Add another food hall to the Bay Area's ever-growing ranks: Uptown Station, the upcoming market hall-style project in Uptown Oakland, has landed their first tenant. Newberry Market will be the anchor tenant in the 400,000 square-foot retail and office space just above the 19th Street BART station, which is currently undergoing a redevelopment by Lane Partners and architecture firm Gensler.
The seven-story building, which was the home of Sears for almost 70 years, was purchased by Lane Partners for $25 million last November. Since the project was announced at the end of last year, there has been wide speculation about potential tenants, including the possibility that a Silicon Valley tech giant (cough, cough, Google) could snap up the majority of the office space, creating something of an economic rebirth in the area.
The market, which is named after the now-defunct Newberry department store that was once located next door, will occupy at least 20,000 square feet on the ground floor, with produce, prepared foods and grocery staples, in addition to a full-service butcher shop, charcuterie and cheese counter, pizza by-the-slice window, café, and flower shop. They'll also sell a "carefully curated" selection of beer and wine at a range of prices (read: you can likely buy boxed wine AND non-arsenic laced wine there).
The market, which is clearly intended to cater to a burgeoning crowd of affluent, young tech workers, as well as current denizens of Uptown Oakland and hungry commuters, comes from Oakland hospitality veterans Ann Thai and Loren Goodwin. The partners have been part of the food and beverage scene in Oakland for years in various roles: Goodwin previously cooked at Chez Panisse and has worked as a private chef for years, while Thai owns an event-planning business. They've also added Allison Ball to the team as the consulting GM to help develop the "market" portion of the concept, relying on Ball's role in the growth of Bi-Rite, SF's favorite place to buy $5 tomatoes.
Indeed, Newberry Market will take a page from the book of artisanal food market concepts like the Ferry Building, Bi-Rite and the Market Hall in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood, including a Ferry Building-like main corridor through the center of the market, called the "paseo." No word yet on what vendors will occupy the remaining 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, although the original proposal by Lane Partners included a hilarious and completely hypothetical list of who's who in the trendy San Francisco food scene, naming vendors like Mission Chinese, Blue Bottle and Josey Baker Bread.
Regardless of their potential neighbors, Thai and Goodwin are focused on keeping things at the market affordable and accessible, with an emphasis on local vendors. "Our goal is to be the most viable option for people who live and work in the East Bay," says Goodwin. "Being located mere steps away from the new Uptown BART station gives commuters and the people living and working around us convenient access to healthy food."
The market is slated for a fall 2016 opening, which will hopefully coincide with the installation of additional ground-floor tenants. The upstairs office space should be ready in 2017.