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Lakeside Apartments District, Oakland, California

Lakeside Apartments District, Oakland, California

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The Lakeside Apartments District neighborhood, also known as The Gold Coast, and simply as The Lakeside, is one of Oakland, California's
Oakland, California
Oakland is a major West Coast port city on San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 390,724...

 historic residential neighborhoods between its Downtown
Downtown Oakland
Downtown Oakland is the central business district of Oakland, California; roughly bounded by 6th Street or the Oakland Estuary on the southwest, Interstate 980 on the northwest, Grand Avenue on the northeast, and Lake Merritt on the east....

 district and Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt is a large tidal lagoon that lies just east of downtown Oakland, California. It is surrounded by parkland and city neighborhoods. A popular 3.1 mile walking and jogging path runs along its perimeter...

. In the context of a Cultural Heritage Survey, the City of Oakland officially named most of the blocks of the neighborhood "The Lakeside Apartments District," and designated it as a local historic district with architecturally significant historic places, and Areas of Primary Importance (APIs). The greater neighborhood includes the interior blocks officially designated as a local historic district and the 'Gold Coast' peripheral areas along Lakeside Drive, 20th Street, and the west edge of Lake Merritt, areas closer to 14th Street and the Civic Center district, and blocks adjacent to downtown along Harrison Street.

The district is characterized by a predominance of rent-stabilized
Rent control
Rent control refers to laws or ordinances that set price controls on the renting of residential housing. It functions as a price ceiling.Rent control exists in approximately 40 countries around the world...

 apartments, mixed-use buildings, and a long history of regional mass transit connections serving its central location. In recent years, mid-rise, mixed-use, market rate, and affordable rental housing
Affordable housing
Affordable housing is a term used to describe dwelling units whose total housing costs are deemed "affordable" to those that have a median income. Although the term is often applied to rental housing that is within the financial means of those in the lower income ranges of a geographical area, the...

 has been planned
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

, proposed, approved, constructed, and inhabited. At the present, other developers have proposed market-rate condominium skyscrapers and other high-rise towers which have idled in various stages of the planning process. From 2007 to 2009, the Oakland Planning Commission revised zoning and building height regulations for the neighborhood.

History


The neighborhood was built on what was originally an encinal or Coast Live Oak
Coast Live Oak
Quercus agrifolia, the Coast Live Oak, is an evergreen oak , native to the California Floristic Province. It grows west of the Sierra Nevada from Mendocino County, California, south to northern Baja California in Mexico. It is classified in the red oak section Quercus agrifolia, the Coast Live Oak,...

 oak grove on the west shore of the San Antonio Slough, which was later dammed to form Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt is a large tidal lagoon that lies just east of downtown Oakland, California. It is surrounded by parkland and city neighborhoods. A popular 3.1 mile walking and jogging path runs along its perimeter...

. Prior to the California Mission era, locations around the Slough were fishing and waterfowl hunting grounds for the Ohlone
Ohlone
The Ohlone people, also known as the Costanoan, are a Native American people of the central California coast. When Spanish explorers and missionaries arrived in the late 18th century, the Ohlone inhabited the area along the coast from San Francisco Bay through Monterey Bay to the lower Salinas Valley...

. Later in the Mission era, under the proclaimed authority of his Crown, King Ferdinand VII of Spain deeded the land to Sergeant Luis Maria Peralta
Luís María Peralta
Luis María Peralta was a soldier in the Spanish Army, who received one of the largest of the Spanish land grants, Rancho San Antonio, a plot that encompassed most of the East Bay region of California.-Biography:...

 in 1820 to become his Rancho San Antonio.

After gold was discovered in 1848 in present-day Coloma 125 miles (201.2 km) to the northeast, Anglo squatters led by lawyer Horace W. Carpentier took control of the East Bay area which was to become downtown Oakland, including land along the San Antonio Slough.

Before Oakland was even incorporated by the State legislature, by 1850, a trio of three ambitious men, to include Carpentier, had leased land from one of Luis' sons, Vincente Peralta. They hired a Swiss engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

, Julius Kellsburger, to prepare a street grid map. They began selling lots, whether through a good faith belief that US sovereignty superseded Mexican claims, or through deliberate fraud perpetrated on Peralta.

The street grid of Kellsburger's map starts at the Oakland Estuary
Oakland Estuary
The Oakland Estuary is the body of water separating the cities of Oakland and Alameda, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. On its western end it connects to San Francisco Bay, while its eastern end connects to San Leandro Bay.-Crossings:...

 waterfront, and ends at 14th street, the neighborhood's Southeast boundary. The current streets of the neighborhood show up on E.M. Sessions' 1869 map of Oakland, with long sweeping blocks north of 14th Street. That same year, the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad
Transcontinental railroad
A transcontinental railroad is a contiguous network of railroad trackage that crosses a continental land mass with terminals at different oceans or continental borders. Such networks can be via the tracks of either a single railroad, or over those owned or controlled by multiple railway companies...

 at Seventh and Broadway brought passengers from New York that had been confined to a train for a week, eager for the comforts and amenities of a city. By this time, horse-drawn streetcars brought passengers up Broadway to 14th Street and points beyond. By the 1890s, the neighborhood had become home to large homes on the lake and interior streets.

By the 1920s, apartment buildings and luxury hotels began to sprout up within walking distance from nearby streetcar lines, and Downtown Oakland
Downtown Oakland
Downtown Oakland is the central business district of Oakland, California; roughly bounded by 6th Street or the Oakland Estuary on the southwest, Interstate 980 on the northwest, Grand Avenue on the northeast, and Lake Merritt on the east....

.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the neighborhood saw continued development of multi-family, mixed-use apartment buildings with the planning and construction of nearby Bay Area Rapid Transit
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Bay Area Rapid Transit is a rapid transit system serving the San Francisco Bay Area. The heavy-rail public transit and subway system connects San Francisco with cities in the East Bay and suburbs in northern San Mateo County. BART operates five lines on of track with 44 stations in four counties...

 (BART) underground rail lines. Starting in 1961, Oakland's "Downtown Property Owner's Association," and the "Central Business District Association" repeatedly advocated for extending Alice Street directly through Snow Park, which was then the grounds of the Snow Museum, past the Schilling Gardens and the Bechtel Building, and down to 20th Street to alleviate traffic congestion that might be caused by the closure of Broadway during construction of the nearby BART line underneath Broadway. The plan met stiff opposition from Oakland's City Council in October 1964, and caused then Mayor Houlihan to remark that "One of the things which has bothered me about Oakland is the presence of these small time feuds. The city could be better advanced by using their (downtown businessman's) energies in more progressive ways." As reported by the Staff of the Oakland Tribune at the time, the City Council in essence told downtown business interests to "quit wasting its time."

