So you wanna help plan Auto Row?

May 8, 2009

Among the many tidbits presented at last night’s kick-off meeting for the Auto Row/Upper Broadway Specific Plan to revitalize the stretch of Broadway between Grand and West MacArthur was the full project schedule for the next year and a half. So mark your calendars now and get ready for some meetings! (I’ll write more on the meeting itself when I have a few minutes, though it was primarily a visioning session.) Hopefully you don’t have any standing Thursday conflicts—it’s a little irritating to see every meeting on the same day of the week and every meeting starting at 6 pm, which is a bit on the early side for folks with jobs that run beyond 9 to 5….but what can y’do. At least they’re publicizing them in advance! (And we did get a postcard this time around, which was nice.)

All meetings will be held at the First Presbyterian Church at 2619 Broadway (at 27th) from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Thursday, May 7, 2009: Vision & Goals

Thursday, July 9, 2009: Existing Conditions & Market Demand Report

Thursday, August 20, 2009: Project Alternatives

Thursday, November 19 December 10 January 28, 2010: Project Alternatives

Spring 2010: Preferred Concept

Summer 2010: Design Guidelines

Late Fall 2010: Specific Plan



  1. Unfortunately, I was a little late for it so I missed the part where they passed around the bong. But judging from the way people were behaving, it “musta been good shit, mon!”. Two questions: what kind of weed was it and where can I get some?! No mention of a few small details, like that the economy collapsed, the city of oakland also collapsed financially, the environment is in deep crisis, there is no credit, and on-and-on. I guess that people believe in Obama’s freshly printed bills with no economic backing whatsoever.
    The real question is where are they going to put the soup kitchens and shelters for the masses who can’t afford those condos?

  2. Actually, there was a good bit of discussion of both the down economy and the need for services for the homeless, among other things! Our table also brought up the need for both rental and ownership opportunities, which is an important piece of the puzzle. More on that later, though.

    It’s also worth noting that this is a specific plan, which is a long-range planning document that you put together once a generation (if that). Down economies are actually the best time to do this kind of planning—there are fewer development pressures so there’s no sense that you’re “missing the boat” by not approving development fast enough. I actually think the recession, coupled with the growing climate concerns, make this a pretty opportune time to put together a plan for this particular area, given that the two combined may prove to be the death knoll for the auto industry as we know it —just a few years ago, this would have been an entirely different vision.

  3. For sure, I remember Jerry touting the auto industry and talking about expanding auto row all the way to 51st as well as the old army base. But savy people knew that the auto industry was toast and that unreal estate was high up in a classic bubble, far outstripping the incomes that sustain those prices. Likewise, these assumptions are both false: that the economy will turn around soon and that retail will be a healthy organizing principle for a society. Energy will never be cheap again, core resources will never be abundant again, the climate will never be stable again, etc. We need localization, sustainability, and strong community (not things) as an organizing principle. People must invest their energy in human relationships not material objects. There is no other choice at this point. There is an eloquent animation that gets into this: http://www.storyofstuff.com/

  4. Dave O, you are living in a self absorbed pessimistic fantasy world. There are many more choices in life, politics, and business than you can imagine. Things are sometimes bad, and sometimes good. Deal with it.

  5. Love the “Story of Stuff”. Obviously, Dennis Mennis has never taken the 20 minutes required to watch it. Not as fun to post when you have to deal with facts, I suppose.

  6. Mennis, you are the one indulging in fantasy. If you ever decide to pull your head out of the sand, also check out: http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse
    This is the definitive statement on economic reality.

  7. I don’t moderate comments except to check for spammers and ads, but please avoid the ad hominem attacks, or I will have to start doing so—thanks.

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