Bringing New Life to an Old Entertainment District
The Uptown District concept plan uses mixed-use development as a catalyst to bring vitality back to one of Oakland’s retail and entertainment districts. Though well-served by transit, within walking distance of downtown’s employment center, and located adjacent to the newly-renovated Civic Center, Uptown had until recently been a rundown and underutilized area of Oakland characterized by surface parking lots and vacant buildings.
To activate the community within Uptown, the 42-acre concept plan introduced a much-needed residential component adding over 2,300 housing units in an area with a high housing demand. This residential development added:
- 1,100 mid-rise apartments
- 900 high-rise condominiums
- 350 off-campus dorms for University of California, Berkeley students
A key goal of this plan was the economic revitalization of downtown and the stimulus of local small business that was supported with the addition of 150,000 square feet of new and refurbished retail/commercial space to Telegraph Avenue. This plan resulted in a 24-hour community that improved neighborhood safety and spurred retail and entertainment activity on Telegraph Avenue and Broadway.
Walkable Entertainment District
Many historically significant landmark buildings remain in the Uptown District to preserve the character of the community and were intentionally enhanced within the streetscape as a reminder of the vibrant downtown history of Telegraph Avenue and Broadway. The revived Broadway Entertainment District features renovated movie palaces from the 1930s and a skating rink. A new plaza with outdoor cafes and a performance space creates a vibrant public space for the entire community and leads to the nearby Bay Area Rapid Transit station. Pedestrian-friendly streets are further enriched with storefronts on Telegraph Avenue while stoops and narrow setbacks on other streets allow for walkability and ease of access to the Civic Center and employment sector.
The Uptown District plan brings residential and commercial vitality back to downtown Oakland for a human-scaled and walkable community. It represents a thriving and equitable downtown where residents can live, work, and play, paying tribute to the history of Telegraph and Broadway Avenue.