In the early 21st century, the area continues to be attractive to developers as AC Transit
AC Transit
AC Transit is an Oakland-based regional public transit agency serving the western half of Alameda County and parts of western Contra Costa County in the western, Bay-side area of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area...

's bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling...

 lines are currently being planned for 12th and 11th Streets in the neighboring Civic Center
Civic Center, Oakland, California
Oakland's Civic Center neighborhood is a residential and public building district on the east side of Oakland's Central Business District. Its borders are roughly Downtown and Harrison Street to the west, the East Lake Neighborhood and Lakeshore Avenue to the east, the Lakeside Apartments District...

 district, and on Broadway downtown.

Historic places and landmarks


The district has an outstanding concentration of club buildings, historic luxury apartments, and a significant cluster of Deco structures, including the terra cotta Charles Jurgens Co. building, the Elks Hall on Alice Street (now the Malonga Casquelord Arts Center), the Hill Castle Apartments on Jackson Street, The Hotel Harrison on Harrison Street, the Scottish Rite Center at the lake's edge on Lakeside Drive, the Alameda County Courthouse in the neighboring Civic Center
Civic Center, Oakland, California
Oakland's Civic Center neighborhood is a residential and public building district on the east side of Oakland's Central Business District. Its borders are roughly Downtown and Harrison Street to the west, the East Lake Neighborhood and Lakeshore Avenue to the east, the Lakeside Apartments District...

 district, which also features the Civic Center Post Office on 13th Street. The "Ideal Cleaners" shop features a neon sign and period appointments in the Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 style. Many of these historic buildings are protected as official city landmarks. During a city Cultural Heritage Survey in the 1980s most of the district was designated as featuring historically significant architectural resources. The Survey was conducted by the city of Oakland's Planning Department and its Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board from 1980–1985. Other historic places include the Victorian Camron-Stanford house on the shore of Lake Merritt at 14th Street and Lakeside Drive, the Municipal Boathouse on Lakeside Drive, the Greek revival
Greek Revival architecture
The Greek Revival was an architectural movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, predominantly in Northern Europe and the United States. A product of Hellenism, it may be looked upon as the last phase in the development of Neoclassical architecture...

 Scottish Rite Center on Lakeside Drive, the eleven story Bechtel
Bechtel
Bechtel Corporation is the largest engineering company in the United States, ranking as the 5th-largest privately owned company in the U.S...

 Building at 244 Lakeside, the Alician apartments on Alice Street with its ornate marble entrance, the Regillus condominiums on 19th street, the mission revival Scottish Rite Temple on Madison Street, and the historic Schilling Gardens on 19th Street.

One of the least likely structures to be overlooked—easily visible from a few blocks south of the neighborhood looking up Madison Street, is Tudor Hall. Its distinct architecture resembles the namesake period of the late 15th-early 17th centuries.

The district also features other historic assets in several three to eight story apartment buildings, this height being a character-defining feature of most of the historic district. Some exceptions to this character punctuate the neighborhood, to include Noble Tower on Lakeside Drive, and the Essex Condominiums at 17th and Lakeside, completed in 2001.

Lakeside park


The district is adjacent to Lakeside Park
Lakeside Park
Lakeside Park may refer to:* Lakeside Park, Kentucky, a small city in the United States* Lakeside Park , an office complex in the capital of Slovakia* Lakeside Park, formerly Lakeside International Raceway, an Australian motor racing facility...

, which lies to the east and northeast of the district. Lakeside Park is a public city park ring and green space surrounding Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt is a large tidal lagoon that lies just east of downtown Oakland, California. It is surrounded by parkland and city neighborhoods. A popular 3.1 mile walking and jogging path runs along its perimeter...

 and is often called the Crown Jewel of Oakland's parks. Lakeside park is historically significant as featuring North America's first official wildlife refuge, designated in 1870. The state legislature voted the Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge into law in 1870, making it the first such refuge on the North American continent. No hunting of any sort was to be allowed and the only fishing was to be by hook and line. Under the name Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge, the site became a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 on May 23, 1963. It also features a garden center with several cultivated gardens, and the Municipal Boat House on Lakeside Drive. A large restaurant has opened in the Boat House building, which has undergone extensive renovations, and was re-dedicated by city staff in 2009 in anticipation of its re-opening.

Malonga Casquelourd Arts Center



The neighborhood also features the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts on Alice Street, a public community asset owned and administered by the City of Oakland and its Department of Parks and Recreation. Formerly known as the Alice Arts Center, this building was renamed in 2004 in honor of Malonga Casquelourd, a Congolese dancer, choreographer, singer, percussionist, and cultural ambassador of the arts who was killed in 2003 by a drunk driver traveling in the wrong direction on a blind curve on Lakeside Drive in front of the Essex condominium building.
The Alice Arts Center was opened in 1987 under then-Mayor Lionel Wilson
Lionel Wilson
Lionel J. Wilson was an African American political figure and a member of the Democratic Party. He was the first African American mayor of Oakland, California, serving three-terms as mayor of Oakland from 1977 until 1991....

. It has a 400-seat theater and fine arts and dance studios where numerous dancers, percussionists, and other musicians study and create music and visual arts. It has become a vibrant center for dance and music, particularly African- and African-American-influenced dance forms from Congolese, Guinean and Afro-Brazilian to jazz and hip-hop. City officials estimate that the center serves 50,000 people a year through classes and performances. The Oakland Ballet has had offices and rehearsals at the center.

The building also features 74 S.R.O.
Single Room Occupancy
A single room occupancy is a multiple-tenant building that houses one or two people in individual rooms , or to the single room dwelling itself...

 hotel rooms where artists in residence reside. In 2003, then-Mayor Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown
Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

 proposed expanding his Oakland School for the Arts
Oakland School for the Arts
Oakland School for the Arts is a performing arts charter school in Oakland, California.OSA is located on the Fox Oakland Theatre at 530 18th Street across from Telegraph.On April 1, 2009 OSA was selected to be a California Distinguished School....

, which was at the time housed in the basement and first floor of the Alice Street building, to the entire six-floor center. Numerous hotel rooms were withheld and kept vacant while plans were made to displace the artist tenants from their S.R.O.
Single Room Occupancy
A single room occupancy is a multiple-tenant building that houses one or two people in individual rooms , or to the single room dwelling itself...

 hotel rooms and studios in the center.
The building also features a prominent ground floor retail space next to its main entrance. Over the years the space was the home to a cafe with poetry readings. From late 2003 until early 2007, the space was home to the "Jahva House" cafe, owned by Oakland musician Dwayne Wiggins
Tony! Toni! Toné!
Tony! Toni! Toné! is an American Soul/R&B group from Oakland, California, popular during the late 1980s and early to mid 1990s. During the band's heyday, it was composed of D'wayne Wiggins on lead vocals and guitar, his brother Raphael Saadiq on lead vocals and bass, and their cousin Timothy...

 of the music group Tony! Toni! Toné!
Tony! Toni! Toné!
Tony! Toni! Toné! is an American Soul/R&B group from Oakland, California, popular during the late 1980s and early to mid 1990s. During the band's heyday, it was composed of D'wayne Wiggins on lead vocals and guitar, his brother Raphael Saadiq on lead vocals and bass, and their cousin Timothy...

