Oakland is shedding its old reputation as a city once plagued with crime, and developers and investors are scrambling to secure a foothold.
Thousands of units of housing are in the works and more people want to live here.
“We’re like the girl in middle school who just got her braces off,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said during a Bisnow event Tuesday. “We’ve always been cute, but suddenly everyone’s noticed us. … Oakland is hot.”
While Oakland still has more work to do, the city is safer than it once was, she said. Over the last five years, shootings have been reduced by 50%, armed robberies are down 55% and home burglaries are down 61%, according to Schaaf. She said Oakland is no longer on the top 10 list of most dangerous cities.
Despite the city’s growth, increased homelessness could undo some of the city’s progress.
“There’s something about how we develop housing that has not figured out how to adjust quickly to population shifts,” Schaaf said. “That’s not just an Oakland problem. That’s an international problem.”