A fire has consumed Wood Partners’ 193-unit development under construction at 2302 Valdez Street, one of the largest projects in the works or anticipated to rise within Oakland’s Broadway Valdez District and along the city’s burgeoning Auto Row.

In addition to the 193 market-rate units, which were to average a little over 800 square feet apiece, the fire has destroyed over 31,000 square feet of new retail space which was to enliven Valdez between 23rd and 24th Streets.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Sutro_Tower

    The war on new housing in the East Bay is real.

    Going out on a limb here until further reports but this looks beyond suspicious. Arson will not bring prices down. Those that believe stopping construction will preserve their regressive thoughts on keeping “newcomers” out are beyond misguided.

    If arson is indeed the case then I really hope that those responsible are caught and charged for attempted manslaughter by this wanton act that put the lives of many nearby residents at risk for their lives.

  2. Posted by Notcom

    Not to blame the victim here, but as these fires (of large wood frame buildings under construction) have occurred multiple times – and on both sides of the Bay – I would think a logical outcome should be to require far better security…certainly at night and with competent personal (not that there’s a perfect solution, but the “roving security patrols” in place here seem particularly inadequate).

    • Posted by oakland lover

      I agree, after so many fires, with many known to be arson, why would they not do this?

      How sad for Oakland with 4 of these now in the downtown/WO area (and of that 4, 2 are the same one in emeryville getting burned down twice!). 3 of the 4 are known to be arson, with suspects still at large, and this latest one looking probable to be arson as well.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Yeah, sites like this call for full time after-hours security. Another thing that might help is to get the sprinkler plumbing installed and incrementally charged as the project progresses. That would limit damage considerably. I think that was one of the conclusions that came out of the massive Santana Row fire that destroyed not only a big chunk of Santana Row’s construction, but also leapt to other older buildings in the area.

      • Posted by Notcom

        I’m glad you mentioned that one ( I recalled it after i wrote “both” and realized I should have said “all”); I don’t remember whether/not it was arson – I thought it actually occurred while people were working – but it shows it’s not some city-specific, inner-city issue, and it also shows it’s a general community hazard, not just “it’s the developer’s problem.”

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          The Santana Row fire was not arson. I think it was caused by a spark from a construction worker’s tool or cigarette. It was the biggest fire in SJ’s history.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Yes it was on a Monday afternoon, during work hours; cause never determined.

  3. Posted by archiwha?

    union dispute, if you ask me. same for the san pablo development that burned down twice.

  4. Posted by Amewsed

    Even if the developers will rebuild, the damage to Oakland’s image has been done. How much are you willing to pay as a homeowner or renter for safety? Would you want your spouse or family members living there? Forget it. I rather work twice as hard to move my family elsewhere.

    My REIT ETF has not been doing well so it could be an oversupply and much lowered demand issue.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      I seem to remember a huge fire of an apartment complex under construction in SF near AT&T Park not too long ago. There was also a huge fire of a residential building under construction in LA near the 101 freeway a while back.

      That being said, they need much better security for all wood framed residential construction in the Bay Area.

      • Posted by Some Guy

        Citing this example is either disingenuous and slippery, or just a bit ignorant & lazy. The 2014 SF Mission Bay fire started around 3PM in the afternoon, up on the 6th floor or higher, and was deemed by fire investigators to be accidental, caused by “hot work” (either welding or metal grinding) done by construction workers earlier that day.

        • Posted by RobBob

          Also the fire sprinklers had been installed but were not turned on since they hadn’t passed inspection yet. Fire sprinklers keep these sorts of things from happening, which is why they are required in every enclosed space in new construction. Otherwise you end up with the same situation as the London. Accidents happen, sprinklers are your insurance policy.

          • Posted by BobN

            I don’t understand how a form of construction that relies on the availability of water, lots of water, is allowed in an earthquake zone. What’s to become of these buildings after a major earthquake, when water mains are broken?

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      Oakland’s image gets beaten up on a routine basis. Nothing new here. It’s been going on since the 1950’s. Thanks for pilling on.

