Exclusive: A 102-year-old East Oakland warehouse has been reborn as offices and artist studios

The project is one of East Oakland’s biggest in years.

The property at 2744 E. 11th St. opened in 1916 as a cannery for H.G. Prince, a company that invented a method to remove pits from fruits – a fitting use in a neighborhood once known for its orchards. Decades later, Lucasey Manufacturing Corp., a maker of television mounts, bought the building and stored products there, part of the blue-collar industry of Oakland.

Another transformation will happen next month, when the building reopens as more than 100,000 square feet of offices, industrial and artist space called Artthaus Studios.

The project will be one of the largest new developments in East Oakland. It is the largest source of modern, renovated artist and maker space in the area, said Riaz Taplin, CEO of Riaz Capital, the project’s developer, general contractor and designer.

“Oakland has really taken this new role within the Bay Area as the home of the creative community. So creating a building to accelerate the innovation of those types of businesses and people and creators and artists was the goal in creating Artthaus Studios,” said Taplin.

Taplin believes the project provides three benefits for smaller businesses and creative companies: It creates collaboration by concentrating various businesses in the same building, it provides a new facility near a BART station and it’s relatively affordable for new space.

“We wanted to tailor the spaces to be for small, young businesses — entrepreneurial, small businesses, ideally in the creative industries,” said Taplin. “We wanted to create an environment, which made them competitive. We want to make it easy to collaborate. We wanted to make it easy for them to seek out customers.”

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