Plans to raze the shuttered North Oakland restaurant building at 5817 Shattuck Avenue, out of which Dorsey’s Locker had long served soul food before a brief stint as Blue Bay Bar & Grill, have been drawn.

And if approved next week, a nine-unit apartment building designed by Larson Shores Architecture for Diller Capital will rise up to three stories in height across the site, with parking for nine cars in a central garage/court on the ground floor.

29 thoughts on “New Housing to Rise on Longtime North Oakland Restaurant Site”
  1. That’s a big improvement for that parcel and for that part of Shattuck. Dorsey’s Locker had some serious crime issues back in the 80’s. There was a triple homicide in the that building. This is another great addition to the 3500 units of housing currently under construction in Oakland. Keep the development coming. Oakland is booming right now.

    1. Correction: The building was called Bosn’s Locker back in 1992 when a gun man sprayed the inside of the restaurant and killed two people while wounding 7 others. Great to hear that this place will soon be transformed into something very positive for the neighborhood.

    1. Oakland is more than making up for the slow pace of building in previous years with the current building boom. We have to blame the developers who over looked and marginalized Oakland for years. They have finally realized that Oakland is a true jewel for the Bay Area.

      1. Don’t blame developers or a perceived slight. For the most part, projects in Oakland simply didn’t pencil as the market rents, pricing and projected growth didn’t support the investment or required returns.

        1. The question then becomes why didn’t things “pencil out” in Oakland but did so in surrounding cities?

          1. Because the market deemed the surrounding cities more desirable, which resulted in higher rents and prices while the cost of construction is relatively the same.

    2. I’m not sure who is the “they” you are referring to – whether it’s developers who avoid Oakland (sometimes quite understandably b/c of incidents like Mr. Gonsalves described) or somehow the citizens themselves – but anyway: yes there’s a lot of development going up, about 500 units along 51st alone, much of which has been described on SS over the past 18 mos.

      1. I can name equally disicable crime incidents for San Francisco. Let’s not pretend that developers don’t build in crime plagued areas of SF.

      2. Frankly, SS is under playing the current magnitude of development in Oakland. Very little coverage of the almost daily development proposals and approvals in Oakland in favor of much smaller private residential developments or sales in SF.

          1. And not just any part of North Oakland, but a “crime plagued” part as well.

            But all of this banter is missing the real point: the reason things (allegedly) don’t “pencil out” isn’t because rents/selling prices are low in Oakland – au contraire they’re among the highest in the country – it’s b/c the costs of building are so absurdly high. And the main reason they’re absurdly high – disregarding for a moment the (not unimportant) issues of labor market flexibility – is because unsustainable prices in SF have bid them up to those levels; SF’s gift to the Bay Area has been an unrealistic concentration of building there, which is likely to lead to a glut, and and thus an unrealistic lack of building elsewhere.

          2. You make a very good point. The banks and developers have all been in SF to the exclusion of Oakland and other places.

    3. Don’t blame the developers. They are doing their job, trying to maximize profits. Blame the economics. Oakland and SF cost the same to build, but units sell for half the price. Thus, limited construction.

      1. Isn’t the price of land in SF 2x that of land in Oakland? Also, newer construction in Oakland rents for a premium. 1bd room units in newer buildings downtown, Uptown, Lake Merritt, JLS all go for over $3,000 per month. The developers and banks were red lining Oakland for decades.

        1. …newer construction in Oakland rents for a premium. 1bd room units in newer buildings downtown, Uptown, Lake Merritt, JLS all go for over $3,000 per month.

          And that’s exactly why you’re seeing the investment today versus decades ago when that wasn’t the case and the spread between Oakland and San Francisco rents was higher while the cost of construction was relatively the same.

          1. Gonsalves is right. All this talk of “economics” and “profits” and “viable investment opportunity” are terms of the privileged to justify their racism against POC in Oakland. To say that the recent pace of development in Oakland is in any way related to commercial reality is pure ignorance.

