Hoods

Featured:  Oakland Neighborhoods

  • Adams Point
  • Brooklyn Basin/Embarcadero
  • Crocker Highlands/Trestle Glen
  • Dimond
  • Downtown/Uptown/Old Oakland/Chinatown
  • Frick
  • Glenview
  • Grand Lake/Lake Merritt
  • Jack London
  • Lakeside
  • Maxwell Park
  • Millsmont/Mills Garden
  • Montclair
  • NOBE/North Oakland/Berkeley/Emeryville
  • Oakmore
  • Redwood Heights
  • Lower Rockridge
  • Upper Rockridge
  • Temescal
  • Laurel
  • West Oakland

Dazzling lake views, distinct architecture, and excellent public transportation make Lake Merritt and Adams Point two of Oakland‘s most sought-after residential addresses.

The name Adams Point comes from the name of one of Oakland’s early landowners, Edson Adams, who purchased 160 acres of wilderness property that would eventually become what is now a fully developed urban area populated by a host of condos, apartments, Craftsman and Mediterranean homes. The neighborhood of Adams Point is a triangle bounded by Grand Avenue on the south, Harrison Street on the northwest, and the MacArthur freeway on the northeast. Landmarks include the Veteran’s Memorial Building, the Earl Warren House on Vernon Street, the art deco Bellevue-Staten Building, Lakeside Park, and Children’s Fairyland, which is in the park.

The largest urban saltwater lake in the United States and one of the oldest federally established wildlife refuges, Lake Merritt is a 155-acre oasis surrounded by parks and outdoor attractions. Joggers and power-walkers charge along the shoreline path of the lake while crew teams, paddle boats and authentic gondolas glide across the water. At nightfall, the spectacular “Necklace of Lights” illuminates the 3.4-mile perimeter of the lake.

Nearby, residents of Adams Park real estate can enjoy trendy restaurants, jazz clubs and the historic Grand Lake Theater in the Grand Lake area. BART has several stops around the Lake Merritt area, and Interstates 80, 980, and 580 are all easily accessible.

Urban Waterfront Connections

Oakland has a new connection to its waterfront. Thoughtfully planned public parks, plazas, promenades and a new marina—Brooklyn Basin will combine the best of urban living with the splendors of life on the waterfront.

A Vibrant New District – Brooklyn Basin’s waterfront parks, lively street life and attractive residential living options will create a new destination in the heart of the Bay Area.

The Lifestyle

Brooklyn Basin will create a vibrant environment at the intersection of city life and sustainable living on the water. Public promenades with cafés, shops and restaurants will line the marina and a diverse network of waterfront parks and surrounding city offerings will round out the neighborhood.

Marina

The new marina will have space for 200 boat slips, providing residents and visitors with an abundance of watercraft recreation. Boat slips will accommodate various boat sizes, from yachts and motorboats to kayaks, and passers-by will be able to enjoy strolls on the boardwalks.

Parks

A continuous stretch of public parks and open spaces will line the waterfront, affirming the coastal character of the neighborhood. Within the Basin there will be five new parks and the revival of the existing Estuary Park. The parks – Shoreline, Gateway, Channel, Clinton Basin and South – will be unique environments with distinct features and water views. There will be playgrounds, bocce courts and ample green space as well as areas for larger public gatherings like open-air markets, concerts and festivals.

Retail

Welcoming shopping experiences will be a defining aspect of the lifestyle. Main Street is planned with 75,000 sq ft of inviting storefronts and Clinton Basin with 125,000 sq ft of waterfront retail space. An assortment of restaurants, galleries and specialty retailers will promote a lively, enjoyable street life and help to establish the area as a popular new destination in Oakland.

Residential

Residences are thoughtfully designed for livability and diversity in the spirit of Oakland. There will be more than 3,000 housing types including live-work lofts, townhomes and high rise apartments, accounting for the needs of a diverse demographic. The buildings themselves will be a dynamic composition of form and expression. Townhomes and live-work lofts will enhance an urban village aesthetic, while high rise towers will extend Oakland’s skyline, adding to the City’s character.

For more information, please visit www.brooklynbasin.com.

