Grocery stores can be more to neighborhoods than just convenient places to buy food. Through the traffic and activity that grocery stores often generate, they can be vital anchors to community development and the attraction of small businesses, mixed-use housing, public improvements and reinvestment in historically marginalized neighborhoods like West Oakland.
Our full-service food market and social hall will be located on the San Pablo Avenue Corridor (SPC), a 1.5-mile stretch of San Pablo Avenue in West Oakland that connects downtown Oakland to Emeryville. With over 9,000 residents, 13,000 daily vehicles and three major bus lines, the SPC is an important locus of the West Oakland community. Yet, while the SPC was once a thriving main street, it has fallen into decline and lost the majority of its neighborhood-serving businesses. There hasn’t been a full-service grocery store since the 1970’s.
Fortunately, there are numerous efforts, such as the San Pablo Area Revitalization Collaborative (SPARC), to re-envision and revitalize the SPC as a hub of small businesses, nonprofit services, mixed-use housing, and pedestrian and transit friendly environments that support the health and wellbeing of residents. We have been engaging with residents and community organizations around the role that our community market, as the first larger business on the SPC in a long time, can play as an anchor to community development and long-lasting transformation in West Oakland.
We’re excited to play an even bigger role and have an even bigger impact in West Oakland. A central value of our business is to build community. Now we’re moving toward literally building community. With Food and Groceries of course. But also with Bricks and Concrete. All of which are key ingredients to building community.