      • Posted by Anon123

        Fires have happened before in early July with careless use of fireworks – don’t know if they are permitted in Oakland for the 4th, but they are in other places, and there are always some (illegal) leftover use…

        • Posted by Some Guy

          Yeah, right, a fire started at 4:30 in the morning, INSIDE a stairwell deep within the core of the building, with motion sensors inside the building being triggered beforehand. — Most likely caused by illegal fireworks? Hello McFly?

          • Posted by Anon123

            That information wasn’t available 3 days ago smart guy

      • Posted by Some Guy

        The crap side of Oakland *loves* this dynamic, it is really all that the lower 50% of the city has to distinguish itself from any other mediocre run-down medium-size American city. “We’re more bad-ass here because we’ve achieved a critical mass of class/race resentment and cast off from the expectations of decent American values — we can do sideshows and light fireworks all summer long and have 15 babys-mommas because we have legions of wealthy, bleeding-heart liberals to fund our public services. GO RAIDERS!”

    • Posted by Occupied in Oakland

      Hah. On a good day people make horrible generalizations about Oakland -yet Oaklanders still exist and often thrive. The Chronicle, SFBizTimes and a couple members of the AP troll Oakland like a bitter ex. I’m over their stupidity as much as the basic lowlifes I deal with living in The Town. People get mugged in Walnut Creek and Danville nowadays.

      • Posted by oliverstreet

        Actually, SFBizTimes has lately read ridiculously like OaklandBoosterTimes with Roland Li and his crew.

        • Posted by E. Gonsalves

          Out of the last 20 stories here on socketsite, 8 have been on SF properties, while 3, including this fire story, have been on Oakland. I don’t think development in Oakland is over represented in the development media.

          • Posted by Some Guy

            I’ve said it before, Socketsite’s masthead has now attained constructive dishonesty-by-omission. It needs to be revised to read either “San Francisco & East Bay Real Estate..” or just “SF & Bay Area Real Estate.”

        • Posted by Occupied in Oakland

          OliverSt, I disagree. I think your bias is that SFBT reports covering Oakland with just a benign tone is “Oakland boosting” considering all SFBT reporting about SF is verging on propaganda.

  5. Posted by Neil Koris

    Odd thing here – Uptown Oakland isn’t exactly contested territory, certainly not like the Mission. it seems like an odd target under the circumstances

    • Posted by jwb

      You’re wrong. There are lots of militant Occupy holdouts who oppose building anything anywhere in Oakland. There was a tag in this neighborhood that read “if you build it we will burn it”.

      • Posted by Sassy

        I recently saw a Lake Merritt shoreline project information/map torn down and tagged with “F— Oakland!” Apparently city park upgrades we all get to benefit from are opposed as well…

  6. Posted by Martin

    That’s why I prefer highrises that are at least tall enough to force cement/rebar construction instead of all wood. Is there a threshold above which cement must be used?

    • Posted by Anon123

      Yes – Here is an article on the subject from Woodworks. Some places may have stricter codes, I am not an engineer

      • Posted by Martin

        Thanks. That answers the height part.

        Wonder about cost.. If wood is cheaper and 85 is the limit, at what height does cement pencil out as more cost effective?

        • Posted by Out of Town

          Cement and steel pencils out when the cost of land becomes very high, i.e you can spread the land cost out on more units even though each unit cost more to build.
          The higher you go, the more space is required for services (elevator, emergency exits, utilities, etc.). What pencils out depends on the location with cost of land, building cost, and the fees and taxes of all kinds. Here in the central valley most apartments are only 2 story building with a few 3, 4 and single story buildings. I can’t think of any 6-8 story appartments or condos around here as land is relatively cheap and plentiful and wages are low..

    • Posted by Notcom

      I would think another option might be steel stud construction, though I’m not sure how cost-competitive it is w/ lumber…nor am I sure that “carpenters” install it (that’s a question someone more familiar w/ union contracts and construction practices I guess can answer.)

    • Posted by JRSF

      6 floors, right?

    • Posted by RobBob

      Grenfell tower in London that went up in flames a few weeks ago was concrete construction. Concrete won’t save you, it will just help create a wind tunnel inferno. Only sprinklers will save you.

