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Season's Greetings

In this season of reflection, we are thankful for an improving economy. In the City of Alameda, our unemployment rate fell by a full percentage point during the last year to 4.8%, bringing relief and cheer to many Alamedan households. We are especially thankful for the commercial and retail brokers who have helped bring this good fortune to Alameda. Through your hard work, you have created win-win situations for your clients and for our community. You have made the connections that filled our commercial and retail spaces with quality businesses by recognizing the opportunities and benefits unique to Alameda: our beautiful and unique locations, competitive real estate rates, educated and well-paid residents, and a safe community. Please contact us at (510) 747-6890, on by sending an email to econdev@alamedaca.gov and let us know how we can continue to help you bring businesses to Alameda. We look forward to working with you in the New Year.

City Addresses Retail Leakage with Shop Local Campaign

The City of Alameda is launching an Alameda Island Shopper campaign as part of a larger initiative to bridge the 44% sales tax leakage. The campaign is intended to encourage residents to choose local stores whenever possible and to inform residents of surrounding cities of the unique advantages of shopping in Alameda. Ads running in regional papers promote Alameda’s quaint, safe, and relaxing shopping experience, including our excellent restaurants, local and national stores, and ample parking. Ads in local papers describe the benefits to the community of supporting local businesses, including maintaining a healthy environment, generating jobs, funding services, and preserving Alameda’s unique charm. The Alameda Island Shopper campaign will be an ongoing partnership between the City and local merchants.

Marketplace Thriving in Repurposed Building

The 20,000 square foot Marketplace transformed a former 50 year old Ford dealership into what is now home to nine locally owned, independent businesses that serve thousands of discerning shoppers daily. The award-winning vendors offer a wide range of high-quality goods and services. Residents and visitors find locally sourced, organic foods, fresh handmade baked goods, gourmet to go, clean meats and seafood, artisan wines, cheeses, sushi, house-roasted coffee, wood-fired pizza, durable kitchen tools and more. The Marketplace delivers it all in its lively and sophisticated style, while still retaining the small town feel that makes island life unique. The Marketplace is located at the gateway of the Park Street shopping district, offering ease of access, plenty of parking, and an open and easy to navigate all-in-one solution for families and individuals looking for a convenient, lifestyle shopping destination.

Westward Movement Attracted by Unmet Consumer Demand

Alameda’s retail is moving west, with new opportunities that span the shopping spectrum in scope and scale. Webster Street, a traditional small town main street with beautiful historic brick and wood buildings, has a growing cluster of family-oriented retail businesses with an eclectic mix of retro-youth entertainment activities like the Pacific Pinball Museum and a comic book store. The new Alameda Landing shopping center recently opened with a 140,000-square-foot Target store. The rest of the center is expected to open by fall of 2014 with a Safeway store, a Michael’s, restaurants, and in-line retail. The westward movement of retail activity is anchored by strong demographics and unmet consumer demand. In addition to new and existing homes, the west end is home to the College of Alameda. Its 6,000 students are within easy walking distance from both Alameda Landing and Webster Street.

What Alamedans Want

Earlier this fall, local news source The Alamedan asked its readers what type of retail they would like to see in the City and got well over 50 responses. The major categories Alamedans are missing are mid-tier apparel chains, kitchen and furniture stores, and larger department stores like Macy’s and Nordstroms. H&M and the Gap got repeated mentions as reasons residents leave the island for shopping, as did paper goods stores Papyrus and Hallmark, and electronics retailers Apple and Best Buy. Residents are also in agreement that an appliance store would be a very welcome addition to the City’s retail scene. The by far most requested store however was Whole Foods Market, which more than 20% of respondents asked for.