Problem Solver with Mark Sawicki: What Should Oakland's Retail Strategy Be?
8:00 a.m. | Thursday, February 8, 2018
This event is generously sponsored by Comerica.
What should Oakland’s retail strategy be and how could Oakland benefit from the changing retail climate?
Downtown Oakland was once the retail and shopping heart of the East Bay. Today Oaklanders must often leave their neighborhoods, and even the city, for basic goods. The resulting “leakage” of sales taxes to adjacent communities has impacted the city’s budget: Oakland now has the lowest sales tax per capita of any big city in California. In response, the city rezoned Broadway Valdez to promote retail development and is looking at where to add and expand retail in other areas, including downtown.
With the city's population growing to an all-time high, the arts and food renaissance in full swing, and new construction taking place throughout the city, what is the right strategy for retail going forward?
Should Oakland pursue major retail development as a way to increase shopping options and sales tax resources? Or is the future of retail so in flux that such a strategy is no longer appropriate? As more shopping shifts online, what impact will these changes have to street life, jobs and access to goods?
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