          2. Whoa, reality check here: wasn’t the differential historically – i.e. “decades ago” – LESS than it’s been recently? (pp29)…it’s only been recently/boom times that the spread has gotten crazy….which is consistent w/why, for example, one saw a lot of office building development in DO in the 80’s/early 90’s but not so much recently

          3. What has changed in Oakland to make it “desirable” now, as apposed to 20 years ago? Things seem to have “penciled out” for a while when Jerry Brown was Mayor. After Jerry left, all residential and commercial office construction was in S.F. Now things are finally “penciling out” again.

          4. You’re not going to like the answer, but it’s the spillover effect from the boom in San Francisco and the relative value between the two, with a tipping point – and perhaps long-term critical mass (as you note, Oakland has boomed before) – thanks to commercial operations (office, restaurant and retail) and investors looking for better values and returns.

          5. San Francisco was infused with foreign capital which inflated rents, thereby ending development in Oakland. Now that foreign investment has slowed in SF, there isn’t enough local income to support the artificially created astronomical prices and inventory in San Francisco. This is why development is now shifting to less expensive housing in Oakland. There’s a much larger pool of buyers and renters in the Bay Area who can afford the prices of new construction in Oakland.

          6. Jon, is also correct. The real estate development money that didn’t flow to Oakland 15 years ago, but did leap frog Oakland to Walnut Creek, is now coming to Oakland. Demographics in Oakland have changed and that’s one of the reasons for the new “desirability” and investment from banks and developers.

          7. We’d be willing to be bet that Jon was being sarcastic. Regardless, any idea what’s driving the demographic change in Oakland?

          8. Yes, people from throughout the Bay Area little by little “discovered” Oakland and realize that the ugly narrative which had been created by the dominant SF centric media was not true.

            These folks realized that there was “a there, there,” the weather was awesome, the transportation great, the parkland is huge, the food can’t be beat, the airport is convenient, etc. They told friends that Oakland was nothing like what they had heard from the media and from some SF partisans. The rest is history and $3,000 per month 1bd apartments.

          9. Speaking as an ex-San Franciscan of 15+ years renting, now in Fruitvale the past several years, the “undiscovered gem” narrative for the major shift to Oakland is just pure and plain nonsense.

            Tens of thousands of educated, somewhat-moneyed people have descended on Oakland because they *had no other choice* to stay in the bay area. They were priced out of everywhere else. I would not willingly choose to live in a place whose basic core culture is a toxic mix of racial resentment, entitlement, and entrenched class resentment, poor vs. rich.

            Oakland may indeed finally *become* that diamond in the rough, but only through the sweat, tears, and CASH put into it by legions of keep-your-head-down-and-dont-look-the-locals-in-the-eye educated middle class folks toughing it out while the irretrievablely criminal elements and terminally poor sort themselves out to some other location.

          10. Some Guy, Oakland is one of the coolest cities in the United States right now. If you lived in S.F. for 15 years you must be aware of the horrible conditions in the Tenderloin and many areas south of Market Street not to mention areas in the Mission, Visitation Valley, and Hunters Point. Oakland has its problems in East Oakland and parts of West Oakland but it’s a great city with beautiful neighborhoods like Lake Merritt, Jack London Square, Uptown, Piedmont Avenue, Temescal, Rockridge, Claremont Hills, Montclair, Redwood Heights, Ridgemont, etc. Oakland is one of the most expensive cities in the United States to rent or to buy. The median home price is approaching $700,000 with an appreciation rate much greater than in SF and one of the highest in the United States over the last 5 years.

            People who move to Rockridge, Montclair, Piedmont Avenue, Temescal, Lake Merritt, Uptown, JLS, Crocker Highlands, Trestle Glen, Glenview, Claremont Hills, Ridgemont, etc. could all afford to live in San Francisco if they wanted to but they choose to live in Oakland. There are many many cities in the Bay Area where housing is less expensive than Oakland.

  2. This proposal does a nice job of increasing density while respecting the vernacular massing of the rest of it’s surroundings.

  3. Great to see this going up. The surrounding streets around Shattuck Ave in North Oakland have seen a major influx of young buyers, however Shattuck itself is still somewhat of an eye sore with graffiti and disrepair. There’s lots of opportunity for more development as there are really good transit options with AC Transit and MacArthur, Rockridge & Ashby BART. This is going to take time (5-10 years) but this development is a step in the right direction!

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