Oakland is cheaper than San Francisco and easy to commute to and from, argues GigaOm editor Tom Krazit, and despite its problems boasts a central location and a “vibrant” community. Krazit doesn’t oversell Oakland, in fact, he mentions it “isn’t exactly paradise.” However he does tout the culture, restaurants, weather and plenty of vacant commercial real estate.
The main commercial district of Oakland — which for the sake of this discussion we’ll consider the area roughly bordered by Jack London Square, Lake Merritt, I-980, and Grand Avenue — is already home to a few tech companies, including Pandora and whatever is left of Ask.com. But there are an awful lot of spaces that could accommodate a rapidly growing tech company, and a few places — like the old Sears store at Broadway and 20th right above BART — that used creatively could house much larger enterprises.
Krazit offers Oakland as a way to stop the tech sector polarization of San Francisco — mainly by moving it to Oakland.
While it is true that Oakland would benefit from more businesses, jobs and a bigger tax base, steeper real estate prices and rents may not benefit Oakland residents. At least one article, which appeared in the Guardian (U.K.) told about Oakland residents disliking techies setting up shop. In it, Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan said the city would absorb the new residents to the city even if they were “white people from the Midwest.”