In Case You Missed It...

Below are the top Oakland development stories for the week of Oct. 16, 2017:

Fire crews fight two-alarm blaze near Oakland Zoo
Published by the Mercury News on Oct. 15, 2017
OAKLAND — Fire crews fought a two-alarm blaze Sunday near the Oakland Zoo that was expected to keep them there until Monday morning, an Oakland Fire Department official said.

Oakland hills firestorm survivors to North Bay: ‘You’re not alone.’
Published by the East Bay Times on Oct. 15, 2017
OAKLAND — Except for the mailbox, there was nothing to identify the home Risa Nye had known for the past seven years. Blackened box springs and the skeletal remains of appliances protruded from the still smoldering rubble, even though the fire had been extinguished two days earlier. Shaking, she looked at the chimney where she had hung Christmas stockings, breathed in the sulfur stink and felt sick to her stomach.

California Fires Leave Many Homeless Where Housing Was Already Scarce
Published by the New York Times on Oct. 15, 2017
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Nathalie and Michael Internicola had about 15 minutes to grab what they could as the flames roared toward their house, and it wasn’t much: Some clothes, passports, their phones. They are grateful to be alive, they said, but as for what comes next and how and where they might rebuild their lives, they don’t have a clue.

Town Crier: Precautions still ignored 26 years after hills firestorm
Published by the East Bay Times on Oct. 17, 2017
The horrific Napa and Sonoma fires remind us of our own Oakland hills firestorm 26 years ago this month. And sadly, it seems little has changed when it comes to lessons learned from our own disaster. Parked cars still hug the shoulders of narrow, winding roads, compromising the 14 feet needed for emergency vehicle access.

Unions keep fighting Oakland biggest for-sale housing proposal
Published by the San Francisco Business Times on Oct. 17, 2017
Construction unions are continuing their fight to block Oakland's largest for-sale housing proposal, calling for more stringent labor requirements.

Activists Hasten Oakland's Slow-Moving Plans to Permit Homeless Encampments 
Published by the East Bay Express on Oct. 18, 2017 
In December 2015, as Oakland's homeless crisis began to intensify, city councilmembers voted to declare a shelter crisis and ease regulations for sanctioned homeless encampments. But some councilmembers also worried aloud that it'd be a hollow gesture. Dan Kalb wanted a timeline. Desley Brooks noted that other cities attached affordable housing funds to similar declarations. "It expires one year from adoption," said Rebecca Kaplan. "So, I'm very concerned that it will take us a year to get a site identified, approved, funded, and opened — and then it will have to close."

Wednesday's Briefing: Unions Still Oppose Oakland Oak Knoll Project; Brown Open to Reducing Size of Tunnels Plan
Published by the East Bay Times on Oct. 18, 2017
 East Bay unions remain opposed to a plan to build 918 homes on the former Oak Knoll Naval Hospital property in the Oakland hills, because the proposal includes no guarantee of a project-labor agreement, reports Roland Li of the San Francisco Business Times$. The Oakland Planning Commission is scheduled to take up the Oak Knoll project proposal from developer SunCal tonight. SunCal has agreed to use union labor during the demolition phase of the project but not for the actual homebuilding.

Oakland To Turn Vacant Properties Into Affordable Housing
Published by the San Francisco Business Times on Oct. 18, 2017
Schaaf said, “Tax-defaulted properties are a major source of blight in Oakland, depressing neighborhood vitality while draining public resources. Our work with Alameda County and Hello Housing has unlocked a unique tool to address our housing crisis and transform blighted lots into housing that is safe, healthy, and affordable for low-income residents.”

Opinion: Why We Plan to Develop on Vacant Land or Non-Residential Sites
Published by the East Bay Express on Oct. 18, 2017
As developers, my colleagues and I have had one primary goal: to build middle-class rental housing that is safe, nice, and affordably priced. In the past, with limited resources and experience, we had focused on solving the complex problems of existing distressed sites that no one else was interested in dealing with due to the severe risks involved. And after working on such sites, I can fully understand why so many buildings are left in poor condition for decades at a time. 

Wildfires take toll on precious California housing
Published by InMan on Oct. 18, 2017
Housing in beautiful wine country was already scarce before flames ravaged 245,000 acres across Northern California and burned down 5,700 structures in their path. According to a new report from Pacific Union International, real estate agents in the region are already witnessing the effects of heightened demand.

Housing economist poses the big question: Will the Bay Area bubble burst?
Published by the Mercury News on Oct. 19, 2017
That was the question posed Thursday by economist Lawrence Yun at the 27th Annual Convention and Expo of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors. He gave himself an out — as in, what if Facebook and the whole tech sector were to unexpectedly tank? Were that to happen, if corporate hiring were to take a dive, anything goes.
Bay Area cities join together in bid for Amazon headquarters
Published by the Mercury News on Oct. 19, 2017
A coalition of Bay Area cities is bidding to bring Amazon’s second corporate headquarters to the region.
Oakland developer eyes longterm improvements for Havenscourt neighborhood
Published by East Bay Times on Oct.20, 2017
OAKLAND — Tizta and Akram Dallaq dreamed of two things before opening the Dallaq Market in 2014 in East Oakland’s Havenscourt neighborhood: owning their own business, and contributing to the community’s overall health.
Bay Area metro areas rank among nation’s best in analysis of local economies
Published by the San Francisco Business Times on Oct. 20, 2017
The San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area takes third place in a new analysis of how U.S. cities are doing economically, while the San Jose area was close behind in fifth place.