the San Francisco Business Times that overall “Oakland voters overwhelmingly feel tech employers bring jobs and stimulate the local economy.” She added, “Oakland would really like development to be faster and they are specifically interested in more housing development.”
Thankfully, a slew of major developments are underway to help bring a more appropriate level of housing and office space to Oakland — we identified five of the most important East Bay developments back in August, and you can read about them here.
Of those five, one of the most substantial and newsworthy is Brooklyn Basin, a massive new neighborhood set for completion in 2017. As of September, the first tower planned had been been approved by the Oakland Planning Commission. Called Brooklyn Basin Terraces Apartments, the building will offer 241 market-rate apartments; according to the East Bay Times, “occupants may be able to move into the rental units in mid-2018.”