Directly south of the city of Piedmont and east of Downtown Oakland is the charming community of Crocker Highlands, also referred to as Trestle Glen. The remaining trestles that can be found in some of the homes here pay homage to the old commuter rail system that used to service many of our East Bay communities.Ideal for those who love the cozy comfort of traditional architecture and mature gardens, the woodsy glen of Crocker Highlands and Trestle Glen real estate has been described as a “Father Knows Best” neighborhood of the 21st century. One of Oakland‘s top elementary schools resides here as well.  Curving roads lined with greenery pass neighborhood parks and lead to a variety of Craftsman, Prairie, and Neo-Mediterranean style homes from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, many designed by famed architects Julia Morgan and Bernard Maybeck. In fact, many of Crocker Highlands’ residents belong to the Lakeshore Homes Association, the second oldest homeowners association west of the Mississippi. This group is still dedicated to preserving and increasing the “wonderful natural beauty of the property” and making sure that “no home can ever be damaged by any unsightly or undesirable structure upon adjacent property or in any section of the tract.”Nearby conveniences include a variety of retail including the lively shops and restaurants of the Grand Lake/Lakeshore area.

An American named Henderson Luelling planted the first cherry orchards, a German family named Rhoda owned the most land, but it was Hugh Dimond, a wealthy Irish businessman, who gave the district his name when he purchased the land and settled there in 1867.

The gently rolling terrain, the views of the Oakland hills, the pleasant weather and the easy access to downtown via the trolleys drew many settlers, including many Germans, to the area once known as Upper Fruitvale. By the 1890’s there were so many beer gardens along the streets of Fruitvale and MacArthur that the district could have passed for a town in Germany. Visitors from San Francisco came by ferry to pick cherries, drink beer in the summer sun and enjoy the hospitality of a number of resorts including the fanciest of the bunch, the Hermitage, which boasted dancing girls and an authentic French chef.

Soon after the turn of the 19th century the Dimond district was annexed to Oakland and the area grew exponentially. The beer gardens were either closed by prohibition or replaced by bakeries, feed stores, banks and other businesses. Every October the people of Dimond now pay tribute to this history with an Oaktoberfest that celebrates the Dimond beer gardens of times past.

The Dimond is a district on the upswing. Its local improvement association rallies to a resounding motto: involvement builds community. The friendly and well-organized community has attracted many businesses such as Farmer Joe’s (a locally owned market not to be confused with the chain Trader Joe’s), La Farine Bakery, Nama SushiShaan Indian Restaurant, Two Star Market, and Paws & Claws Natural Pet Food Store (fun to check out on Halloween when they put on a Howl-O-Ween Parade for dogs).

The residents of Dimond’s real estate have also rallied to save its local post office branch, have a derelict motel replaced with a modern senior housing facility, and has an active litter patrol of volunteers, fueled by donations from Peet’s and LaFarine, that regularly scour the area.

Some of the local schools are Fruitvale Elementary, Oakland Renaissance, Redwood Day, Sequoia Elementary, and Bret Harte Middle School. There is also a branch of the Oakland Library to enjoy, and just east of the library is the beautiful Dimond Park: a lovely wooded grounds in the midst of urban excitement that plays host to a great community picnic every July and a recreational center with swimming, tennis and children’s activities.

Oakland is buzzing. It has shrugged off the stigma occasioned by the comment, in Gertrude Stein’s autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, that “there’s no there there.” Whatever might have been the case in the past, there is plenty of “there” here now. Downtown Oakland has emerged a vibrant and stylish place filled with hot spots to discover and enjoy. It is loosely separated into what is referred to by Oakland locals as Uptown Oakland and Old Oakland.

Uptown Oakland has a thriving art community that showcases its enthusiasm the first Friday of the month during Oakland Art Murmur, an open art walk where you can meet artists, listen to live music, and celebrate creativity while catching up with friends. The Oakland Museum of California also offers exhibits featuring local culture (free admission every second Sunday of the month).

Uptown comes alive when the sun goes down, so come hungry! Kingston 11Flora, Pican, Pho 84, Mua, Luca’s Taproom & LoungeHawker Fare, and Hibiscus all have unique ambiances with great reviews. After dinner enjoy the striking architecture while catching a live show at one of the theatres in the area, such as the Paramount and the newly refurbished Fox Theatre, or go ice skating at the Oakland Ice Center.

Old Oakland is a historic district near Jack London Square filled with Victorian buildings built up in the late 1800s. An exciting blend of old and new, this area is also home to the famous Ratto’s Deli, The Trappist, LeCheval, and Tamarindo.

Right in the middle of Lakeside, Downtown, and Jack London is Oakland’s vibrant and colorful Chinatown. This is not some tatty collection of cheap souvenir shops. It’s a living, breathing, vital community filled with bakeries, restaurants, and sidewalks jammed with shoppers and visitors. Public festivals in the area include the annual Lunar New Year Bazaar established in 2001, and the StreetFest.

