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OAKLAND, CA-Fruitvale Village, a major mixed-use revitalization project adjacent to the Fruitvale Bart Station, formally opens today after four years of construction. The project developer is Fruitvale Development Corp., the development arm of The Unity Council, a longstanding non-profit organization based in Oakland that serves the needs of the Latino community.

Stephen Woolery, FDC’s director of real estate, tells GlobeSt.com the project $100-million first phase consists of an expansive pedestrian village, parking for 150 cars and two mixed-use buildings totaling 255,000 sf on 3.7 acres. The buildings contain a total of 47 apartment units for which there is a waiting list, 114,000 sf of office/commercial space that is 85% leased and 40,000 sf of retail space that is 80% leased, says Woolery. The property manager for the development is Walnut Creek-based Boardwalk Investment Group.

To assure local merchants have the opportunity to lease space, only 20 percent of retail space in the Village was opened to national chains. Office/commercial tenants include a 45,000 sf nonprofit clinic, a 16,800-sf childcare center, a 15,000-sf public library, an 8,500-sf activity center for seniors, a computer center and a dental practice. Retail tenants include Burger One, TCBY/Mrs. Fields Cookies, Coldstone Creamery, Giovanni’s Pizza, Jalisco III, a bank branch and a bridal shop. A second phase, planned for an adjacent 4.2-acre parcel currently used as a surface parking lot, will include an additional 215 apartment units with ground floor retail, ideally a combination grocery store and pharmacy.

Woolery says financing for the project came from 34 different sources, including myriad local state and federal agencies and programs. The largest financing component is a $27-million loan from Citibank. In addition to revitalizing the Fruitvale District, a largely Hispanic area, the project is mean to help wean the Unity Council off public subsidy and make it a self-sustaining operation. Woolery says the project will definitely produce income after debt service and will be a long-term hold for the Unity Council.

The on-site dedication ceremony is schedule for Thursday, Oct. 2. The reception begins at 6:00 p.m. and the $150-a-plate gala dinner begins at 7:00 p.m. with keynote speaker Susan Beresford, president of the Ford Foundation. Confirmed guests include Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown; Leslie Rogers, U.S. Department of Transportation-Federal Transit Administration; State Senator Don Perata and State Assemblymember Wilma Chan.

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