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A multi-use community hub with affordable housing is due to go up in Oakland, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The project is being developed by the Black Cultural Zone Collaborative, a collaboration of local nonprofits that have been using the 1.2 acre lot at Foothill Boulevard and 73rd Avenue since 2020.
The space known as Liberation Park hosts the Akoma Outdoor Market, outdoor roller skating and movie events, in addition to providing community support with free meals, Covid-19 testing, and more. Now, the Black Cultural Zone Collaborative aims to make permanent use of the space with the Liberation Park Market Hall and Residences.
In addition to affordable housing, the three-story building will be home to local food vendors, a coffee shop, plus indoor and outdoor dining on the 10,000-square foot ground floor. There will also be a community food pantry, farm stands, food carts, a co-working space, roller-skating rink, and other amenities that support the livelihood of the community.
Black Cultural Zone Community Development Corp. will bring the building to life. “We really don’t have anything like this in East Oakland, a place where we can go for all these things in one space,” CEO Carolyn Johnson tells the Chronicle.
She adds, “It’s going to be a place where you can come for four or five different types of food … all in one space. We are looking to really reflect the community.” The food hall itself will be similar to Akoma Outdoor Market and showcase local businesses owned by Black, Indidenious and people of color.
The housing development aims to bring 120 affordable units to the area. When the project gets fully approved, construction is expected to begin in late 2024.