. The cafe relocated there following its move from a Lakeshore Avenue space. The cafe featured Wednesday night poetry slams, a traditional African drum craftsman with a sidewalk workshop, and regular live music performances. At present Oakland's Real Estate Division is seeking a retail tenant for the space.

Oakland main library


The neighborhood is also walking distance to the Main Branch of the Oakland Public Library on 14th Street between Madison and Oak Street.

Oakland Museum of California


The Oakland Museum of California
Oakland Museum of California
Oakland Museum of California or Oakland Museum is a museum dedicated to the art, history, and natural science of California located in Oakland, California....

 is located at 11th and Oak Streets in the neighboring Civic Center
Civic Center, Oakland, California
Oakland's Civic Center neighborhood is a residential and public building district on the east side of Oakland's Central Business District. Its borders are roughly Downtown and Harrison Street to the west, the East Lake Neighborhood and Lakeshore Avenue to the east, the Lakeside Apartments District...

 district.

Snow Park


The district is also adjacent to Oakland's Snow Park a 4.2 acres (16,996.8 m²), public city park bordered by 19th Street, the Schilling Gardens Parcel, Harrison Street and Lakeside Drive. Snow Park, which is named after Oakland resident Henry Snow, was once the site of the first Oakland Zoo, the Sidney Snow Zoo, named after Henry Snow's son, which opened in 1943. It currently features public restroom facilities, sitting benches, mature shade trees, a grassy, sunlit meadow, and a golf putting green, which many neighborhood and citywide residents, and nearby office workers enjoy.

Schools and colleges


Residents of the neighborhood are zoned to schools in the Oakland Unified School District
Oakland Unified School District
Oakland Unified School District is a public education school district which operates elementary schools , middle schools , and high schools in Oakland, California.-History:...

. Zoned schools include Lincoln Elementary School
Lincoln Elementary School (Oakland, California)
Lincoln Elementary School is part of the Oakland Unified School District. It is located in Oakland Chinatown, in walking distance of Lake Merritt. Most of the students speak a foreign language at home, including Cantonese, Mandarin, and Mongolian...

 (K-5), which is the local public elementary school.
Westlake Middle School, and Oakland Technical High School
Oakland Technical High School
Oakland Technical High School, known locally as Oakland Tech, or just simply "Tech", is a public high school in Oakland, California, and is operated under the jurisdiction of the Oakland Unified School District.-Background:...

 are the respective intermediate and secondary schools.

Laney College
Laney College
Laney College is a community college located in Oakland, California, next to the Lake Merritt BART station and the Kaiser Convention Center. Laney is the largest of the four colleges of the Peralta Community College District which serves northern Alameda County.Laney College originally opened in...

 is a public community college
Community college
A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries.-Australia:Community colleges carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults...

 located at the south end of the Civic Center neighborhood. Cal State East Bay
California State University, East Bay
California State University, East Bay is a public university located in the eastern region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The university, as part of the 23-campus California State University system, offers over 100 areas of study...

 has the Oakland Professional Development and Conference Center at Broadway and 11th Street. Continuing education
Continuing education
Continuing education is an all-encompassing term within a broad spectrum of post-secondary learning activities and programs. The term is used mainly in the United States and Canada...

 courses are offered.

Land development


The neighborhood is located between Lake Merritt and Downtown Oakland. In recent years, market-rate housing developers have proposed constructing a variety of residential and residential mixed-use buildings which have been proposed to be anywhere from five to forty-two stories high. Neighborhood residents have voiced their concerns and objections to various proposed developments. Others have pressed developers to include meaningful community benefits
Community Benefits Agreement
A Community Benefits Agreement in the USA is a contract signed by community groups and a real estate developer that requires the developer to provide specific amenities and/or mitigations to the local community or neighborhood. In exchange, the community groups agree to publicly support the...

 to improve proposed projects at "community meetings," and before Oakland's Preliminary Design Review Committee, the City's Planning
Planning
Planning in organizations and public policy is both the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan; and the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired goal on some scale. As such, it is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior...

 Commission and City Council.

In recent years Oakland city planning authorities have approved proposed residential mixed use development projects in this neighborhood in part because they are considered by some to be "infill
Infill
Infill in its broadest meaning is material that fills in an otherwise unoccupied space. The term is commonly used in association with construction techniques such as wattle and daub, and civil engineering activities such as land reclamation.-Construction:...

". In other words, they are "filling in" under-utilized "vacant" lots
Lot (real estate)
In real estate, a lot or plot is a tract or parcel of land owned or meant to be owned by some owner. A lot is essentially considered a parcel of real property in some countries or immovable property in other countries...

 in an urbanized setting. Most all such lots have had daily commercial use such as surface parking for the neighborhood's drive-in workforce by day, and for some of the neighborhood's automobile driving residents and drive-in bar and restaurant patrons by night. One such vacant lot on 14th Street at Madison, directly adjacent to the boundaries of the neighborhood, is used as a preschool playground for several neighborhood children who attend the school, as it is within walking distance for their 'car-free
Car-free
Car-free can refer to several things:*Pedestrian zones*Car-free movement...

' parents. A developer recently proposed a project for this particular lot which has been tentatively titled "1301 Madison".

Some developers purport that projects proposed for the district's parcels, developed and undeveloped, are substantially exempted from the environmental review
Environmental impact assessment
An environmental impact assessment is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the environment, together consisting of the natural, social and economic aspects....

 provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act
California Environmental Quality Act
The California Environmental Quality Act is a California statute passed in 1970, shortly after the United States federal government passed the National Environmental Policy Act , to institute a statewide policy of environmental protection...

(CEQA) because they are considered "infill
Infill
Infill in its broadest meaning is material that fills in an otherwise unoccupied space. The term is commonly used in association with construction techniques such as wattle and daub, and civil engineering activities such as land reclamation.-Construction:...

" parcels. In other words, CEQA has a special provision for streamlined environmental review for infill projects located in urban areas of Oakland. Conversely, some activists have pointed to the applicability of the "Cumulative Impact" provisions of CEQA arguing that the residents of the neighborhood have already been subjected to several consecutive years of construction, dust, pile-driving and general construction noise, and carcinogenic diesel fumes from idling trucks and heavy equipment.

