Oakland, CA

Oakland wins $14 million grant for housing, Lowrie returns to A's and Bay Area Commercial property market remains hot

Refugio Garcia

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Project Homekey awards Oakland $14 million for homeless housing

The office of California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced Oakland has been awarded a $14.8 million grant through Project Homekey to convert the Piedmont Place hotel into housing for unhoused area residents, East Bay Times reports.

The units in the Piedmont Place hotel will be converted to 44 studios apartments, one two-bedroom unit and one additional studio apartment for a property manager.

“Homekey is providing thousands of individuals with the supportive services they need and a safe place to call home,” Newsom wrote a news release issued Wednesday. “We are continuing to act with urgency to fund quality Homekey projects, because that’s exactly what the moment demands – swift, decisive action to assist the most vulnerable Californians.”

Newsom also announced 10 other projects, including one in San Francisco and several others across California, valued at $136.6 million.

Project homekey was first launched in 2020 to assist California cities in transforming various unused structures into housing. Newsom poured an additional $2.75 billion into the program last year with $200 million of those funds earmarked for Bay Area projects.

Oakland welcomes Jed Lowrie back in free agency

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Jed Lowrie has returned to Oakland in free agency this week, rejoining his 2013, 2014 Oakland playoffs teammate, Stephen Vogt, East Bay Times reports.

“That’s one of my favorite teammates of all time,” Lowrie said in an interview with MLB.com. “Getting the opportunity to play with him again is exciting.”

Lowrie wasted no time pitching himself for second base to coach and former Red Sox teammate Mark Kotsay. “I asked them to keep an open mind, because I’m moving well,” Lowrie told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara.

However, Lowrie was rated as one of the worst fielders in that position last season, having only made three errors and finishing eight runs below average in Baseball Reference’s total fielding metric.

The acquisition of Vogt and Lowrie adds a veteran presence to the team after Oakland traded All-Stars Chris Bassitt, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman for prospects as the A’s look to rebuild this season. The Vogt and Lowrie now have less than two weeks to get ready before for opening day.

Commercial space in East Bay bought by East Coast real estate firm

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Berkeley retail space located at 1000 Gilman St. and the Alamo Plaza Shopping Center in the Contra Costa County town of Alamo have been purchased by South Carolina-based property investment and development firm Edens, East Bay Times reports.

The retail centers were purchased for a combined total of $293.7 million. The deal also includes a third retail space at Village Oaks Shopping Center located at 5670 Cottle Road in South San Jose where the investment firm purchased a portion of the South Bay retail property.

All three properties were sold by Orange County-based Donahue Schriber Realty Group.

The recent purchase adds to an ongoing slew of Bay Area commercial property acquisitions, indicating that Bay Area commercial real estate market remains hot despite uncertainties drawn by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alamo Plaza Shopping Center, located at the corner of Stone Valley Road and Danville Boulevard, was sold for $135.5 million, according to records filed with the Contra Costa County Recorder's office.

Edens purchased the Village Oaks retail center in San Jose for $115.1 million, according to documents filed with the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office.

The Berkeley retail space was bought for $43.1 million and includes the Whole Foods market on Gilman Street, according to records from Alameda County.

“Our West Coast expansion is a pivotal milestone for Edens and the next step toward building a pipeline of future opportunities,” said chief investment officer for Edens, Jami Passer.

Edens noted that the Bay Area property acquisitions marked the firm’s nationwide expansion. “We have arrived on the West Coast in a meaningful way,” Passer added.

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