While there are still a few single family homes, mostly relics of the Victorian era, most of the available housing within Downtown, Uptown, Old Oakland and Chinatown’s real estate is made up of condos built since coming of the 21st century. Easily accessible to two BART stations, Interstates 80 and 980, as well as bus lines, this area of Oakland is a great choice for those who want to live in a modern condominium in the midst of a commercial area reflecting diverse cultural traditions.

In all, Downtown Oakland is a soulful, energetic place, and its energetic diversity is sprouting chic bistros, street festivals, lively entertainment, bustling farmers markets, and alternative charter schools.

Frick is the neighborhood just to the southwest of Mills College. Frick has a solid working class community. Homes here are largely from before the World War II era and are relatively well-cared for. Many of the California bungalows boast bushy topiary arranged on the front lawn and many streets are very pleasant.

The neighborhood uniquely benefits from its proximity to the adjacent 135 wooded acres of Mills College. This historic women’s college established in 1852 is not just picturesque, it offers many cultural opportunities to the public including concerts and art exhibitions. In keeping with its initial mission of training teachers, the Mills campus also contains a children’s school, preschool, and summer camp. Although a private institution, admission is open to the public.

Another positive aspect of the community is the local charter school, Unity High. Unity High has an excellent record of taking low income students and preparing them for college. 9 of 10 students graduate (far higher than the Oakland average) and 2/3 successfully enter college.

The close-knit community of Glenview is one of the treasures of the East Bay and has been one of Oakland’s most popular neighborhoods for decades. On its long list of assets are old fashioned mom and pop shops, grassy parks, tree-lined streets, colorful bungalows, open-minded neighbors, a strong sense of community, and convenient freeway access.

The homes of Glenview’s real estate are modestly sized but charming Craftsman and California bungalows built during the 1920s. Many of these homes have been lovingly restored and feature updated kitchens and baths, while others are waiting for you to bring your own decorating flair. Typical features found in these homes are formal dining rooms with built-ins, living rooms with tiled fireplaces, polished oak and fir floors, redwood decks, brick patios, and flowering gardens.

Nestled between the neighborhoods of Oakmore and Trestle Glen, and the City of Piedmont, Glenview enjoys an abundance of surrounding stores and services, including the quaint shops of nearby Montclair Village.

Glenview’s main street, Park Boulevard, contains a small but charming commercial district where a Saturday afternoon of errands may include catching up on neighborhood news with the local dry cleaner and chatting with neighbors at Blackberry Bistro before heading over to Dimond Park for a barbecue or swim at the public pool. Current dining options include Rumbo al Sur, Sushi Park, Banana Blossom, Pastino’s and Bellanico.

Visit Oakland: Glenview

The real estate of the Grand Lake District, which sits upon the northeast edge of Lake Merritt, is considered the jewel of Oakland. It also holds the title of America’s first wildlife sanctuary. The migratory rest-stop makes for colorful and entertaining bird watching.

The commercial centers of the district are Grand and Lakeshore Avenues, both laid-back social centers with plenty of shopping and dining opportunities.

Grab a quick sweet at Arizmendi Bakery, or have a hearty sit down brunch at Lynn & Lu’s Escapade Cafe. Highly recommended options for lunch and dinner are everywhere. Spettro’s, Camino and Boot & Shoe Service (also great for morning coffee) are all wonderfully relaxed. Try some raved-about high-end cuisine at Penrose, or the popular sushi houses Mijori and Coach.

Work off that gastronomical surfeit by ambling along the shore of the lake or head to Splash Pad Park, where people from all over the Bay Area gather on Saturdays for one of the best farmer’s markets around. The path all the way around the lake is just over three miles and along the way there is plenty to visit, like the Rotary Nature Center, Children’s Fairyland, the Sailboat House and much more. The picturesque Morcom Rose Garden on Jean Street is a hidden treasure when you feel like soaking up a bit of tranquility.

A visit to the Grand Lake Theatre on Grand Avenue is not to be missed. The movie palace is an area landmark whose architecture lives up to its name. Catch a show on a Friday or Saturday and the Mighty Wurlitzer organ majestically rises from the floor to give a mini-concert before the film begins.

This is a district with balance. The stimulation and fun of city life is ready for you to pick your pleasure but, for those moments when you find yourself drained and in need of refueling, the lake is waiting.

Located on the waterfront, Jack London Square, an urban oasis, boasts more than 30 restaurants, an array of national and local retailers, cinemas, a jazz club, lively weekend farmer’s and artisan’s markets, and plenty of options for a picturesque stroll. Be sure to stop by Yoshi’s, Everett & Jones, The Fat Lady or Bocanova.