      • Posted by Some Guy

        Concrete buildings are not immune to fire but the Grenfell Tower example is not a good one — in that case the fire was accelerated and fed mainly by flammable (plastic) exterior cladding affixed in such a way that it made a perfect chimney up the side of the building. In that case it didn’t matter what the building was made of. The outer cladding had enough flame & heat potential to ignite the contents of the individual apartment units, even while the concrete building structure itself did not burn.

      • Posted by BobN

        That’s not true. Concrete towers with fire blocking has a much better fire record. Of course, concrete with sprinklers would be even better.

  7. Posted by Stan

    Lack of affordable units cause this fire. All 193 unit are market rate…. -_-

    • Posted by Occupied in Oakland

      Are you okay? It seems like some of the words you’re thinking aren’t making it to the keyboard? Also, pretty sure an extremely self-absorbed, self-righteous callous person set the fire. So far the only impact has been to displace about 40 families, possibly permanently.

  8. Posted by Some Guy

    Mr. Gonsalves. I LIVE in Oakland, own a house here, and it deserves the bad press it gets, until the slovenly, morally permissive city government either gets its act together or gets voted out in a wave of conservative push-back. You can retire your pity-pot/chip-on-the-shoulder routine any time. The best of Oakland is second-tier, much of it is third tier and steerage.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      There’s always Richmond, Concord, Martinez, Hayward, Emeryville, Central Valley, Texas, Nevada, Oaklahoma, etc. You can move to those conservative economic powerhouse States. Right, Rockridge, Montclair, Claremont Hills, Piedmont Avenue, Uptown, Jack London Square, are “second tier.” What is the first tier?

      • Posted by Some Guy

        San Francisco. Except for the weather.

        • Posted by E. Gonsalves

          San Francisco is mostly second tier and inferior to Oakland in weather, zoo, parkland, airport within city limits, theaters, proximity to Northern California attractions, etc. Also, San Francisco’s hillside neighborhood are dense and clustered while Oakland’s are green and bucolic. The most important asset of any city is climate and Oakland is far ahead of San Francisco in that regard with the best weather in the United States.

          • Posted by Dave

            Truth to tell, neither San Francisco nor Oakland are first tier cities. Not by gauges such as population, cultural amenities and quality of life. The Bay Area Council poll was of residents of SF, Oakland and San Jose and 40% or so are planning to move out of the region to greener hills.

            The Bay Area as a whole is a first tier metro area, but a lot of that is driven by the SV and the powerhouse of jobs and innovation it has become. Oakland and San Francisco are benefitting from a spillover of the success of the South Bay. Especially as SF is no longer a financial center as it once was and the Port of Oakland has fallen behind LA/Long Beach and Seattle and Tacoma – those latter two ports recently merged into a single port authority demonstrating a type of regional cooperation which will be vital in the coming years but which is non-existent in the Bay Area. The widening of the Canal to fit super-tankers will, BTW, reduce the significance of all West Coast ports as more and more shipping goes directly through the canal to East Coast ports. The Port of Virginia is booming and capturing business from West Coast ports.

            Seattle and the Puget Sound area will be the gold rush city of the West Coast in the coming decades as it experiences massive population and job growth, while LA is/will regain respectability as it develops a world class transportation system and creates more and more cultural venues. The Bay Area will fade, relatively, compared to Seattle and LA. The in-fighting between cities within the Bay Area will aggravate this.

            The climate? Subjective. Some want sun all year around and warm temperatures so San Diego would win there. Others want the four seasons without the heavy snow and frigid cold temperatures so Seattle would win that one. Within the Bay area my choice for best climate is the mid-Peninsula area around San Mateo and San Carlos.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Dave, I agree with you regarding culture, museums, transportation. In that regard SF and Oakland are not first tier cities. The only real world class city in the United States in that category is NYC.

            However, by other measures such as climate, parkland, topography, views, theaters, walkability, bikeability, restaurants, housing stock, lack of congestion within city, BART stops, I would put Oakland ahead of San Francisco and Silicon Valley as far as quality of life.