Mid-rise, mixed-use apartment buildings


An unfinished building
Unfinished building
An unfinished building is a building where construction work was abandoned or on-hold at some stage or only exists as a design...

 languished in the neighborhood from 2003 to 2009. Originally planned as "Jackson Courtyard Condominiums," the mixed-use building at 1401 Jackson Street features transit oriented development characteristics such as ground-floor retail shop spaces and a dedicated bicycle parking room at street level. For several years, the incomplete project sat partially finished, shrink-wrapped in white plastic sheeting, reminiscent of a condom
Condom
A condom is a barrier device most commonly used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and spreading sexually transmitted diseases . It is put on a man's erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner...

, hence its local nickname: "Trojan Tower." In September 2008, the shrink-wrap was removed for the second time from the building. In the summer of 2009, after years of extensive reconstruction work, the building finally received its certificate of occupancy and has been replanned for monthly rental apartments. Its first residents began moving into the building in August 2009, a full six years after the original developer of the project broke ground.

In 2008, "Affordable Housing Associates," a Berkeley, California non-profit completed a seven-story, 76-unit apartment building which has been funded in part with affordable housing
Affordable housing
Affordable housing is a term used to describe dwelling units whose total housing costs are deemed "affordable" to those that have a median income. Although the term is often applied to rental housing that is within the financial means of those in the lower income ranges of a geographical area, the...

 entitlement funds and pre-development loans from the California Department of Housing and Community Development and the City of Oakland. It includes studio and one-, two- and three-bedroom units that feature a combination of traditional floor plans as well as two-story lofts with flexible layouts. The building features transit-oriented development characteristics to include multiple ground floor retail shop spaces, a transit information kiosk, and 54 parking spaces for 73 units, a ratio of .74 parking spaces per unit, which departs from Oakland's current 'one to one' parking ratio planning law. This project came under intense scrutiny from neighborhood activists for its architectural design which contrasts with the character of a mosque next door to the project, the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, a historic mission-revival building that was originally the Scottish Rite masonic temple.

Proposed condominium skyscrapers


(a.k.a. "222 19th Street"/"19th Street Residential Condominiums Project")
In 2005, a group of land speculators
Speculation
In finance, speculation is a financial action that does not promise safety of the initial investment along with the return on the principal sum...

 purchased a historic 1920s luxury apartment building at 244 Lakeside Drive on Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt is a large tidal lagoon that lies just east of downtown Oakland, California. It is surrounded by parkland and city neighborhoods. A popular 3.1 mile walking and jogging path runs along its perimeter...

. The Greenfield land
Greenfield land
Greenfield land is a term used to describe undeveloped land in a city or rural area either used for agriculture, landscape design, or left to naturally evolve...

 behind the building features the historic Schilling Gardens. The Shilling Gardens is the last remaining portion of a cultivated Japanese garden
Japanese garden
, that is, gardens in traditional Japanese style, can be found at private homes, in neighborhood or city parks, and at historical landmarks such as Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and old castles....

 originally planted in 1886 behind spice magnate August Schilling's Victorian mansion once located on the West shore of Lake Merritt. Today the garden features a shaded grove of several mature Coast Redwood trees, ferns, a sunny lawn area, and hundreds of other cultivated plants laid out into a multi-tiered, brick masonry landscape design
Landscape design
Landscape design is an independent profession and a design and art tradition, practised by landscape designers, combining nature and culture. In contemporary practice landscape design bridges between landscape architecture and garden design.-Design scope:...

, with artistic concrete floral canopy arbors and walking paths. The garden as a whole is considered by the City of Oakland's Register of Historical Resources, and Oakland's Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board, to be a landmark "of highest importance."

After purchasing the parcel, the owners divided the parcel into two pieces, one along Lakeside Drive featuring the apartment building, and another parcel behind the building featuring the gardens. The owners then sought to donate the gardens parcel to the City of Oakland in exchange for Historic Preservation
Historic preservation
Historic preservation is an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance...

 property
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

 tax credit
Tax credit
A tax credit is a sum deducted from the total amount a taxpayer owes to the state. A tax credit may be granted for various types of taxes, such as an income tax, property tax, or VAT. It may be granted in recognition of taxes already paid, as a subsidy, or to encourage investment or other behaviors...

s. Oakland's Real Estate Services Division and Office of Parks and Recreation Staff entered into discussions with the owners. City staff asserted the parcel would need disability accessibility improvements as per the ADA
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009....

 and its own dedicated bathroom facilities, despite bathroom facilities immediately next door at Snow Park. The city staff also insisted the owners pay $760,000 for the aforementioned upgrades, and an additional $178,000 per year, in perpetuity, for ongoing maintenance.

Subsequently, the negotiations fell apart and Oakland's office of Parks and Recreation Director said she didn't bring the decision before the Oakland City Council because she thought that the department dealing with the owner, Oakland's CEDA Real Estate Services Division, was doing that. The director of Oakland Community and Economic Development Agency, Real Estate Services Division denied any responsibility for the missed opportunity. He said he was presented with "budget restraints" and that, in any case, his role was limited to providing "real estate-related expertise.".
In 2006, the owners, two Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County, California
Santa Clara County is a county located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area in the U.S. state of California. As of 2010 it had a population of 1,781,642. The county seat is San Jose. The highly urbanized Santa Clara Valley within Santa Clara County is also known as Silicon Valley...

 residents, and a former San Francisco Building Inspection Commissioner, and pari mutuel racehorse owner, proposed a 42 story high-rise condominium
Condominium
A condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure and other real property where a specified part of a piece of real estate is individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior areas is executed under legal rights...

 skyscraper
Skyscraper
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

 for the historic Schilling Gardens parcel. They have tentatively labeled the project "Emerald Views" though the official planning documents on file with the city of Oakland refer to the project as "222 19th Street." This parcel is approximately one half block from the lake's current shoreline, at 222 19th Street between Jackson and Alice Streets. Standing at approximately 530 feet (161.5 m) tall measured from grade to the top of roof spires., the Emerald Views skyscraper would become the tallest building in Oakland  If constructed, the project's architect concedes that "the entire site has to be dug up" and the trees completey destroyed ,to construct the new tower, due to its size and scale
Scale
-Length:* Architect's scale, a ruler-like device which facilitates the production of technical drawings* Engineer's scale, a ruler-like device similar to the Architect's scale, they are helpful when drawing rooms...

However, the architect claims the developers intend to replant some of the existing shrubs, plants, and ferns in a new garden area that will abut the sides and back of their proposed building.

