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    Revitalizing Broadway in Oakland, Including New Affordable Housing

    By Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large–

    The city of Oakland’s February 7 Finance Committee approved Vice Mayor Kaplan and Councilmember Fife’s item to begin discussions of options to revitalize the city-owned parcel at 7th and Broadway, with a new mixed-use development that would include affordable housing and ground floor activation (such as retail, café) that would better connect this major corridor and improve pedestrian safety and access, connecting downtown, old Oakland, Chinatown, and Jack London.

    This large, publicly-owned site on the major Broadway corridor is in bad condition, and the workers who currently work in the building and members of the public who come to it are subjected to bad conditions. Additionally, it is an ineffective use of this location that is near BART and many job centers, and would be better used as housing and mixed-use. 

    The services that have been housed in the building, including police administration, a crime lab, and more would be more effective in a new modern building that could provide the needed amenities along with other public services, which would be located in East Oakland and provide for more, effective services and improved accessibility.

    According to the 2017 feasibility study, in their assessment of the PAB’s (Police Administration Building) condition, they found the building’s envelope, HVAC system, lighting, electrical and plumbing, ADA compliance, fire protection, and elevators were all in need of major capital improvements or replacement.

    At the same time, the city is in serious need of housing and commercial space. From the city’s Housing Element Annual Progress Report for 2020, Oakland has met only 43% of its Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) goals for very low-income housing, 25% of its RHNA goals for low-income housing, 3% of its RHNA goals for moderate income housing, and 22% of its overall affordable housing goals.

    This resolution directs the Oakland City Administrator to make a concerted effort to ensure contracts are awarded with an equity framework so that small, BIPOC, and women-owned firms are able to participate in the development of this project, and that the project be designed and planned in a manner to meet community needs. And to revitalize this large, centrally located public land in a way that connects our major corridor, is more welcoming, and provides for a new improved public service facility with state of the art labs and training facilities at the coliseum site.

    Councilmember At-Large and Council President Rebecca Kaplan, who is the Vice Mayor of Oakland, was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was re-elected in 2016 and 2020. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland ( and Facebook (

    Published on February 24, 2022