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Phil Matier: Oakland Mayor Lures San Francisco Tech Firms

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View of downtown Oakland from Lake Merritt (Wikipedia)

View of downtown Oakland from Lake Merritt (Wikipedia)

Phil-Matier_BIO-HEAD Phil Matier
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OAKLAND (KCBS) – Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is making it clear – she wants technology firms to consider abandoning San Francisco in favor of Oakland.

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Comments:


Quan went across the bay Friday to hold meetings with a number of San Francisco’s leading tech companies.

What can Quan tempt the firms with so they make the move? ” Well, for starters, tax breaks,” summed up KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier. “Unlike San Francisco, that has a payroll tax and possibly a tax on your IPOs when you go public, she’d be pitching that.”

“The other thing,” Matier added, “reduced rent over in Oakland. You can get a better break for it.”

Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said he is not concerned about Quan’s “flirtation” with San Francisco businesses. In fact, he said he’s been doing the same for years.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

“I’ve been luring companies from Silicon Valley all these years and Chuck Reed never told me to shove it,” Lee said. “So I’m not going to do that.”

Lee said with the tax break deal that has been brokered to keep Twitter in San Francisco, the future looks bright for businesses in San Francisco.

“I think this is a business world and people make business decisions,” he said. “I think we’re making better business decisions and business-welcoming decisions in San Francisco.”

Matier pointed out that the tech firms would have concerns about transitioning from San Francisco to Oakland.

“One of them was you’ve got a skilled workforce (in San Francisco), and how safe is (Oakland)?”

It was worth noting that Oakland is already home to a number of tech firms, though some tend to operate under the radar, so to speak.

“Yeah, one of the people who helped put the meeting together was Pandora. That’s one of the high tech sort of music radio services that’s out there,” Matier explained. “Yeah, they’ve got ‘em.”

Additionally, Matier pointed out that Quan wasn’t exactly breaking new ground.

“Jerry Brown, when he first got in as Mayor of Oakland, you know San Francisco was giving a lot of the loft builders a hard time because there were so many of them. So Jerry, he went over and invited them all to Oakland. He actually put them on a bus and drove them around the downtown, saying what do you want and where do you want it? And the result has been all those lofts that you see when you come in from Alameda. So it’s not new.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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