.Best Building Transformation

23rd Avenue Collective

The two-story building on 23rd Avenue in the San Antonio neighborhood of East Oakland houses eight low-cost housing units, four social-justice-oriented storefronts, and a community garden and playground in the backyard. Early last year, when the owner decided to sell, it might’ve meant the end for the longstanding community nexus. But the tenants rallied and, with the help of the Oakland Community Land Trust, purchased the building themselves, thereby insulating residents and businesses from the choppy tides of the rental market. The tenant-organizers describe their hard-earned acquisition as part of a larger campaign to impede land speculation and preserve culture in East Oakland.

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