Aug 012014

“Pick of the Week” is a home I’ve recently toured in person which I believe makes for a great buy based on its status as a Great Home Design in a Great Location for a Great Price!

My, my… West Oakland! There’s really so much to this part of the ever-evolving Oakland story. Once the premier destination for R&B musical acts on 7th St such as Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Al Green and known as the “Harlem of the West”, this area reached a plateau that many locals believe disintegrated with the construction of the freeway overpasses and the elevated tracks for BART running right down 7th Street 40 years ago. Others say it was the 1989 earthquake that left the crumbled freeway in that area which they believe sounded the death knell for the neighborhood where people and businesses left one by one. But now, there is a new story going on in West Oakland, one where the struggle seems to be one between those who took up residence there during this arguably run-down time and those who see it as an unusually compelling locale for development: Just one BART stop from downtown San Francisco, with lots of gorgeous Victorians dotting the neighborhood and with industrial spaces available to convert to lofts and apartments, in a region where rents are truly sky high. Anyone interested in purchasing property in West Oakland should do their diligence and learn about the West Oakland Specific Plan (WOSP), as it’s the city’s earnest attempt to acknowledge the competing interests in this slice of land where developers are licking their chops for zoning changes that benefit their plans and where historical residents are clinging to one of the few somewhat affordable places to live in the bay area. There are competing visions that condemn gentrification’s pernicious effects on neighborhoods and others who proclaim tens of thousands of jobs could be generated with some of the development ideas presented. And while at press time this plan is still being negotiated by those whose interests are most affected, there is obviously a lot of speculation going on in West Oakland already in advance of whatever major redevelopment plans may end up coming down the pike.

And indeed, this week’s pick is one where speculation lead to action. Aside from the obvious, that it’s a Victorian with period details such as 12-foot ceilings and ornate trim, this home has the elements of design, location and price that combine to make a great Pick of the Week! It’s really two homes in one, as the lower level has been finished off with a kitchen and bath making it an entire separate unit in the home which can ultimately turn into a rental or an in-law, or maybe just a great recreation room for the new owner. Upstairs is a nicely appointed 2-bedroom/1-bath with plenty of living space of its own. Out back is a fair amount of yard space just waiting for a bit of landscape design, and on the street level is a one-car attached garage that will definitely come in handy for most any type of vehicle the urbanite calls his transportation. City accessibilty by a quick bike ride to West Oakland BART,  or to Uptown’s restaurants and night life, or to the Bay Bridge’s walking path to Treasure Island, this area will no doubt continue to develop as a bicyclist’s haven. By car, you’re just minutes to the freeways to San Francisco and the Peninsula, or just go by surface streets to Berkeley. EVERYTHING is close from West Oakland, and your transit options are many. There are a lot of interested parties hoping to be part of the new story of West Oakland, and this home’s new owner will have a prime opportunity to get involved. And at this price, it’s potentially a chance to get in on something big. Well worth checking out, so please contact me for a private showing if you’re interested.

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