            Also, keep in mind that Oakland International Airport is growing by leaps and bounds with a 75% increase in international flights, OAK is now the third largest gateway to Europe in Caligornia trailing only LAX and SFO. The Port of Oakland is also seeing strong growth. As far as climate Oakland is consistently rated as the best climate in the United States for those who love mild Mediterranean climates. Oakland has one of the best climates in the entire world with beautiful topography including a Redwood forest just 5 miles from DTO. San Jose is much drier, San Diego and LA are basically deserts away from the beach, Seattle is cold, wet, and overcast. SF is cold, windy and foggy.

            I think Oakland has the best over all climate and quality of life if we allow ourselves to overlook our long-held and ingrained regional biases.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            I agree with you regarding the very nice climate in the Peninsula. For me it’s still a bit too warm in the summer but almost as nice as the climate in Oakland and Berkeley.

          • Posted by Some Guy

            Alright, I will acquiesce to SF being a 2nd tier city by global standards. In which case Oakland is a 4th tier city. Dave makes some very good points about structural changes that may affect future of the Bay Area. If the shoddy Chinese-built (sorry, both descriptors are true) Panamax Canal doesn’t cave in on itself in the next 2-5 years, its influences on shipping traffic will be marked. I won’t complain if the Port of Oakland shrinks over time. The amount of pollution it generates — even with shore power, cleaner-idle Diesel, etc. is still very great. The smaller the Port of Oak, the nicer everything within 10 miles downwind will get.

            Def. true about climate being subjective. San Mateo’s pretty nice but we’ll see how that holds over the next couple of decades as global warming continues.

            I have my doubts about L.A. becoming attractive again. Maybe in 20-25 years when the majority of motor vehicles and truck freight have been replaced with battery-powered versions. The air in LA is *terrible.* Even in Pasadena much of the time.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Wishing for a failing Port of Oakland is wishing for a faltering Bay Area economy. Things would be far worse if the Port of Oakland didn’t exist. The Port of Oakland is a huge economic engine for the Bay Area economy.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Oakland is also second tier globally but with a first tier climate.

  9. Posted by Jay78

    Hopefully the builder rebuilds, but much taller! In the meanwhile, construction managers need to beef up security at current projects. If indeed it’s arson, we cannot allow this mentally ill person to continue jeopardizing the lives of folks and holding housing hostage. Not only did construction workers lose their jobs, but 29 needy families will be w/o a much needed below market rate apartment and another 196 units off the market means increase rental rates on existing housing stock.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Mentally ill is generous. I’d say criminal and sociopathic. Urban arson carries a considerable risk of spreading out of control and trapping people in a firestorm.

      It has only been a few weeks since 70+ people died in the Grenfell Tower fire.. Though not arson it demonstrates how quickly and massively urban fires can destroy lives, even in a moist English city made of stone. Surely any arsonist should have this outcome in their heads when the match was lit.

      If this fire was arson, the perp is probably thinking that they’re sticking it to the man and just causing a financial loss. But this fire has displaced a bunch of neighbors and it could have been much worse.

  10. Posted by sassySFboy

    Of course, no surprise left wing activitists behaving badly and criminally…but will they be held accountable by snowflakes…that is the real question.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      This could just be a regular firebug without any political affiliation or ideology. Last night they showed video on the news of the possible arsonist climbing scaffolding of one of the recent fire sites and then leaving on a bike after the fire was set. Just one guy with a hood leaving on a bike.

      • Posted by Some Guy

        Yeah, right. A regular firebug on their 4th building of the year. Certainly they’re picking massive wood-framed new developments for s___ts and giggles because they have a weird fetish (something based in childhood experiences) for new developments *specifically.*

        Laugh — “yeah right” to all of the above. Of COURSE it’s politically/ideologically motivated. These fires are 100% “Let’s Keep Oakland Sh___ty” crew.

        I have an extraordinary dislike for the kind of head-in-the-sand lying-liberal interpretations & lipstick-on-a-pigging that seems to be your stock in trade Mr. Gonsalves. I find the your relentless intensity & commitment to trying to paper over the moral & physical sickness & decay of Oakland both laughable and highly suspicious. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone had you on retainer or salary to carry out this role, I’ve no doubt that it’s spiritually costly to invest SO much time trying to deny the obvious. Oakland’s a struggling s__thole city trying to crawl up out of a half-century-deep pit of racial resentment & self-hatred. It has quite a long way to go, yet.

