Oakland City Center
Oakland City Centre is an office and shopping and hotel complex district in downtown Oakland, California. The complex is the by-product of a redevelopment plan hatched in the late 1950s. It covers twelve city blocks between Broadway on the east, Martin Luther King Jr. Way. on the west, 14th Street abuts the north side of the complex and the Oakland Convention Center and Marriott Hotel extend south to 10th Street. An hourly paking garage is located beneath the complex's shopping mall. The mall features an upscale fitness and racquet club with limited evening hours, in addition to numerous take-out restaurants.

History
Though not actually one of Oakland's neighborhoods, and with only newly established condominium residences, City Center in Oakland has a privately-owned outdoor shopping mall at its core. The mall is a textbook example of redevelopment urban land planning policies which started in the mid to late twentieth century and continue into the present. A large section of ornate Victorian and Italianate style apartment buildings, with ground-floor retail shops in the center of Downtown Oakland, was appropriated by the city through the force of eminent domain and demolished to make way for what was originally proposed to be an enclosed shopping mall, high-rise office buildings, a hotel, and an aboveground parking structure. In the draft Central District Plan, the Oakland Redevelopment Agency originally had an ambitious goal of razing 70 city blocks, but neighborhood residents and the Downtown Property Owner's Association objected, and the plan was scaled back to only 12 blocks between 10 th and 14 th Streets on the west side of Broadway. As reported in the archives of the Oakland Tribune, residents were evicted from several residential hotels for purported code enforcement reasons under an aggressive plan called "Opeation Padlock." Several pawnshops and Oakland's Moulin Rouge Theatre were leveled. According to Dr. Richard A. Walker, professor of geography at the University of California, Berkeley, the much-beloved delicatessen, Ratto's, which had been in business since around the turn of the century, was threatened by demolition before citizen protest saved it. The first office building, at 14 th and Broadway, opened on December 18, 1973. The first skyscraper, the Clorox Building, opened next door in 1976. However, construction stalled, and by the 1980s the mall still hadn't been built and most of the site was still vacant. The project was redesigned, with a smaller outdoor retail complex and new federal office building replacing the mall, and a partial restoration of the original street grid. Several new buildings were completed in 1990, including the retail complex, named City Square, and 1111 Broadway, the new headquarters of the global shipping company American President Lines (APL). Economic recovery of downtown Oakland was stalled by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and a recession in the early 1990s, and private development at City Center stopped for the next few years. Government payrolls were not affected; the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building complex was completed in 1994, bringing more pedestrian traffic to the struggling mall. In December 1996, Oakland City Center, including the development rights to the remaining undeveloped parcels, was sold to the Shorenstein Company. The company planned to build four high-rise office buildings on the remaining four lots. Only one was built, 555 City Center, which was completed in 2002. The Shorenstein Company sold the development rights for one of the lots back to the city, which in turn sold it to the Olson Company, which is building market-rate condominiums. The Shorenstein Company is now planning to build market-rate condominiums on one of the two remaining vacant parcels, and an office tower on the other. The latter was approved for construction in late 2007; on October 1, 2008, a groundbreaking gathering occurred for the tower. In June 2010 the majority of the City Center was sold to CB Richard Ellis Investors for $360 million.

Neighborhood perceptions
Despite having an open-air design feel reflecting the sight lines and symmetry of former streets which appear closed to vehicular traffic, and despite the appearance of it being connected to the rest of the downtown area, City Center is in fact private property acquired through eminent domain. It is a symbol a growth phase of downtown Oakland's commercial real estate market in the 1970s and 1980s. Pedestrian permission to pass through the mall is subject to the revocation of the owner as specified in section 1008 of the California Civil Code. The complex is under the custody and control of the Shorenstein Company, a privately held real estate development company headquartered across the bay in San Francisco. The mall is a place of significant weekday public accommodation and interaction. While the Freedom of Speech and Assembly clauses of the First Amendment protect political assembly, in recent years, labor picketing and political protests at this mall have garnered attention from security guards, and corresponding trespassing calls to the police. The project has come under criticism in recent years by a new crowd of younger Oakland transplants for not having any restaurants open past early evening, and also for not having any night spots for occupying such strategic downtown land at Oakland's urban center. In other ways, City Center has become the butt of other jokes about both of its escalators up and down from the adjacent BART subway station, which were out of service for over a year. The delay—mainly due to financial reasons—came to an end in February 2008, when replacement escalators were finally in place and running again. However, two up-escalators nearby still wait for the same treatment to happen later in the year. Also, a large, sculpture-sized neon sign at the entrance to the BART station which has been partially burnt out since at least mid-2005. To many Oaklanders and downtown workers at the complex, there is a definite, visible perception that the Shorenstein Company is beginning to let the complex fall into a state of disrepair and neglect. Accordingly, some speculate that the owners may desire to redevelop the land where the outdoor mall is yet again, with taller buildings. Indeed there has been a significant appreciation in downtown Oakland real estate. In theory, the land is underutilized from a redeveloper's prospective. To many longtime downtown residents, City Center is a different district entirely from the grittier and arguably more "authentic" neighborhood a few blocks to the east, including resident hotels and apartments, the barber shops, shoeshine stands, newsstands, and working-class bars, patronized by a colorful and eclectic mix of downtown residents.

Building Activity

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