While any project on the parcel could diminish the neighborhood's tree canopy, the proposed skyscraper's height and bulk could cast a shadow over a significant portion of Lakeside Park in the afternoons, and the remaining areas of Snow Park that currently receive easterly sunlight every morning, since trees currently shade much of Snow Park. Because of its height, the building would also be anticipated to cast a long shadow over Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park, and the bird sanctuary within Lakeside Park to the east of the parcel. To date the developers have only publicly circulated a sunlight and shadow impact rendering for high noon on the summer solstice
Summer solstice
The summer solstice occurs exactly when the axial tilt of a planet's semi-axis in a given hemisphere is most inclined towards the star that it orbits. Earth's maximum axial tilt to our star, the Sun, during a solstice is 23° 26'. Though the summer solstice is an instant in time, the term is also...

, the time of the year with the most sun and the least shadow. The other sunlight and shadow study renderings will be published in the project's upcoming draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which may also include hydro-geological issues, air
Air pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere....

 and noise pollution
Noise pollution
Noise pollution is excessive, displeasing human, animal or machine-created environmental noise that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life...

, among other potential environmental impacts
Environmental impact assessment
An environmental impact assessment is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the environment, together consisting of the natural, social and economic aspects....

.

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown
Willie Brown (politician)
Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. is an American politician of the Democratic Party. He served over 30 years in the California State Assembly, spending 15 years as its Speaker, and afterward served as the 41st mayor of San Francisco, the first African American to do so...

 previously owned a 20 percent stake in the Schilling Gardens parcel
Lot (real estate)
In real estate, a lot or plot is a tract or parcel of land owned or meant to be owned by some owner. A lot is essentially considered a parcel of real property in some countries or immovable property in other countries...

, but sold out his share to the other owners in 2006 and maintains that he fears that an adjacent high-rise will hurt the value of the building he bought into. Speaking about the project to investigative reporter Phil Matier, Brown claimed in 2006 that "I ain't in that deal."

Since 2006, the owners have assembled a real estate development team led by San Francisco resident Michael Joseph O'Donoghue, more commonly known as Joe O'Donoghue, who is credited with dramatically changing the landscape across the bay in San Francisco through his long history of a variety of lobbying activity for development projects on behalf of the San Francisco Residential Builders Association (RBA). The parcel owners have also retained the services of Oakland's "Go-To-Lobbyist"
who resigned from his job as a legislative aide to the current Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente
Ignacio De La Fuente
Ignacio De La Fuente is an Oakland City Councilmember. He was also the President of Oakland's City Council until January 2009, when he became vice mayor of Oakland.-Background:...

 during a time of controversy over conflicts on interest on zoning matters affecting his personal real property portfolio. This former legislative aide's corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

, "Terra Linda Development Services," is an Oakland based consulting firm which labels itself as "a land development and entitlement consulting company."

In late 2007, the aforementioned "go to" lobbyist was involved in the founding of the "Oakland Builder's Alliance" which purports to achieve its goals "through the promotion and development of innovative policies, through supporting leaders that promote economic growth in Oakland, and through direct organizing in support of leaders and policies that address the needs of our members and the broad building community of Oakland."

On August 8, 2008, the Oakland CEDA Planning and Zoning Division posted Tree Removal Permit Application notices on the gates to the parcel. The gardens feature a grove of several mature Coast Redwood trees that would be completely destroyed by the buildings bulk and mass. This tree removal application is a 'Development Application' regulated by the City of Oakland, and subject to City Council oversight and appeal.

In early 2007, a developer, proposed the construction of a 37 story market-rate condominium skyscraper
Skyscraper
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

 at 1439 Alice Street, directly across the street from the Malonga Casquelord Arts Center, and next door to the three story 1920's Cliff Apartments. The building would be one of the tallest in Oakland, second only to the Ordway Building in the neighboring Downtown district. The building would be built on a parcel that currently features a combined two story parking garage and retail shop space with an active, longtime retail tenant. The project would maintain the current parking garage facade, with its existing design for the first two levels, with a modern, angular glass tower springing out of the top, and rising to a height of 395 feet (120.4 m). Though the developer did propose a ground floor wine bar/cold food cafe space for a small portion of the first floor, he proposed an overall reduction in the square footage of the existing ground floor retail space and a substantial square footage for the proposed building resident lobby, and elimination of a current first floor exterior retail space entrance. The developer also proposed a mid-building "wellness center"/"personal services" commercial space. Depending upon a final zoning
Zoning
Zoning is a device of land use planning used by local governments in most developed countries. The word is derived from the practice of designating permitted uses of land based on mapped zones which separate one set of land uses from another...

 designation and the planning process however, this commercial space could also be used as medical or professional office or an inclusive, approachable space with a neighborhood-serving retail tenant. Supporters of the Arts Center had concerns that those would move into the building could eventually have a reverse sensitivity
Reverse sensitivity
Reverse sensitivity is a term from the New Zealand planning system. It describes the impacts of newer uses on prior activities occurring in mixed-use areas. Some activities tend to have the effect of limiting the ability of established ones to continue...

 to the music and drumming across the street.

Political representation



The entire neighborhood lies within the boundaries of Oakland City Council District 3, represented by longtime West Oakland resident Nancy Nadel
Nancy Nadel
Nancy Nadel is a U.S. politician, businesswoman, and member of the Oakland City Council serving her fourth consecutive term. After two terms on the Board of the East Bay Municipal Utility District, Nadel was elected to the District Three Downtown-West Oakland City Council seat in 1996. In 2006,...

, who ran for Mayor of Oakland during the 2006 election, garnering 13% of the popular vote in a three way race with candidates Ignacio Delafuente and current mayor Ron Dellums. In the 2008 District 3 City Council election, West Oakland residents Greg Hodge and Sean Sullivan challenged Nadel for the District 3 seat to which she was re-elected for her fourth consecutive term with 51% of the vote, narrowly avoiding a run-off election.

At the County level the neighborhood lies within Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 5 and is represented by Supervisor Keith Carson. At the state level, the neighborhood lies within California's 16th State Assembly
California State Assembly
The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. There are 80 members in the Assembly, representing an approximately equal number of constituents, with each district having a population of at least 420,000...

 District and is represented in that lower house by Assemblymember Sandre Swanson
Sandré Swanson
Sandré Swanson was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2006. Mr. Swanson represents the 16th Assembly District. The district includes the cities of Alameda, Oakland, and Piedmont. Swanson previously served as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, he was also district...

 (D-Oakland). The neighborhood is also within California's State Senate
California State Senate
The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. There are 40 state senators. The state legislature meets in the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote...

 District 9 which is represented by Loni Hancock
Loni Hancock
Loni Hancock is currently serving in her first term as the representative of California State Senate District 9. The 9th Senate District currently includes Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Dublin, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Livermore, Oakland, Piedmont, Richmond, and San Pablo...