        • Posted by E. Gonsalves

          And you motivation for saying that you live in Oakland and then relentlessly bash it as you praise San Francisco? I wonder what that could be.

          • Posted by Some Guy

            My motivation for that is that I lived in SF for 14 years, the rent went up & I couldn’t afford it, so I moved to a cheaper, crappier place because that was the option I had.

            Does the above fact call into question my objectivity about the inferior level of culturual, civic, and yes *moral* development in the lower half of Oakland? I don’t think so. On the contrary, I think my experience of both places, and my endurance of the daily and absolutely unnecessary bulls__t of 4th-tier Oakland qualifies me to criticize, harshly when necessary, FAR more than the namby-pamby college-educated elites who mostly live conveniently outside the true disaster zones, where they can afford to indulge fantasies about how to restore Social Justice and Equality in a community where large swaths of the consitutuents just don’t give a… period. (And will show positive contempt and condescension toward you, even verging on implied physical threats, if you so much as glance in their direction with an irrationally-earnest expression on your face.)

            Oakland will deserve & continue to receive relentless bashing UNTIL stupid behavior, bad behavior, morally-bankrupt behavior, ENDS. If it doesn’t ever end, as it hasn’t the past 50 years, then no other treatment is justified or justifiable. Start holding everyone accountable, at all times. I am accountable for my actions. I don’t litter the streets, break laws, or abuse my neighbors with noise & an air of casual physical threat. I pay my taxes. My ongoing debt to society is therefore *fulfilled*. Everybody else who doesn’t meet these standards can be evicted by ever-increasing housing costs as far as I’m concerned. My property value will continue to increase, which is my only consolation for putting up with this B.S. No f___s are given toward me by trash Oaklanders, and no pity is returned.

          • Posted by Some Guy

            And as an addendum, I myself am a college-educated elite. 4-year university, grad school at an Ivy league, former white collar worker, etc. etc. I am completely qualified to judge what I consider to be the seductive but lying moral calculus of the prevailing hyper-PC culture radiating outward from Berkeley & SF.

    • Posted by Occupied in Oakland

      Oh sassy, you’re special. In the last twenty years domestic, right-wing terrorists have killed more Americans than we’ve lost housing units to politically motivated arsonists. But don’t get distracted by what really matters.

  11. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    How come none of the construction projects on the West Side of San Francisco get torched? Does Oakland get a bad rap, or are there people in Oakland criminally opposed to change?

    Perhaps there is no arbitrage – there is just pricing that reflects risk. You don’t get more for your money across the bay – you get different for your money.

    By the way, for everyone who bemoans this fire (but on a certain inner level rejoices in schadenfreude for the developing company) this too will raise the cost of housing where you live. Banks lend on insured projects and insurers never get gold stars for taking extra risk. The policy that covers the next Type 5 “less expensive to build” wood framed project in Oakland will reflect this risk. In other words, projects won’t get built because of this fire and others like it.

    And the added costs of securing a site so that an enterprising arsonist can’t enter it in the middle of the night? Again, rents will go up, more people will be displaced.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      You get more in Oakland for your money. Much more over all crime in San Francisco. There were nearly 26,000 auto break-ins in SF in 2015 compared to 7,000 in Oakland. Also, 700 more violent crimes in SF.

    • Posted by kbbl

      All I can tell you is the rebuild of building [at McAllister and Scott] has had 24 hour security since January.

      I get the impression some folks are wiser about protecting their assets than others.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      You don’t think arson exists in San Francisco, San Jose, LA etc.? Justifying red-lining in Oakland over this is not a good thing.

      Oakland will overcome this and the building boom will continue. Oakland is just too good of a location. Probably the best in the Bay Area if we looked at the situation with out regional biases as well as other types of biases.

