Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center

Oakland’s City Council has picked Orton Development’s proposal for renovating and redeveloping the city’s long-shuttered 215,000-square-foot Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center across from Lake Merritt and the City will now enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement for the project.

Orton’s plans include a renovation of the center’s Calvin Simmons Theatre and the redevelopment of the center’s 140,000-square-foot arena space with a mix of primarily private uses, including a restaurant hall and office space.

In selecting Orton, the City Council rejected a competing proposal and procedural challenge from Creative Development Partners which would have maintained the center’s arena space for events and activities but includes the development of an adjacent 280-room hotel dubbed “One Lake Merrit.”

5 thoughts on “Developer Picked For Oakland’s Shuttered Convention Center Project”
  1. Taking this public building and using it for primarily private purposes?

    That’s disappointing, especially since the dedication on the Lake Merritt side says that the building is “dedicated by the citizens to the intellectual and industrial progress of the people.”

  2. I’ve noticed a number of close by non penthouse units @ 1 Lakeside & 492 Staten break through to the $1MM ceiling which really is an indication of how the hood is changing.

  3. Another giveaway of public assets for private uses. And in this case, its not even for housing. The Orton plan calls for turning it into a high-end office building (that is, tech company offices) with the “public” use on the ground floor being a high-end brewpub. Because that is exactly what Oaklands needs – rich techies & fancy breweries/bars.

    Orton also had the temerity to say that the area needs a rebranding and they call it “South Lake” district in their materials. Total insult to the actual people who live in the area.

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