Oakland is known nationwide as a diverse, creative, authentic city with voices from around the world contributing to a unique and thriving economy. We are the geographic center of the Bay Area and a major transit hub. With eight BART stations - the most of any Bay Area city - Oakland is served by all BART lines. With the opening of BART’s direct service to Oakland International Airport, you can get to downtown San Francisco faster by flying into our airport. Oakland is home to the 5th busiest port in the country.
The New York Times recently ranked Oakland as the 5th most desirable destination to visit. The City is buzzing with art, culture and cuisine unique to America’s most diverse populace. Read more about what people are saying about Oakland here.
Whether you're building a single-family house, a new office building or a 200-unit housing development, City staff is here to assist you in every step of your investment in Oakland. The Department of Planning and Building will work to move your proposed project through the approval process in a timely fashion, while ensuring the safety of Oaklanders by enforcing the current zoning and building codes.
In the last few months, the City Council has approved four Specific Plans for key areas of Oakland where the City would like to see growth, including Broadway Valdez, Lake Merritt/Chinatown, West Oakland and the Central Estuary.
These plans define a clear vision for these neighborhoods. Development projects consistent with the Plans benefit from a streamlined entitlement process, relying on the approved EIRs for these Plans for faster approvals.
All told, these Specific Plans call for nearly 20,000 new housing units and more than two million square feet of new retail.