Oakland's building boom continues, but will the jobs come?

Oakland's building boom is busting at the seams with construction just about everywhere and more in the offing. 

The current boom, evidenced by cranes throughout the central city area is unprecedented. 

"We have right now over $1.5 billion of investment in projects that are underway at the moment. 3,600 housing units are under construction and will be completed by the end of 2018," said Oakland Development Director Mark Sawicke. 

In all, 20 major projects are underway. 

"We're seeing not only a high number of projects, but we're seeing high rise projects, We're seeing both office and residential going at the same time. So we have jobs and housing that's being provided," said Sawickie. 

"I think it's good. I'm hoping everybody gets a job. I hope there are jobs coming out of this when they finish," said resident Eddie Dorsey. 

If the city can keep the momentum going, the center core of the city still has an abundance of places to build. 

"There's a lot of underutilized parcels. There's a lot of surface parking lots that could be built on. Yes. There's great opportunity here," said Sawicke who also says that is to say nothing of huge parcels in East and West Oakland and the Coliseum area. 

But, even Oakland's rising economic tide is not lifting all boats. "It should create a lot more jobs. I should get hired at least. You know, I'm out here every day, trying to beat the pavement, you know, trying to find a job and I can't get it," said Oaklander Antonio Watt.

"You know. the investment is great. But, I hope with that investment also comes some consideration for investment in helping the poor people of out community as well," said Melanie Gravois.

What could slow the party down? A softening of renal prices is already underway. Add to that, higher interest rates could cause a lack of financing which has already delayed some project.
 

 

 

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