Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California on February 27, 1935 · Page 81
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Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California · Page 81

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Oakland, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 27, 1935
Page:
Page 81
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o February 27, 193S OAKLAND TRIBUNE YEAR BOOK Part Two Page 13 Modernization Program Works Wonders In JP-OWnto'W'n Area ByJHmroU P. Wfber, Mgr.Poumtown Property Owners Assn. Just as stream-lined trains and i automobiles indicate the progressive rend in matters of transportation, so do modernized buildings and an awakened down-' town consc.ousnesi indicate the progressive trend in Oakland's main business and shopping center. The close of 1934 and the birth of 1935 witnessed the results of a three-year period of building modernization and district rehabilitation which has been carried on in the downtown Oakland section since the Autumn of 1931. Since that time a number of large buildings have been completely reconditioned and modernized as to exterior; numerous other business structures have been "brightened up" and improved as to appearance, and the entire downtown section of Oakland, the community's oldest main shopping center, has been treated to a general program of revitaliz,ation. Forty years ago the trend toward decentralization of retail' business sections, noticeable in-all larger cities of the country, had made itself felt rather ' strongly in the downtown Oakland business section. The older buildings, manj-pf them built 30 and more yeafetago, found competition difficult when placed on a competitive basis with new structures erected within the past . few years. Likewise merchants in the older structures also found competition somewhat difficult with rivals occupying the newer buildings in some of the newer subcenters. Transportalon into and out of the district; taxation of and. on - the property affected in the downtown area; public interest in the downtown section all these.,'1 were affected to a degree by the"' decentralization movement. ; Consequently in the late Sum-" mer and early Autumn nf 193 lr a group of property owners in the main." downtown section formed an association to meet the problems presented by the decentralization movement. That organization was the Downtswn Property Owners Association. Since that time, this association of property owners has functioned progressively and constructively for the welfare of the downtown territory. The problem which K faced was tremendous. Committees were given the duty of meeting certain features -of this problem, a'nd they commenced to function immediately and aggressively. Results in the three-year period of life of the organization have been not only spectacular, but highly successful in their tendency to insure the future stability of business property and retail business in the most important retail section of the East Bay area. An outstanding activity, because of its spectacular features, has been that of building modernization. The modernization program has now been under way long enough for the association, through its modernization department, to have developed an effective technique which has aroused the admiration of many communities affected with similar problems, and concerning which inquiries have been received" from widespread sources. Business structures, soundly and thoroughly constructed in the 1870's and 1680's have had towers ..and bay windows removed, new facings put on ana a blending of modern, artistic exteriors with the fundamentally sound 'con-, struction of walls, floors, ceilings, etc. Not only have these buildings been materially improved in their appearance, but a better rental condition has resulted for all of them and placed them on a better competitive status with any other business structure or business community in the entire East Bay area. Organize of the association found their tenants in a disturbed frame of mind in 1931. Up to that time, the merchants in the down town district had never beerr organized into an association strictly and entirely limited to their own bi siness district. Therefore, the Downtown Merchants Assocation was formed, being sponsored by the property owners organization. In the past three years the merchants association has attained a status of leadership among local retail organizations and has functioned aggressively for the beslinteresls of the merchants conducting their businesses in the downtown 'section of Oakland.. The disorganized and uncertain attitude of 1931 has been replaced by one of stimulated confidence with which in 1935 the downtown merchant, through his association, looks forward eagerly to even better business, and is confident thereof in the downtown business section. An outstanding example of this is found in the fact that downtown retail merchants, members of the association, have each year since 1931 been reporting business conditions as being better than those of the preceding year, in spite of the terrific depression through which the entire enm- munity as well as the nation has been passing. ' ' ' Close affiliation is maintained between the property owners and the merchants associations through the former loaning one of its employees to the latter, without cost , This employee, himself, an experienced retail merchant, acts as executive secretary of the Downtown Mer chants Association. . Results have been most satisfactory!, drawing;-the merchants and property owners eloser to-, gether, and making" one more sympathetic with the" problems whiefr- affect the other. Taxation, whose crushing burden three years ago was al- Continued Page 28 9rt Automobile Marine Casualty JideJity Surety Eaft Bay Service Offices 315 Central Bank Building Oakland PTreman's Fund Group I 'Jirtmans jtundksunmce Company Occidental Insurance Company I fomejtired Marine Insurance Company I XsirmarisJund Indemnity Company Occidental Indemnity Company X. NewYork . Chicago SAN FRANCISCO Boston . Atlanta I T THE iiPligi immmf' CRflRT D. sm&i mgm . fori! n n n fcr in) ' azm i uuu u iLiLieifii i UmoRTUHRiEs inc.p X. Directors of MAIN OFFICE and CHAPELS 2372 East Fourteenth Street -Telephone: FRuitvale 0511 CATHEDRAL CHAPEL 2850 Telegraph Avenue Telephone: GLencourt 6434 'An Organization devoted to the Highest J deals -of Service; possessing Superior Facilities and an efficient personnel of Expert Morticians. . .. Recognized as Leaders in the City of Oakland by election to membership in the National Selected ' , , Morticians, an honor granted to only one firm in any City. GRANT D. MILLER, President Coroner pf Alameda County T. C. DRENNAN, Manager H. C. SIMENS, Assistant Manager1 R. MacNEUR, JP. Secretary

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