Presenting Seven (7) research based Analytical Essays covering various community matters such as theory, crime, redevelopment, business economic indicators, population demographics etc. All research was conducted in the spirit of the saying of the famous scientist George Washington Carver: "How Come and What For?"
Our area targeted for community economic development (55th Avenue east to the Oakland-San Leandro border) is currently under two City of Oakland Redevelopment plans: The Coliseum Redevelopment Plan (click on Figure 1) and the Central City East Redevelopment Plan (click on figure 2)
Redevelopment is designed to improve communities; therefore by nature it would be considered a positive for economically underdeveloped communities. The Kinte Center applauds the arrival of the Coliseum and Central City East Redevelopment Plans. However, the Kinte Center is gravely concerned that the area’s small local minority owned businesses might be adequately represented at the redevelopment table. This is bothersome because the City of Oakland redevelopment processes tend to look to "Attract" outside business to come into local communities to provide community-serving retail. The following extract from the Central City East Redevelopment Plan Blight Report clearly shows why the CityEast Community’s small local minority owned businesses should all be strongly represented at the Redevelopment table.
"The average size of retail buildings in the Project Area is 6,505 square feet compared to 17,193 square feet (post - 1980 construction) citywide. As a point of reference, a fast food restaurant requires approximately 1,800 square feet. In other words, most buildings are too small to accommodate anything besides small independent retailers. In addition, the potential for businesses to expand is limited by small parcel size". Plus: "The small size of the commercial buildings and lack of parking affects property values and limits the range of retailers that are willing to locate to the Project Area".
The suggested structural changes and implication for a need for larger retail business space and especially the reference to retailer's willingness to locate to the Project Area could conceivably bring into question the very continued existence and expansion of the community's small local minority owned businesses.. While multinational retailers would come in and set up businesses and provide the city with tax revenue, their profits would leave the community and thus negatively impact keeping the dollar in the community. The Kinte Center recommends that the CityEast Community work with the two redevelopment plans to attain a "First right of refusal" to provide the new and expanded community serving retail that will come with the ensuing redevelopment. The CityEast community must move quickly to develop a business improvement strategy to upgrade of the community’s small local minority owned businesses in order to demonstrate an ability to meet the community's present and future retail needs in the face of redevelopment.
As a point of reference of the possible affect of redevelopment on small local minority owned businesses please click on the menu button at the top of this page entitled “Historic 7th Street”.