OAKLAND (CBS SF) – It appears that Oakland’s ever-growing food scene is about to get a brand new foodie haven that would rival San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Napa’s Oxbow Public Market.
According to the Bay Area News Group, the developers behind both Oxbow and the Ferry Building have signed a lease with Jack London Square Ventures and Ellis Partners, in partnership with the Port of Oakland, to open the Water Street Market sometime in the fall of 2016.READ MORE: San Jose Arts Committee Votes to Remove Controversial Statue of Thomas Fallon
Developer Steve Carlin said there will be similarities to Oxbow and the Ferry Building, but Water Street will have a more East Bay feel. He plans to work with vendors in the region and also collaborate with the events and festivals already held at Jack London Square, like the Eat Real Festival.
The 32,000 square foot space sits in a mixed use building, and has been virtually empty for years. Offices that have already been leased are upstairs, and according to Will Miller, a partner with Ellis Partners, the leasing agent for the project, the plan was always to bring an artisan food market to the downstairs area.
“Oakland has very much its own food scene. It has been exploding. It has its own food movement that is very different from what’s going on in the rest of the Bay Area,” Miller said.READ MORE: Multiple Earthquakes Rattle Sierra Nevada Near Truckee Thursday Night
Jack London Square has already undergone a massive transformation, as many chain restaurants and stores have been replaced by locally-owned businesses, something Miller only sees continuing.
“I guess if I were to sum it up in one word, it would be the passion in Oakland for this movement. As you mentioned, Linden Street Brewery will literally deliver [kegs] on a bike. You don’t see that around the Bay Area. Cutting edge food products that are going on in Oakland are something to celebrate,” he said.
Several new restaurants have opened at Jack London Square in the past two years, including Plank, a beer garden that also has an 18-lane bowling alley, Forge Pizza, Lungomare, and Jack’s Oyster Bar & Fish House.MORE NEWS: Pandemic Weight Problems, Eating Disorders Affect Children
Two other previous attempts to find tenants for the space, to bring a public marketplace to the area, have failed.