  12. Posted by ayhsmb

    I know Socketsite commenters span the spectrum, but I’m surprised how many people are wasting their breath with unsubstantiated speculation about arson. Maybe so, maybe not, but I’ll wait for the news, not your uninformed opinions…

    Here’s my honest question: why is steel-stud construction not more common? What’s the cost difference? Is it an issue of shear walls (normally done with plywood) that would require full on steel moment frame construction for lateral stability?

  13. Posted by Pablito

    Why not steel stud? I’d say California construction workforce policy. California residential construction is all about the lowest paid lowest skilled workforce possible to deliver the product. Steel stud construction requires investment in education so the construction workers learn the details required to get it right. Lightweight steel studs are popular in Europe and Japan – where construction workers are not treated as a.disposable commodity.

    • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

      Do you think that screwing drywall screws into metal studs is meaningfully different than wood? Cutting them to fit height is meaningfully different than wood?

      Wood is inexpensive. Good flexibility for seismic strength. Trees grow back after you cut them down. Pretty sustainable.

      The issue is why one should consider arson-during-construction as a factor in building material choice. It’s not an issue in better neighborhoods. (This is why you can’t have nice things.)

  14. Posted by Newcomer

    These fires seem like more of an inside job to me. If it’s not an inside job then it has to be some sophisticated outfit.

    Oakland has the perfect amount of land to stop the housing crisis. Taller is better. Why did Jerry Brown introduce a bill to stop the early 70’s NIMBY laws that have been killing housing for 50 years then pull the bill off the table? I heard the unions were mad and he pulled the bill. Did he propose the bill to get a payoff? I think Jerry Brown is a crook.

  15. Posted by Newcomer

    With no new housing allowed in the area you are killing the middle class, and POOR. Eventually only the rich can live here. Take a class in Supply and Demand.

    I have to drive from Pleasant Hill to Berkeley for my job because the housing is not affordable in Oakland or Berkeley. If they built more housing affordable housing in Oakland I would move to Oakland, but I can’t. Hence, I clog up the interstate along with thousands of others who clog up the interstate.

    Oakland and Berkley have most of the Bart stops, therefore, to help the entire East Bay housing needs to be built in Oakland and Berkeley. Oakland has enough room to build for Poor and Middle class. When all that is left is Rich and homeless where do the Teachers and service workers live?

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      I agree. Oakland is the perfect city in the Bay Area for increased density and infill housing. Oakland has nine BART stops including the airport. There are three BART stops in DTO alone with another three not too far away at MacArthur, Rockridge and West Oakland. Right now 19th Street and MacArthur are seeing the bulk of nearby residential development in Oakland. Oakland has the location, climate, available parcels, transportation, to really help alleviate the region’s housing and congestion issues.

      • Posted by Some Guy

        Oakland IS ideally-situated, geographically. It will not be ideally attractive until either the misbehaving poor are evicted, OR the misbehaving poor stop misbehaving so badly. Basic pragmatism says the former will occur much sooner than the latter. Will the educated hand-wringing classes ever wake up to the fact that no amount of pity & historical revisionism is going to cure bad parenting and a prevailing “I don’t give a f__k” attitude in Oakland.

        Sooner or later the humbler intelligence gives up on trying to fix broken or missing value structures. Out with the dysfunctional, in with the earnest potential — and it’s fine with me if that is waves of promising Indian, Asian, and Ethiopian immigrants. USA needs to continue to develop moral intelligence around immigration. In the end it’s about good character, and yes, some cultures and countries appear to have more of it than others. Invite those from cultures with better potential. (Respect for education, family, and hard work above all else. And a lack of extremist religious fudamentalism in ANY form. Including USA evangelical types.)

        • Posted by Willow

          Some Guy: Oakland is not the only choice if San Francisco is too expensive for you. Sounds like you’re really unhappy living there. Time to move perhaps?

          • Posted by Some Guy

            My business is Bay-Area centric; therefore I want to stay in the Bay Area. Oakland IS ideally located as far as commuting goes. I’m within 10-30 minute drive of all my customers which would not be the case if I lived in Richmond or Antioch or even Castro Valley.

            I’m willing to put up with what I hope will be the short-to-medium-term low standard of civic respect in Oakland in exchange for a large, completely detached house and (by San Francisco standards) huge lot.