. The neighborhood lies within California's progressive 9th Congressional district which has a Cook PVI
Cook Partisan Voting Index
The Cook Partisan Voting Index , sometimes referred to as simply the Partisan Voting Index , is a measurement of how strongly an American congressional district or state leans toward one political party compared to the nation as a whole...

 of D +38 and is represented in Washington by U.S. Representative Barbara Lee
Barbara Lee
Barbara Jean Lee is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1998. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She is the first woman to represent that district. Lee was the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and was the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus...

.

Retail



Most neighborhood restaurants, shops, and services are locally owned and independently operated and enjoy a good business relationship with neighborhood residents who walk to them. Immediately within the neighborhood are small ground floor retail shop spaces which currently feature six grocery and liquor markets, two laundry and dry-cleaner shops, a fabric shop, a tattoo parlor, a gym, a sidewalk cafe one block from Lake Merritt open into the evenings, a pet shop, a diner, a sandwich shop, and two bars. In the fall of 2008, several new ground floor retail shop spaces will be available for lease at two new mixed-use developments on 14th Street in the neighborhood.

Mass transit legacy


In 1871, Oakland's first horse-drawn streetcar line running down Broadway was not three years old when Hiram Tubbs opened his luxurious "Tubbs Hotel" at Fifth Avenue in what was then "Brooklyn," an independent municipality on the east side of the tidal slough which is now lake Merritt. Tubbs, flush with cash from his hemp
Hemp
Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

 cordage business and Comstock Lode
Comstock Lode
The Comstock Lode was the first major U.S. discovery of silver ore, located under what is now Virginia City, Nevada, on the eastern slope of Mount Davidson, a peak in the Virginia Range. After the discovery was made public in 1859, prospectors rushed to the area and scrambled to stake their claims...

 silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 bullion, wanted his hotel to be the on par with the finest in the state. He spared no expense, investing US$110,000 in 1871 dollars for the building and over US$100,000 more on furniture for the rooms.

Hoping to lure passengers from overland trains, Tubbs had rail laid at his own expense, for his own horse-drawn streetcar line, the "Tubbs Line," to carry passengers from the Train Depot at 7th and Broadway eastward to his hotel. The line went up Broadway to 12th Street, and then down 12th Street through what is now the Civic Center
Civic Center, Oakland, California
Oakland's Civic Center neighborhood is a residential and public building district on the east side of Oakland's Central Business District. Its borders are roughly Downtown and Harrison Street to the west, the East Lake Neighborhood and Lakeshore Avenue to the east, the Lakeside Apartments District...

 neighborhood, out to 13th Avenue. Tubbs' choice of track routing later evolved into the Oakland Brooklyn and Fruitvale Railroad, and eventually, the "A line" of the Key System of electric streetcars which later ran down 12th and 13th Streets. Today, the 12th Street corridor serves articulated AC Transit
AC Transit
AC Transit is an Oakland-based regional public transit agency serving the western half of Alameda County and parts of western Contra Costa County in the western, Bay-side area of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area...

 buses and is currently being planned for a Bus Rapid Transit
Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling...

 line.

In 1960s, on the Broadway corridor, the BART system was planned and constructed, opening for service in 1972 at three stations, each approximately 1/3 mile from the neighborhood.

Rapid transit


Many residents in this neighborhood do not own or drive cars and walk to transit connections such as the Oakland City Center/12th Street
Oakland City Center/12th Street (BART station)
12th Street Oakland City Center is an underground Bay Area Rapid Transit station located at 12th Street and Broadway next to the Oakland City Center in Downtown Oakland...

, 19th Street
19th Street/Oakland (BART station)
19th Street/Oakland is an underground Bay Area Rapid Transit station located at 19th Street and Broadway in Downtown Oakland. It is an official northbound transfer station along the BART system, since September 13, 2010....

, and Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt (BART station)
The Lake Merritt Bay Area Rapid Transit station is located in Downtown Oakland on Oak Street near Lake Merritt, Chinatown, Laney College and the Oakland Museum. This station consists of an underground island platform....

 BART stations.

Within the neighborhood, AC Transit
AC Transit
AC Transit is an Oakland-based regional public transit agency serving the western half of Alameda County and parts of western Contra Costa County in the western, Bay-side area of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area...

's 26 line carries passengers to and from the neighborhood along 14th Street, routing directly to nearby BART stations. AC Transit
AC Transit
AC Transit is an Oakland-based regional public transit agency serving the western half of Alameda County and parts of western Contra Costa County in the western, Bay-side area of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area...

's Uptown
Uptown Oakland
Uptown is a neighborhood in Downtown Oakland, California, located just north of the center of downtown. Its boundaries are ill-defined, but most definitions include the area bounded by Grand Avenue at the north, Telegraph Avenue on the west, City Center plaza on the south, and Harrison Street on...

 Regional Transit Center bus mall
Bus station
A bus station is a structure where city or intercity buses stop to pick up and drop off passengers. It is larger than a bus stop, which is usually simply a place on the roadside, where buses can stop...

 on nearby Thomas L. Berkeley Way (20th Street) is now in full farebox service, and features multiple bus shelters with seating, NextBus
NextBus
NextBus is a vehicle tracking system which uses global positioning satellite information to predict when the next bus will arrive at any given bus stop, thereby eliminating wait times and any need for schedules for all transit riders...

 arrival prediction signs, local and Rapid Bus
Rapid
A rapid is a section of a river where the river bed has a relatively steep gradient causing an increase in water velocity and turbulence. A rapid is a hydrological feature between a run and a cascade. A rapid is characterised by the river becoming shallower and having some rocks exposed above the...

 service to Oakland's streetcar suburbs. These stations host local service, Rapid
Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling...

 service, Transbay Express, and All Nighter service. A Translink Add Value Machine is located at AC Transit Headquarters on Franklin Street. The number 1 line running along the neighborhood on 12th Street, between San Leandro and Berkeley, is years into the planning process for the implementation of a full scale bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling...

 line. The most substantial planning alternative proposed for this system would feature double-articulated buses with five to six doors at boarding platform level, a separated bus-only lane, center median platforms with proof-of-payment
Proof-of-payment
Proof-of-payment or POP is an honor-based fare collection approach used on many public transportation systems. Instead of checking each passenger as they enter a fare control zone, proof-of-payment requires that each passenger carry a ticket or pass proving that they have paid the fare. Ticket...

 ticket machines to speed boarding, and signalization priority to allow bus drivers to change traffic lights in their favor.

