Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oakland Business in the News

Think a new ballpark at Victory Court won't help redevelop the areas around Jack London Square, Chinatown and the Laney College area?

Just look at how the wild success of the Fox Theater in Uptown has drawn new bars, restaurants and condos. Now add business recruitment -- with a big assist from Mayor Jean Quan -- to the mix. Mayor Quan and Oakland officials have successfully recruited Gateway Bank to move its headquarters, and 65 jobs, to Oakland's Uptown District.

Speaking of business recruitment, Quan was in San Francisco recently with the goal of luring several of its tech companies over to Oakland. The meetings were set up by Oakland-based, which was doing a solid for its hometown. Would those tech companies relocate to the area around Victory Court and Laney College, which is in line for the city's plans for a redevelopment makeover?

Stay tuned.

Now, Oakland-based BrightSource Energy is in the news, as Google just pumped $168 million into the greentech company's solar energy power plant in the Mojave Desert. Maybe those predictions of a BrightSource IPO this year will happen.

Sungevity is another Oakland solar company that moved to Jack London Square last year.

We still remember a smart quote from Sungevity president Danny Kennedy when they made the move: "We're excited to be part of Oakland as it regenerates. This is a central location for the Bay Area talent pool that we want to draw from."

Kennedy also said of Jack London Square: "This is a tremendous location to continue our expansion."

The Oakland A's could easily be saying the same thing one day.

All of this underreported good news for Oakland illustrates that Oakland's corporate strength is a lot like the city itself: Underrated and underappreciated.

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