Rich in local history and turn-of-the-century architecture, the eclectic mix of Jack London Square’s real estate includes brick and timber warehouses, converted lofts, dazzling new residential high-rises, and dozens of visually arresting modern homes, many with water and bridge views. Former mayor of Oakland, Jerry Brown, was a long-time resident and familiar face in the neighborhood.

Just minutes off I-880, Jack London Square is a central location for those who work in San Francisco but don’t want to pay San Francisco prices for a home. Easy access to public transportation, including ferries, BART and Amtrak, make it extra appealing and a time-saver for commuters. On most game days for the San Francisco Giants the commuter ferry to San Francisco makes a special run from its Jack London berth directly to AT&T Park. It’s a relaxed and scenic way to get out to the ball game without traffic or parking headaches. 

Lakeside’s real estate is located in Oakland’s Gold Coast district, crowning the lake with stunning period and modern architecture. Visit the lake and watch as crew teams race, gondolas glide by, and joggers and walkers do their daily 3.4 mile circuit. Or, for a bit of local history, visit Oakland’s Museum of California and the Terrace Room at the Lake Merritt Hotel, a 1927 art deco wonder.

An important stop on the Pacific Flyway, Lake Merritt is home to the exotic black-crowned night heron, Canadian geese, ruddy ducks, snowy egrets, buffleheads, great blue herons and more. Named America’s first wildlife sanctuary in 1869, the tidal estuary is also a stop-over for thousands of unique migratory birds.

A popular stop for those without wings is Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill, a converted boat house built right on the lake’s edge with serene views of the water, the birds, and the passing gondolas.

Maxwell Park is a quiet, friendly neighborhood of small winding streets nestled in the leafy Oakland foothills above High Street and west of Mills College. Cited by the San Francisco Chronicle as a place where home values recently doubled nearly overnight at the height of the real estate boom, Maxwell Park’s real estate continues to be a popular place to live the bucolic bungalow life style.

Maxwell Park, originated by namesake and developer John P. Maxwell, began to grow in the early 1920s. The ’30s and ’40s saw a majority of development, with a leaning toward modest 2-3 bedroom residences in various styles including Spanish, English Tudor and traditional homes. Many of the Craftsmen bungalows boast the similar charming details of homes found in Oakland, Berkeley and Albany.

The neighborhood uniquely benefits from its proximity to the adjacent 135 wooded acres of Mills College. This historic women’s college established in 1852 is not just picturesque, it offers many cultural opportunities to the public including concerts and art exhibitions. In keeping with its initial mission of training teachers, the Mills campus also contains a children’s school, preschool, and summer camp. Although a private institution, admission is open to the public.

Maxwell Park is roughly bordered by Interstate 580 on the east, Brookdale Avenue to the west, Monticello to the north and 55th Avenue to the south. Residents here can do their shopping in nearby Laurel District, San Leandro, Montclair or the Grand Lake area.

COMING SOON!

Nestled amongst the pine trees in the upper Oakland hills, the friendly Montclair District maintains a refreshing and laid back mountain atmosphere reminiscent of Mill Valley in Marin County. Winding streets dotted with trees and gardens bursting with flowers lead to large homes hidden among mini-forests that look out over the distant bay.

Adding to its rural appeal, Montclair is tidy, very residential, and decidedly a bedroom community, yet exciting enough for the active crowd. Close to many East Bay parks, it offers endless biking and hiking opportunities to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.

Montclair’s real estate runs up and down the canyons, and the architecture is designed to showcase the natural character of the area. Some lot sizes can stretch into acres. Styles of homes range from large Craftsman bungalows, shingled cottages, and Prairie homes, to period revivals, ranch, and split-level style homes from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Fernwood is one of the many beautiful winding, flora-rich neighborhoods that make Montclair the serene oasis it is. The Storybook Houses of the Fernwood Walking Tour visits a favorite trick-or-treating route in Oakland. The tour takes place every October through some of the most beautiful and well-crafted homes in the area.

At the northern edge of the neighborhood is Lake Temescal Park, a superb venue for picnics, Frisbee games, and short woodsy walks. The commercial center is Montclair Village, a quaint area of small shops serving most local needs. The Montclair Egg Shop on Medau off just off of Mountain Blvd. is a fun and whimsical stop for a hearty breakfast and Melt Massage is a great place to get relaxed and reinvigorated.

The storybook tour of Oakland continues daily down Mountain Blvd. at the Oakland Library Montclair Branch. This beautiful building offers a cozy and magical children’s reading room for story time. The original 900 square foot library was built in 1930 in the Oakland hills, about half a mile from the just emerging Montclair Village. To meet the rising demand for children’s services, two additions have since transformed Montclair Library into a busy 3,900 square foot branch serving a well-established, bustling community.

