Pandora Media Inc. first moved to Center 21 in 2009 and has grown regularly since – and since then, many other companies have followed in the wake. According to the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, the city’s 400+ tech establishments have grown by between 4%-10% per year over the past 5 years. Tech companies also pay some of the highest wages in the city, paying an average wage of nearly $100,000 per year. The following map gives a good idea of the general proximity of the tech base.
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce 2015
Last year, the tech heavyweight Uber, a privately held company reportedly valued at more than $50 billion, announced that it had purchased the historic sears building in downtown Oakland for 123.5 million. The company is also renovating its offices in San Francisco, but this purchase caused many others to take notice. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff spoke with Inside Bay Area about the relationship she wants tech companies to have with the city:
“We look at San Francisco as a cautionary tale,”
The kind of tech hub Oakland wants to be is one with a social conscience, she added. The mayor has touted the idea of “techquity.”
“I’m determined to do everything in my power to demonstrate that we can take this boom in Oakland and use it to lift up rather than push out our longtime vulnerable residents and our unique culture,” she said. At the same time, “cities are dynamic places, they are destined to change. I do not believe in building a wall around my city and preventing people from coming here.”
The former Sears building in Downtown Oakland
Could Oakland be the next big tech hub? Could ‘Techquity’ be what separates it from the story of San Francisco?