Bicycle and pedestrian Facilities


Other residents use bicycle
Bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

 infrastructure in the area such as the neighborhood's class three Arterial Bike Route: 14th Street, 'BikeLink' bicycle locker
Bicycle locker
A bicycle locker or bike box is a locker / box in which a single bicycle can be placed and locked in. They are usually provided at places where numerous cyclists need bike parking for extended times , yet where the bikes might otherwise get damaged or stolen .Bike boxes are considered the highest...

s at the nearby 12th Street /City Center, 19th Street, and Lake Merritt BART Stations, and numerous city-installed bike racks
Bicycle stand
A bicycle stand,also called a bike rack, is a device to which bicycles may be securely attached. It may be free standing or securely attached to the ground or some stationary object such as a building. Indoor bike racks are commonly used for private bicycle parking, while outdoor bike racks are...

 to which they can lock their bikes. A Bicycle Rental business rents bikes by the hour nearby on the East side of Downtown. Oakland's Bicycle Master Plan, and Oakland's Measure DD park improvement plan for Lake Merritt calls for an automobile lane reduction and re-striping of bike lane
Segregated cycle facilities
Segregated cycle facilities are marked lanes, tracks, shoulders and paths designated for use by cyclists from which motorised traffic is generally excluded...

s onto two of the district's streets: Lakeside Drive and Madison Street, and on nearby Webster and Franklin Streets, North of 14th Street. The plan also calls for the installation of a separated class one bikeway
Bikeway
A Bikeway is a route, way or path which in some manner is specifically designed and /or designated for bicycle travel.-See also:*Bicycle boulevard*Bicycle trail*Bicycle transportation engineering*Foreshoreway*Greenway* List of cycleways...

 and multi-use trail immediately around the perimeter of Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt is a large tidal lagoon that lies just east of downtown Oakland, California. It is surrounded by parkland and city neighborhoods. A popular 3.1 mile walking and jogging path runs along its perimeter...

, and class two bicycle lanes on all arterial streets surrounding the lake, such as Grand Avenue, between Harrison and Macarthur, where a bike lane already exists, and on Lakeshore Boulevard, onto which a bicycle lane has been planned and contracted to be striped.

Taxicabs and carsharing


An officially-zoned taxicab stand is located at the Northeast corner of 19th and Harrison Streets, next to Snow Park. Automobile taxis are available, and a local bicycle pedicab service is on-call during daytime and early evening hours.

A locally-based car sharing service, City CarShare, has a shared car and shared truck at 14th and Jackson, and one car at the Lakehurst Apartment Hotel
Apartment hotel
An Apartment Hotel is a serviced apartment complex that uses a hotel-style booking system. It is similar to renting an apartment, but with no fixed contracts and occupants can 'check-out' whenever they wish....

 at 17th and Jackson. An hourly carsharing
Carsharing
Car sharing or Carsharing is a model of car rental where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. They are attractive to customers who make only occasional use of a vehicle, as well as others who would like occasional access to a vehicle of a different type than they use...

 provider, Zipcar
Zipcar
Zipcar is an American membership-based car sharing company providing automobile reservations to its members, billable by the hour or day. Zipcar was founded in 2000 by Cambridge, Massachusetts residents Antje Danielson and Robin Chase, and is now led by Scott Griffith, Chairman and Chief Executive...

, has three locations in the neighborhood, two cars at 15th and Jackson, and one at 15th and Harrison. A former Zipcar location at 17th and Harrison was removed in early 2008 for environmental scoping on that corner parcel, which has recently been repaved and re-striped for the resumption of parking lot operations. Nonetheless, the lot is currently fenced in anticipation of proposed development on the parcel.

Private vehicle storage


Due to high demand for parking within the neighborhood, both from a density of residents and from numerous nearby parking "attractors," parts of the streets of the neighborhood have been zoned into Oakland's Area-F Residential Permit Parking (RPP) zone which includes most streets in the neighborhood. This program allows for annual fee-based issuance of one sticker per residence or business from the Parking Enforcement Division of Oakland's Finance and Management Agency. The sticker allows those permit-holders who can find a safe space in the public right-of-way to store a car for three days with exemption from the posted parking restrictions, which are two hours in most areas, reducing cold starts and resulting vehicle emissions.

Violent crime


The neighborhood has a reputation among some in the Oaland Blogosphere
Blogosphere
The blogosphere is made up of all blogs and their interconnections. The term implies that blogs exist together as a connected community or as a social network in which everyday authors can publish their opinions...

 in recent years as being a "dangerous area." Notable incidents of extremely violent and heinous crimes have occurred in the nearby downtown edges of the neighborhood to include a June 2011 shooting outside a nightclub at 13th and Webster that seriously wounded three men, to include a man in a passing car who was hit by a stray bullet. A shooting murder and robbery occurred at 19th and Webster in July, 2010. In this case a man leaving a nearby professional office building was shot three times, "for no apparent reason," police said, after he handed over $17.

In April 2008 several men staged a firearm takeover robbery of a restaurant and its customers at "Pho 84," 17th and Webster. On December 30, 2007, a man was shot in the 300 block of 14th near Webster "after leaving a downtown nightclub." A fatal shooting occurred in January 2004 at "El Reventon," a former nightclub at 14th and Webster when a dispute between two groups inside ended in a scuffle outside on the street and the shooting death of a 23-year-old Oakland man. On the afternoon of December 31, 2003, a man was shot to death in broad daylight in front of the Bank of America branch at 300 Lakeside Drive. On the afternoon of Saturday March 2, 2002, A murderer fatally stabbed a man several times in the face and head with a knife at 14th and Franklin in broad daylight after chasing his victim, a man in his 50s, down the street after an argument. The murderer broke his leg after trying to flee on BART, and was apprehended by police thereafter.

Nonetheless, serious and heinous acts of familial and random violence occur periodically, directly within the interior of the neighborhood. The neighborhood lies completely within Oakland's Police Beat 4x, one of 35 across the city. In recent months of 2009, violent crimes, as reported by the Oakland Police Department, included five burglaries, twelve robberies, and multiple assaults during the summer of 2009.

A bomb scare occurred on Madison Street in May, 2006 Strongarm carjackings have occurred in the neighborhood to steal a 1990 Cadillac Deville at 1428 Alice Street on April 22, 2005, a 2003 Chevy minivan on February 26, 2006 at 14th and Harrison, and a 1978 Ford in front of the Essex condominiums at 1 Lakeside Drive on November 27, 2007

On the evening of Saturday, July 8, 1989, a seven month-old Oakland girl died after an 85-foot, seven story plunge down the central stairwell of the Hillcastle Hotel. The baby girl's father, a restaurant worker in his twenties, allegedly slapped the baby's mother; the blow jarred the infant from her mother's arms and over the waist-high stairway railing on the seventh floor of the building where she had moved only a week prior. The girl's father was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

In August, 2005 a man was found stabbed to death in his Harrison Street apartment near the downtown edge of the neighborhood. In September, 2005, a victim reported a panhandler stabbed him in the chest in the 1500 block of Lakeside Drive after he refused the panhandler's requests for money. On the morning of Saturday March 3, 2007, a man wielding an 11-inch samurai sword stabbed a 43-year-old man in the lower stomach and beat him on the head with the sword's scabbard in the 300 block of 17th Street near Harrison.