Other attractions include the Chabot Space and Science Center, a cultural arts center, a weekly farmer’s market, a delightful public park offering fun for everyone from toddlers to tennis players, and annual street fairs in the village center.

The North Oakland Berkeley Emeryville neighborhood (NOBE) is one of the choice up-and-coming neighborhoods of the East Bay. It has become a much-desired destination, particular for those who move from San Francisco. The NOBE real estate housing mix is varied, from historic bungalows to brand new and modern custom homes.

NOBE is perfect for coffee lovers.  Here you’ll find Actual Caféat Alcatraz and San Pablo, Alchemy Collective Café at Alcatraz and Adeline, Tribu Cafe at San Pablo and 64th and Sweet Adeline at 63rd and Adeline.

There’s a great variety of restaurants in NOBE, like Easy Creole, 44 Restaurant and Bar, Giin Thai Canteen and The Vault Café – all around the intersection of Adeline and Alcatraz. And there are two burger destinations: Victory Burger, which is owned by and right next door to Actual Café, and Moxy Beer Garden down on Sacramento.

James and the Giant Cupcake is one of the prized additions to the ‘hood. After having lunch at Actual Café, walk two doors south for some tasty cupcake fun.

Stroll down the Emeryville walkway starting anywhere west of San Pablo Avenue. Stop by E-22 Café and Wine Bar at Hollis and Stanford for a sip of your favorite vino.

If fried chicken and tasty desserts are your thing then you must head on over to Lois the Pie Queen at 851 60th Street at Adeline. You won’t be disappointed — she rates 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp! Get there early because the food doesn’t last.

Farmer’s market anyone? Right outside the boundary of NOBE, on Tuesday afternoons there’s the market at 63rd and Adeline (and the North Oakland Farmer’s Market is down the street at Lowell and Grace). And of course there’s two locations of Berkeley Bowl just five minutes away.

Head over to the Compound Gallery and Studios on 1167 65th Street near San Pablo. Yes, we have our own piece of the Oakland Art Murmur pie. And we can’t forget about our local library. The Golden Gate Branch of the Oakland Public Library at 5606 San Pablo is ready to fulfill all of your reading needs. Forget about that eReader – and pick up a book. It’s good for you.

Oakmore, or Oakmore Highlands as it is more formally designated, sits in the hills above the Dimond district, south of Sausal Creek, and north of Lincoln Avenue. This is a neighborhood that is much loved, but not well known. The lack of notoriety is probably because the very few business in the area do not attract many visitors. Another reason is the geography of the area makes it into an enclave with very little through traffic. Oakmore is a very private place.

In the 1920s, however, the neighborhood grabbed headlines for its “miracle” bridge: a single span concrete arch bridge that was the largest of its time when completed in 1927. Spanning Dimond Canyon and Sausal Creek, Leimert Blvd. and the bridge are the main entry to the neighborhood. Bridge and Boulevard are both named for Walter Leimert, the builder who built them and opened the area to prospective homeowners in the form of 440 residential lots.

Oakmore’s gradual growth has resulted in a wide variety of housing styles, mostly built between the late 1920s and World War II. Its advantageous location on the west-facing slopes of the Oakland hills typically offers Oakmore real estate lots of sunshine and often views of the bay. While its own commercial area is small, there is plenty of shopping and dining in the adjacent Glenview neighborhoods.

For more historic and community information about this Oakland neighborhood, visit http://oakmorehighlands.org.

Popular with young families and stable, long-term property owners, Oakland’s scenic neighborhood of Redwood Heights brings together the best aspects of a suburban bedroom community with the convenience and variety of a major metropolitan area.

Redwood Heights emanates a strong sense of community and family. Many families move in and stay for generations, lending to little neighborhood traditions like popping into Hunan Yuan for an occasional dinner, purchasing hand-crafted gifts from Pot-Pourri and taking in Lincoln Square, which has remained relatively unchanged for the past 25 years. Another anchor is the Redwood Heights Elementary School, a top-performing school that has been educating the area’s youth since 1949.

Redwood Heights real estate consists of small but stylish 2-3 bedroom residences distinguished by their diverse architectural appeal. While the styles vary from contemporary to classic, the one feature many of the homes share is stunning day and nighttime views of the sparkling San Francisco Bay.

