Revival of Jack London Square portends positive real estate developments in Oakland
Jack London Square, a prominent part of downtown Oakland, is currently undergoing a substantial revival that is enhancing the city's reputation and could portend positive developments for the real estate market in the city. With an improved downtown area, coupled with an abundance of available houses for sale in Oakland, the Bay Area - and California as a whole - could be in the midst of a substantial real estate rebound.
Part of the city's transformation has to do with the revival of the iconic Jack London Square. According to the Silicon Valley Mercury News, Jack London Square is currently undergoing a $400 million renovation that could see a spate of new restaurants, entertainment and retail outlets, offices, hotels and residences arrive in the downtown waterfront area. The development project is currently being overseen by Ellis Partners, which was founded by Jim Ellis along with his sister Melinda Ellis Evers and their father Hal Ellis.
"I saw what happened with City Center and how transformational development could be for downtown Oakland," Jim Ellis told the news source. "That really inspired me. The idea is to make this a 24/7, vibrant district. You need it to have weekday and daytime workers. You need people living here. We want it to be active all the time. We want this place to be a destination."
One of the biggest upgrades is the deluge of upscale new restaurants that have chosen to make Jack London their home. The focus on these restaurants have been part of Ellis' efforts to turn Oakland into a "regional dining district," the news source reports. Bocanova, Hahn's Hibachi, Miss Pearl's Restaurant and Lounge and Haven are just some of the establishments that will help spruce up the waterfront area and make it a desirable location.
One demographic segment that the revival of Jack London Square could appeal to is the increasingly large group of young, working professionals in the region. Economist have targeted a growing number of "household formations" as being a prime indicator that the Bay Area region - and the country at large - is climbing out of a struggling real estate market. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, household formation - when young people move out of their parents' homes or living situations with roommates to establish their own households - can lead to the raft of available houses for sale being snapped up by potential new homeowners.
"It's a signal that confidence is coming back," Robert Denk, a senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders, told the news source. "People are getting more secure in what they think the future will be. Young people are moving out of their parents' homes or giving up their college roommates to set up their own houses."
As young people look to move into new homes, downtown areas - and accessibility to these areas - such as Jack London Square will continue to be popular draws. Young homeowners typically prioritize factors such as convenient commutes to work, accessibility to and from friends and entertainment options. Being in a convenient downtown location has naturally made Jack London Square a hotbed for young professionals. Its burgeoning reputation as a regional dining district and a bustling and happening location will only strengthen with the continued developments overseen by Ellis Partners.