A fatal stabbing at the Hillcastle Hotel on Jackson Street occurred in January, 2009.

On March 19, 2009, an armed, 21 year-old man and an unknown armed accomplice robbed "Gourmet Market" at 1549 Jackson in the heart of the neighborhood. The pair shot a 30-year-old clerk and two customers. Despite sustaining gunshot wounds, the customers and clerk fought back, commandeered one of the robbers' guns, and beat him down with improvised weapons to include an iron dumbbell. While one of the robbers escaped, the subdued robber was later indicted for felony gun charges by a federal grand jury.

On March 25, 2009, a man suspected of breaking into cars on Jackson Street fled to the same Jackson Street market to take refuge. The same clerk who had sustained a gunshot wound to his neck the previous week locked the door to the market to detain the man, and fought with the suspect until police arrived. In late 2009, the neighborhood police beat, "4x," leads the city in the incidence of auto burglaries ranking in the top six out of thirty-five police beats throughout Oakland.

On December 1, 2010, a 26-year-old unemployed security guard attempted a firearm robbery at 15th and Madison, shooting another 26-year-old man man at least twice in an attempt to rob the victim of his iPhone
IPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

 before fleeing. The victim was rushed to Highland Hospital and survived his gunshot wounds. The shooter was apprehended by police and booked into jail on suspicion of attempted murder and attempted robbery.

Chauncey Bailey assassination



On August 7, 2007, Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey
Chauncey Bailey
Chauncey Wendell Bailey, Jr. was an American journalist, noted for his work primarily on issues of the African-American community. He served as editor-in-chief of The Oakland Post from June 2007 until he was shot dead on August 2, 2007...

 was killed near the southeast corner of 14th and Alice Streets, as he walked to work from his apartment near the south end of Lake Merritt in what Oakland Police describe as an assassination. At the time of his death, Bailey was working on a story about the finances of Your Black Muslim Bakery
Your Black Muslim Bakery
Your Black Muslim Bakery was a bakery opened by Yusuf Bey in 1968 in Santa Barbara, California, and relocated to Oakland in 1971. A power broker at the center of a local community, it was held out as a model of African American economic self-sufficiency. However, it was later linked to widespread...

, involving its pending bankruptcy, and is believed by Oakland Police to have been assassinated because of his investigative journalism
Investigative journalism
Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Investigative journalism...

 about the bakery organization.

Bailey was known to walk to work as a daily routine, and to stop for breakfast at a McDonalds fast-food restaurant at 14th Street and Jackson Street, about a half-block from where he was killed in the 200 block of 14th Street. After being followed from the vicinity of his apartment, the assassin spotted Bailey leaving the McDonald's restaurant, he then got out of the van, parked on Alice Street. Wearing a mask and dark clothing, he approached Bailey with the shotgun. A witness claims he recognized Bailey, and that he was in trouble, but stopped in his tracks when he saw the shotgun. Witnesses said the single gunman wearing dark clothing and a ski mask approached Bailey and fired at least three rounds from a shotgun, hitting Bailey at least once in the chest, before fleeing on foot to the waiting getaway
Getaway car
A crime scene getaway is the act of fleeing the location where one has broken the law in order to avoid apprehension by law enforcement. It is an act that the offender may or may not have planned in detail, resulting in a variety of outcomes....

 van. Police Chief Wayne Tucker described the killing as "unusual" because it occurred downtown and in broad daylight.

To continue Bailey's work and answer questions regarding his death, more than two dozen reporters, photographers and editors from print, broadcast and electronic media, and journalism students are launching the Chauncey Bailey Project. It is convened by New America Media, a project of Pacific News Service
Pacific News Service
Pacific News Service is a nonprofit media organization founded in 1969 by Franz Schurmann, the historian, and Orville Schell, a noted author, journalist and Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley...

 and the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education , is a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California emphasizing diversity in journalism...

. The Chauncey Bailey Project's Web site states that though Devaughndre Broussard has confessed to the crime, according to police, many questions about the possible motive for the killing have yet to be answered.

Oscar Grant murder riots


In the days following BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle's shooting of Oscar Grant on New Year's Morning 2009, and the ensuing reaction by the Alameda County District Attorney's office, justice activists and community members organized response actions and demonstrations. On January 7, about 200 people marched in protest into Oakland's Central Business District. Some became violent and began rioting. Police lines pushed the rioting east from Downtown along 14th Street and into the neighborhood, where rioters continued rioting on Jackson Street and Madison Street. After helicopter-mounted television cameras broadcast images of rioters smashing the windows at a McDonald's restaurant at 14th and Jackson, the rioting briefly wound down after Mayor Ron Dellums
Ron Dellums
Ronald Vernie "Ron" Dellums served as Oakland's forty-fifth mayor. From 1971 to 1998, he was elected to thirteen terms as a Member of the U.S...

 and other Oakland leaders came out to the scene to plead with the crowd for calm. Rioters caused over $200,000 in damage while breaking shop and car windows, burning several cars, to include one on Madison Street, setting trash bins on fire, and throwing bottles at police officers. Police arrested over 100.

See also

  • Community land trust
    Community land trust
    A community land trust is a nonprofit corporation which acquires and manages land on behalf of the residents of a place-based community, while preserving affordability and preventing foreclosures for any housing located upon its land.-Key features:...

  • Gentrification
    Gentrification
    Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

  • Inclusionary zoning
    Inclusionary zoning
    Inclusionary zoning, also known as inclusionary housing, is an American term which refers to municipal and county planning ordinances that require a given share of new construction to be affordable by people with low to moderate incomes...

  • Planned shrinkage
    Planned shrinkage
    Planned shrinkage is a public policy, practiced most notably in the 1970s in New York City, of withdrawing essential city services from neighborhoods suffering from urban decay, crime, and poverty so that neighborhoods may be claimed by outside interests for new development...

  • Rent Control
    Rent control
    Rent control refers to laws or ordinances that set price controls on the renting of residential housing. It functions as a price ceiling.Rent control exists in approximately 40 countries around the world...

  • Principles of Intelligent Urbanism
    Principles of Intelligent Urbanism
    Principles of Intelligent Urbanism is a theory of urban planning composed of a set of ten axioms intended to guide the formulation of city plans and urban designs. They are intended to reconcile and integrate diverse urban planning and management concerns...

  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Transit-proximate development
    Transit-proximate development
    Transit-proximate development is a term used by some planning officials to describe development that is physically near a public transport node...

  • Urban renewal
    Urban renewal
    Urban renewal is a program of land redevelopment in areas of moderate to high density urban land use. Renewal has had both successes and failures. Its modern incarnation began in the late 19th century in developed nations and experienced an intense phase in the late 1940s – under the rubric of...


External links