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Downtown Oakland Association

The Downtown Oakland Association fosters an environment where businesses thrive, art flourishes, and residents and visitors alike can enjoy all that downtown Oakland has to offer.

The Downtown Oakland Association is a Community Benefit District (CBD), which is revitalizing a 19-block area in the heart of Oakland, California by providing special benefit services such as district maintenance, safety and security management, and community and cultural enrichment. The District was formed following a vote of property owners in 2009 to support a voluntary property tax to fund these additional services over the next 10 years.

Our Mission

The Downtown Oakland Association
is a Community Benefit District (CBD) Management Corporation committed
to revitalizing Oakland's historic Downtown by maintaining cleanliness
and order in the public rights-of-way, improving district identity, fostering cultural opportunities, creating and maintaining new public spaces, and advocating on behalf of the district stakeholders.

The Downtown Oakland Community Benefit District is comprised of a 19-block area extending from 18th Street between Clay and Franklin to 8th Street between Franklin and Washington. Broadway runs through the center of the district. The District office is located at 388 19th Street in downtown Oakland.

In 2008, property owners in both Downtown Oakland and the Lake Merritt/Uptown districts voted by a margin of almost 8 to 1 to support a 10-year voluntary property tax to fund additional services to improve the quality of life in their respective communities. This led to the formation in March 2009 of two new community benefit districts: the Downtown Oakland Association and the Lake Merritt/Uptown District Association. The associations meet and function jointly. Services funded by the Districts include maintaining cleanliness and order in the public rights of way, improving district identity and advocating on behalf of the area property owners, business owners and residents.

Contact Us

Downtown Oakland Association
388 19th Street
Oakland, CA 94612

The District

Rotunda Building

The historic Rotunda Building was built in 1912. Designed by Charles Dickey, the Rotunda is still considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the City of Oakland. Renovated in 2000, the building has now been restored to its original beauty and also completely modernized.

This spectacular building with its 120 foot high, 5,000 square foot elliptical dome offers a breathtaking venue for you to host events of any kind. The grand staircase presents a natural stage for musicians, speakers, or a bride and groom. The gold trim and beautiful columns along with the fabulous terrazzo floor provide the finishing touches to this historic masterpiece. In the setting of the Rotunda Building, you and your guests will experience unparalleled ambience and service. When only the finest will do from start to finish, look no further for a venue. A wedding of a lifetime is created with commitment and passion. Our staff is detail oriented, ensuring memorable moments for both you and your guests.

The Cathedral Building

Located at the mouth of the Uptown district at the intersection of Broadway and Telegraph, the historic Cathedral Building is centrally located just footsteps away from the Fox Theater, the Paramount Theater, BART, and a slew of bars, restaurants and galleries.

The breathtaking structure, built in 1914, is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture. The Cathedral building was originally called the Federal building, but was renamed in 1989 because of it's church-like design. In 2005 Andrew Brog, of Brog Properties, purchased the Cathedral Building. In this live/work space each unit is modeled after a typical park avenue penthouse. Classic accents like crown moldings, marble floors and historical fixtures remain preserved. The building truly evokes the glamorous era in which it was built. Residents enjoy the benefit of living in a historic high-rise, while reaping the cosmopolitan nightlife that abounds on the streets below.

The Oakland Tribune Tower

The 21-story, 89,251 square foot Tribune Tower was designed by Edward T. Foulkes in the early 1920's as a home for the Oakland Tribune newspaper. The Tower was completed in 1923, and opened its doors on New Years Day in 1924.
The top floor of the tower housed radio station KLX from its opening until the station was sold in 1959. The station sale was to pay off debts incurred by Senator William F. Knowland's ill-fated 1958 run for California governor. The Oakland Tribune moved their offices to Jack London Square in 1989, following the Loma Prieta Earthquake. The Tribune Tower remained vacant for six years until 1995 when John Protopappas purchased the building for $300,000.
Protopappas' company, Madison Park Financial Corporation, renovated the Tower in the late 1990s and then resold to Edward B. Kislinger in 2006 for 15 million dollars. The Tower, currently occupied by the Tribune's parent company ANG, is now home to offices and condominiums. The Tribune Tower's historical clock continues to illuminate the downtown Oakland Skyline, as the building remains a symbol of both the newspaper and the city of Oakland.

Oakland Tribune Tower Wikipedia

Oakland City Center

Oakland City Center is an office, shopping, and hotel complex. The by-product of a redevelopment plan hatched in the late 1950's, it covers twelve city blocks between Broadway on the east, Martin Luther King Jr. Way on the west, 14th Street on the north, and extends south to the Oakland Convention Center and Marriott Hotel on 10th Street.

An hourly parking garage is located beneath the complex's shopping mall. The mall features an upscale fitness and racquet club, with limited evening hours, in addition to numerous take-out restaurants. The Plaza is also home to a series of summer outdoor concerts.

Downtown Events

New sights and sounds abound for those looking for distractions in Downtown Oakland. City Center Plaza is hosting an outdoor concert series, Summer Sounds, that begins in the spring and continues through the summer. Oakland's largest annual event, Art and Soul, boasts eleven stages with world-famous acts and over 250 vendors. The annual Black Cowboy Parade, which travels down Broadway, draws large crowds of enthusiasts, and is the only event of its kind in the country.

A large selection of bars and lounges are helping Downtown Oakland re-emerge as the Center of East Bay nightlife. Café Van Kleef offers live music amongst eye-catching decor and mouth-watering libations. For art enthusiasts, galleries are sprinkled throughout the Downtown district. Just footsteps away from Downtown, Lake Merritt/Uptown is home to the East Bay's prime concert venues- the Fox Theater and the Paramount Theater.

Ambassador Program

Perhaps the most visible part of the Downtown Oakland Association are our Ambassadors.
You might have seen them in their bright orange shirts and coats.

The Downtown Oakland Association has contracts with Block-by-Block , a national provider of security services, and Oakland-based non-profit Peralta Services Corporation to assist in maintenance efforts that improve the overall look of the district. These contracts have resulted in the creation of more than two dozen permanent jobs in the District. The District also supports an internship program which provides summer jobs, sometimes leading to full time employment for young ambassadors.

On a typical day Safety Ambassadors tour the district during business hours Monday through Wednesday from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Saturday from 12:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. with additional coverage for special events within and around the district. Saferty Ambassadors are skilled at resolving minor incidents and they keep an eye out for more serious issues, which they quickly report to local law enforcement. Safety Ambassadors serve as a direct liaison to the Oakland Police Department and their presence alone thwarts crime and enhances public safety.

While Saferty Ambassadors make sure that the districts are friendly and safe, Maintenance Ambassadors work diligently to create a clean and welcoming environment. Sidewalk pressure washing, sweeping, recycling and trash management and graffiti removal are some of the ways that Maintenance Ambassadors work to improve the district. Maintenance Ambassadors work on beautification projects from 7:00 am until 3:30pm Monday through Saturday. All Ambassadors are trained in customer service skills and are instructed to get to know property owners, employees and merchants. Ambassadors act as a source of information to the public by offering assistance, answering questions, and providing directions.


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