“Broadway was ‘The Street’ in Oakland for many years, but it has also been many years since it has been that. Satisfying the city’s need for sales tax revenue is a huge challenge. We want to make sure it is done in a way that still creates a thriving community with smart investments for Oakland. We need to find ways to bring people in and provide places for them to live, and that will stimulate retail. You can’t do retail without people.”
Those are the words of our very own Joel Devalcourt as seen in the latest issue of Oakland Magazine.
The article, titled “Re-Occupy Oakland”, explores how businesses, developers, advocates such as Joel, and others are revitalizing the Broadway corridor. According to city officials, Oakland has had the highest rate of residents spending on retail outside of its own city limits amounting to a whopping $1.4 billion annually. That’s why the revival of this formerly booming district is good for Oakland.
Last fall, the City released its draft Broadway Valdez Specific Plan. Since then, Greenbelt Alliance and our Better Broadway Coalition partners have been working with city staff to ensure that the plan capitalizes on the area’s incredible potential as a place for new homes, shops, jobs, and active public spaces, and as part of burgeoning downtown Oakland. For more details about the Better Broadway Coalition’s vision, read our comment letter on the draft plan [PDF].
The final Broadway Valdez Specific Plan is due to be released later this spring—we’ll keep you updated. If you’d like to get involved, contact Joel at email@example.com.