Shopping Centers Today

OCT 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 46 of 59

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 / S C T 47 than it used to be," said Keira Williams, a retail specialist with the city's Economic & Workforce Development Department. Oakland has about 55 shopping districts and roughly 50 regional and national retailers. Many neighbor- hoods are known for their boutiques, art galleries and pop-up shops, operat- ed by local entrepreneurs and artisans. Nonetheless, Oakland has been under-retailed since the 1960s, according to a 2008 city-commis- sioned study. That study found that Oakland leaks an estimated $1 bil- lion per year in retail sales because residents frequently travel elsewhere to shop for certain basic goods and services, including apparel and home furnishings. In the second quarter of this year, the Oakland retail vacancy rate stood at just 2.7 percent, according to CBRE, citing CoStar data. The retail vacancy rate in the downtown market was even tighter, at just 2.2 percent. These figures do not account for retail space in office buildings, but only at retail-specific properties. Sagues says the city is getting a lot of attention from retailers, although many prospective tenants are leaning toward larger-scale commercial proj- ects. "There is significant demand from retailers who understand that the buying power is there," said Sagues, head of a San Francisco–based team that represents retail landlords and ten- ants in urban markets. "Projects with a bit more scale are appealing, because there is a potential for co-tenancy to exist there in the future. [Prospective tenants] want to be in the place that will be a main node of retail, office and residential." Her team is handling the retail leasing for Oakland's Uptown Station, a project that will transform a former Sears building in the Uptown neighborhood into an eight-story, class-A creative office building with ground-floor retail space. The project, which sits atop the 19th Street BART station, is situated in an emerging residential neigh- borhood. Four apartment towers are under construction in the area, and 12 more are planned, according to CBRE. Uptown, once the city's main shopping district, is already home to restaurants, boutiques, bars, a farmers market and two historic per- forming-arts spaces: the Paramount Theatre and the Fox Oakland Theatre. "All of these apartment and office projects," said Abid, "will deliver a supply of a couple hundred-thousand square feet of new retail space that will have the functional attributes to attract national tenants." Q Oakland is that we have eight BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] stations," said Aliza Gallo, the city's economic development coordinator. "Each of those stations presents an opportunity for transit-oriented development." Oakland's public-transit system is being enhanced by the addition of a nearly 10-mile-long bus rapid-tran- sit line. The BRT, as the new line is called, is scheduled for completion next year and will stretch from down- town Oakland to the San Leandro BART station. There is already plenty of develop- ment activity taking place near many of Oakland's BART stations. In the Broadway-Valdez District, about a dozen projects of varying types near two busy BART stations are either under way, already completed or in the planning stage. These projects are helping revitalize the neighborhood, creating more-af- fordable housing and piquing the interest of retailers. Roughly 100,000 square feet of retail space has already been developed in the neighborhood, and an additional 200,000 square feet is under construction. "Oakland is definitely on the map among national retailers way more the vacancy rate across Oakland as of the second quarter. In the downtown, it stands at just 2.2%. 2.7%

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