            Oakland HAS improved considerably in the 3 years I’ve been here. The fundamentals for ongoing growth & improvement seem strong. There is a lot of significant infrastructure work ongoing. Huge investment in rebuilding major transit (including automobile) structures.

            The 29th street overpass (over 880) was, I think, a $300m project, albeit Cal-Trans funded. The Dimond park-and-ride (for BART) lot up at 580 / Fruitvale is being completely reworked. Most if not all of the intersections near & around Jingletown and radiating up into Fruitvale proper are being replaced & brought up to modern standards. I’ve seen 1000’s of linear feet of sidewalks replaced all throughout Fruitvale. I constantly see utility crews — PG&E, AT&T fiber, sewer — with work crews small & large doing major repairs and upgrades. The massive (20 acre) glass factory that spewed pollutants for decades was permanently closed a year or two back and will most likely be turned into high-end condos. Zillow & Redfin (my only access to granular real estate data) show a lot of buying & selling, not only of SFR’s but lately more multi-units from 4 to 16 apartments. Above all, the property I own is walking distance from a BART station.

            Noise is still considerable but much lower than it was a couple of years ago. There are fewer RVs parked for weeks on end dumping raw sewage in the gutters. I hear gunshots only maybe 1 day out of 10; when I moved here in 2014 it was 4 days out of 7. The roving gangs of kids on dirtbikes & quads are (so far) much smaller this summer than in past summers.

            My property value has increased 65% or so (!) since I bought in 2014 — almost unheard-of appreciation in just 3 seasons. (Of course it will likely fall just as quickly if the market corrects or recedes downward.) I am in at a relatively low property tax base-year value & if Prop. 13 holds I will enjoy a gradually-declining monthly cost of housing (relative to current market prices) over the years, whether I live here or rent it out & move elsewhere.

            I agree that on the whole I should complain less & keep my tone more professional here on Socketsite but I consider my heart-on-sleeve activities of late important to give those who may be tempted to jump in to buying in East Oakland a bit of pause and reality check. It’s doable but there are some personal & social costs, at least in the short-mid term.

          • Posted by Notcom

            29th AVENUE (“streets” run E/W, “avenues” run N/S)

          • Posted by Some Guy

            Right, 29th Avenue, that’s what I meant. Thanks.

        • Posted by HuskyDown

          You sleep with Mein Kampf under your pillow at night?

          If the moderators of this site cannot flag comments like this that are barely veiled racism, then the priorities and biases of the site’s ownership are pretty clear.

          • Posted by Some Guy

            What part of Mein Kampf actively advocated for Germany to accept Asian, Indian, and Ethiopian immigrants?

            Are you saying it’s racist to start holding all citizens of Oakland, regardless of race or economic background, to basic standards of public decency and respect for laws? Or are you exercising a subtle and deeper form of racism by deploying your personal pity and a haughty historical revisionism to try to carve out a special cultural exception for your chosen groups, in which they are entitled flout laws and cause chronic distress through all manner of irresponsible life choices?

          • Posted by ijustworkhere

            I would say the violent fascists who rove the streets dressed in black, smash windows, set fire to buildings and want to kick out all newcomers are the ones who are sleeping with Mein Kampf under their pillows, not those who condemn them.

      • Posted by E. Gonsalves

        How about the misbehaving rich? Do you care about their character? What about the short fingered pathological lying vulgarian in the White House?

        • Posted by Brian M

          The rich are never guilty of anything.

          (Besides, aren’t crime rates actually down in most cities, overall? Including evil Oakland?)

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Violent crime in Oakland in 2017 is down to levels not seen since the 1970’s. Oakland with a population of 426,000 is on pace for around 65 homicides in 2017. Many other cities around the country have seen an increase in violent crime in the last two years.

  16. Posted by Occupied in Oakland

    As per usual folks kick Oakland when it’s down, real mature. I’m pretty sure most readers here are anti-arson and pro development. Can we discuss this event in that context? The generalizations in these comments could be destroyed by a good effort, but that’s missing the point of why most of us are here.

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