The community loves the Redwood Heights Recreation Centerbecause it offers a great range of programs for tots, teens, and kids in-between, including gymnastics, guitar, karate, ballet, beading and cake decorating. Classes for adults include aerobics, ballet stretch, Tai Chi, yoga, karate, folk dance, and music. Avenue Terrace (AKA Jordan) Park is another popular recreation spot that offers swings, basketball hoops and a play structure.

Bordered by Highway 13 and Interstate 580, just above Mills College and the Laurel District, home to Holy Names University, Redwood Heights is central to the best of the Bay Area.

At the foot of the Oakland hills, east of Telegraph Avenue and north of 51st Street, Rockridge blends classic American with Old World charm.

Rockridge is what many consider the ideal Oakland neighborhood. With its “let’s get outside” atmosphere, this neighborhood has an exemplary public transportation system combined with a very pedestrian-friendly layout, making commuting easy and local exploration fun and relaxing. BART and bus lines vein through the community and several freeways feed you to the Caldecott Tunnel, Bay Bridge, East I-580 and South I-880.

Living here, you are definitely in the mix and close to it all. Rockridge is known for it’s fine dining and eclectic restaurants scene, boutiques, and pubs. If you walk down College Avenue in the evening you will be greeted with the glow of the thriving restaurants, the chatter of friends gathering and the gentle hum of BART.

College Avenue boasts many restaurants, cafes, vintage and collectible shops, as well as the only Dreyer’s Ice Cream parlor, attracting locals and tourists alike.

Established streets are lined with appealing bungalows and pre-war homes with wood built-ins, vintage details and expansive gardens. Many of the wonderfully restored homes that make up Rockridge real estate date from the first decade of the 20th century to the 50s, with some of the earliest reaching back to 1909. The Arts and Crafts-style home, however, is the architectural poster child for this area. Clinker brick chimneys, half-timbered or cedar shingled facades, beamed ceilings, and dark oak built-ins are characteristic of many of the fine old residences in this neighborhood.

An active district association hosts holiday and community events and many other opportunities that encourage a strong and cohesive neighborhood. Local art galleries and a handful of commendable public and alternative schools ensure there is something for everyone in this neighborhood. This is the perfect spot for balancing an urban lifestyle with the enjoyment of a backyard.

It’s no wonder that Upper Rockridge is one of Oakland’s most desirable neighborhoods. It offers winding streets, sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay and impressive houses in an array of architectural styles.

Nestled between Rockridge’s Broadway, Highway 13 and the Montclair district, Upper Rockridge offers close proximity to highways, BART and some of Oakland’s finest shopping and restaurants.Much of this area burned in the Oakland Hills firestorm of 1991, which led to an overall facelift for the neighborhood. The larger wooded lots were replaced with grander homes staggering the hillside to compete for the coveted Bay Bridge and Campanile views. Most of the homes were constructed in the last two decades, but still boast the traditional architectural styles admired by Bay Area residents: slate gabled tutors, sprawling Mediterraneans and Craftsmans.

The beauty of the area is flanked by the Claremont Country Club to the northwest and Lake Temescal to the north, offering ample weekend activities within walking distance to Upper Rockridge residents. College Avenue’s restaurants and shops are a mere half-mile from most addresses. It is also home to one of Oakland’s finest K-8 elementary schools, Hillcrest, which plays an important factor in maintaining the value of Upper Rockridge’s extraordinary real estate.

Temescal began as its own little village, eventually choosing to incorporate with Oakland and is now one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. Construction on Highway 24 caused some unsettling but the refreshed community is enjoying a residential and business revival.

A local art cooperative and a public pool offer an array of classes and workshops. An annual street fair displays Temescal’s cultural variety and gives those new to the area a chance to meet neighborhood merchants and business owners. Temescal’s population can be found frequenting local staples such as Genova Deli, a real-deal Italian deli, and Bakesale Betty, famous for its fried chicken sandwich and addicting cookies. Recently gaining the nickname “Oakland’s Gourmet Ghetto,” Temescal’s restaurant scene includes Burmese, Japanese, Cuban, Eritrean and Mexican to name but a few.

The Craftsman bungalows and early 20th century architecture of Temescal real estate was just one of the many reasons This Old House magazine picked Temescal as one of their 51 best old-house neighborhoods. With its active local business and friendly locale, this is one area not to be overlooked.

At the turn of the nineteenth century, what is now called the Laurel District was merely a handful of homesteads surrounded by vegetable gardens, lush hillsides, family dairies and grazing livestock. After the Great Earthquake of 1906, refugees from San Francisco flocked to the area, and by 1910 The Laurel (named for the area’s first school) boasted sidewalks and streetlights. By 1920, the Key Route Rail-car system connected the area to downtown and established Hopkins Street (now MacArthur Blvd.) as a bustling thoroughfare.

