Uptown Housing Complex Opens Tomorrow

The gated community near the Fox Theater, pushed by Jerry Brown and the developer Forest City and financed with at least $54 million from the Oakland Redevelopment Agency, will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow. Once upon a time, the neighborhood was a run-down collection of auto body shops that turned empty and spooky at night, and Brown set out to kick-start the revitalization of downtown Oakland by replacing the chop shops with middle-class housing. A few years later, that’s what he’s got, although one of the key elements of revitalizing any neighborhood is making sure there’s life on the streets, and we don’t see how building a complex that looks inward helps that. Still, in-fill housing is always nice, the joint’s about a block from BART, and the complex is just about filled up. As the Oakland Tribune notes, 60 percent of the employees on the construction site were Oakland residents, so that’s a plus as well. But even so: $1,448 a month for a studio apartment? Honest, who’s gonna pay that?

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