December 15, 2006

A central part of Oakland's Chinatown--the much more authentic version of its tourist-centric cousin across the Bay--is apparently on the market to the highest bidder.
The Oakland Tribune reports today:
The city is selling about 55 commercial units in the plaza, as well as 90 parking spaces, for an asking price of $45 million. The sale would exclude 200 residential condos, 50 affordable units, the Asian Branch Library and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. . . The city intends to sell the property to the highest qualified bidder in a sealed-bid process due Jan. 31, said Ted Dang and Carl Chan, who are brokering the sale. The Oakland City Council will then review the bids and choose the bidder within approximately 30 days . . . The business owners — many of whom own and work at their shops six or seven days a week for long hours and are familiar with the community — want to keep the plaza a vibrant center of Chinatown. As it is, the rent is already too high, [a merchant] said. His monthly rent, $25,000, pays for his 4,800-square-foot drugstore, which includes a pharmacy and post office.


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