As Oakland’s industries grew, so did the need for housing, and spectacular incentives were offered to stimulate home building. The district continued to grow through the Depression, and by the time the country was at war there were two new movie theatres, Laurel and The Hopkins, where locals could see the latest news reels. While the businesses and organizations operating within its walls have changed over the years, the facade of the Laurel Theatre building (3814 MacArthur) is still recognizable today.

The post-war period brought another housing boom Laurel’s real estate, and area businesses flourished. Many of the storefronts lining MacArthur Blvd. were built in the 40s and 50s, evidenced by their simple lines and lack of architectural embellishments.

Today, the Laurel is a bright neighborhood with a vibrant and diverse population. A mini-melting pot, the people of the Laurel are proud to be a part of this distinct section of Oakland, confirmed by all the warm greetings found at the small local farmer’s market, the original Farmer Joe’s with a larger store in the adjacent Dimond district, and in the wide range of inexpensive ethnic restaurants along MacArthur Boulevard.

Viewed by many as the next “SOMA,” affordable West Oakland is fast becoming the “industrial cool” place to live.

This was once San Francisco and the wider Bay Area’s industrial center, and converting the old factories and warehouses from that era into contemporary live/work lofts is all the rage. Eclectic businesses are moving in as well, giving this once gritty, overlooked neighborhood a hip urban edge and cache.

Anchored by the fourth largest container seaport in the United States, West Oakland’s older homes were built in World War I and II, back when the city served as a major shipbuilding center. Many new West Oakland real estate homebuyers here choose to buy older Victorians and renovate them from the inside out. Others prefer to move into newly converted lofts. The old and the new peacefully coexist side by side, as do artists, young professionals and working families.

West Oakland is situated on the Bay side of Highway 980 and is easily accessible by public transportation including BART and buses. If you are an urban pioneer who is looking to buy somewhere before it really booms, look into West Oakland.

Other East Bay Cities

  • Alameda
  • Emeryville
  • Piedmont

Much of the Alameda real estate on this friendly island is within walking distance of beaches and affords spectacular bay and cityscape views. With its leafy streets lined with older Victorian-style buildings, cottages, quaint parks, good schools, six miles of beaches, and the ability to ride your bike anywhere on the island with ease, you can see why this growing city manages to maintain its small town charm.

While Alameda offers modern retail shops and conveniences like Alameda’s Southshore Towne Center, the historic business districts remain this area’s most appealing attribute. Antique shops, playhouses, quaint boutiques and the wholesome hometown atmosphere draw people from all over for afternoon strolls and weekend getaways. It’s not unusual to see an entire family ride their bikes to a breakfast of blueberry waffles at the local diner or homemade treats at the old-fashioned ice cream parlor. And don’t be surprised if the clerk at the mom and pop grocery store calls you “sweetie” or a neighbor brings you a pie on the Fourth of July after the local parade. That’s Alameda!

On the first Sunday of every month you’ll also find the Alameda Point Anqiues Faire, a congregation of over a thousand vendors, eclectic artifacts and gourmet food trucks with perhaps the best view of the San Francisco skyline you’ll find while perusing for antiques.

The ferry ride from Alameda to San Francisco is truly spectacular and there are many other public transportation options as well, including buses that connect to BART in Oakland. During light traffic, San Francisco is about 15 minutes by car, and the city of Oakland is only 10 minutes away.

Once upon a time, Emeryville was an industrial city teetering on the brink of becoming a mini-rust belt. Dig back into its not-too-distant past and you will find that, even in the 1950s, Emeryville was one tough town. It was an amalgam of the wild West and gritty factories.

Not any more.

In recent years Emeryville has burst onto the scene as the hot, post-industrial place to live and work — and with good reason. Set along the waterfront at the foot of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, the city’s temperate climate, first-class retail shopping, entertainment venues, thriving businesses, and world-class bayside setting offer an amazingly high quality of life.

Emeryville’s real estate and housing choices are as diverse as its population. Whether it’s a modern townhouse complex, a waterfront high-rise condominium, a live/work artist’s loft, or a quaint Victorian style home, Emeryville has something to offer any lifestyle.

People flock to Emeryville from all over the Bay Area to work and play. Retail magnets include an IKEA store, the Bay Street shopping area, Emery Bay Public Market, two theaters, Trader Joe’s grocery store, Home Depot and several major US “big box” retailers. Some of the city’s largest employers are Pixar and Novartis.

Emeryville is easily accessible from highways I-80 and I-580 and just a short hop over the Bay Bridge from San Francisco. This little city also offers free local transportation via a mini-bus system, called the Emery-Go-Round, that services all of the commercial areas as well as the nearby MacArthur BART station in Oakland.

The tiny town of Piedmont is one of the wealthiest and prettiest cities in California, and for good reason. Excellent schools, stately homes, tree-lined streets, and a close-knit community make this the ideal place to settle down and raise a family. Named by Forbes Magazine in 2007 as the “Best Place to Live” in the United States, the desirability of this neighborhood has not gone ignored.

Although located inside the boundaries of Oakland, Piedmont is its own city and oversees its own schools, government, public services and taxes. The 11,000 residents enjoy the best of both worlds: small-town independence and the convenient access to all the big city amenities of San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, and upscale Walnut Creek just a short 20 minutes away.

Homes that make up Piedmont real estate date mostly from the first half of the 20th century, with hundreds of unique and monumental estates of period revival style, as well as grand versions of the popular Craftsman bungalow. With a low density and a very residential character, the City of Piedmont has one small retail center. However, the shopping oasis of Piedmont Avenue is nearby, located just west of the city limits.

San Leandro

  • Estudillo Estates
  • Dutton
  • Davis/Downtown
  • Marina/Marina Faire
  • Heron Bay
  • Manor
  • Bay O'Vista

Prestigious Estudillo Estates in San Leandro is full of lush parks, tall elm trees, and picturesque homes. It’s a grand slice of Americana. With an active community committed to maintaining the integrity of their area, this solid middle class neighborhood is truly something special.

The architectural styles of homes here range from Tudor to Mediterranean to Colonial. Many boast large lots and well-kept yards, many with productive citrus and other fruit trees. The San Leandro Creek watershed runs through this neighborhood, giving many homes a lovely natural backyard habitat with endless exploration opportunities for curious kids (and grown-ups).

Estudillo Estates offers convenient access to all of San Leandro’s parks, shopping and services, as well as major freeways. It is also served by two BART stations and the AC Transit service. 

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Bordered by Fairway Drive, Wicks Boulevard, and the San Francisco Bay in southwest San Leandro, Marina Faire draws people to the area primarily for its park and golf club, with both located on the water. Marina Park features a mile-long hiking trail, and Monarch Bay Golf Club (also known as The Tony Lima Golf Course, aptly named after Tony Lima, the short lived 60’s golf pro from the East Bay) offers stunning views of both the bay and the San Francisco skyline.

Marina Faire is a triangular-shaped neighborhood, stretching from the bay to Wicks Boulevard. Fairway Drive forms the northern boundary, while a waterway forms a natural border to the south.

Most of Marina Faire’s restaurants are on Catalina Street and Doolittle Drive. Many restaurants in the area serve Asian food as diverse as Chinese, Filipino, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Mai Thai, located at the intersection of Doolittle Drive and Fairway Drive, entices customers with its curries, which range from not-so spicy to make-your-eyes-water spicy. Customers also love the bold punch of flavor in the BBQ beef and, for dessert, the sweet, creamy mango sticky rice.  Discover Zen’s Filipino Cuisine a few doors down on Doolittle Drive. This restaurant earns praise for its award-winning Sunday buffet that invites you to sample a bit of everything, from Tapsilog, or marinated beef slices, to Tortang Talong, or grilled eggplant and fried eggs. You can even sample pork ears and paws in the “Sizzlin’ Sisig” dish.

Marina Faire contains a few lounges and bars, but has an otherwise quiet nightlife. Nipper’s Marina Lounge on Catalina Street draws people in with its Thursday night prime rib special as well as its friendly staff and affordable brews. 

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 This San Leandro neighborhood dates back to the late 1950’s, when the first of its 18 tracts and homes were developed.

Nestled in San Leandro hills, Bay-O-Vista encompasses the portion of City located east of I-580. It is unique among San Leandro neighborhoods because of its rolling landscape and panoramic views. The neighborhood is characterized by mostly single story ranch homes on relatively large lots with panoramic views. Although many homes date back to the 1950’s, the majority of Bay-O-Vista was developed during the 1960’s and featured custom built designs that maximized the beautiful westerly views toward San Francisco Bay.

Along with its convenient location, this friendly neighborhood enjoys the convenience of easy freeway access and access to <a href=”http://www.ebparks.org/parks/lake_chabot” target=”_blank”>Lake Chabot Park</a>.

Richmond

  • Marina Bay
  • North & East
  • Point Richmond
  • Richmond Annex
  • Richmond View
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