Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A multi-million dollar loft for Oakland's homeless

Jack London Square, Oakland's upscale entertainment district, is the center of controversy involving Mayor Jerry Brown's swanky, $4 million loft.
Mayor Jerry Brown's decision to sell his converted warehouse in Jack London Square has pitted him against his former neighbors in what has become a classic "not in my back yard" debate.

At issue is whether the buyer's plan to convert it into a shelter that would house 30 young adults ranging in age from 18 to 23 is the right fit for a growing area packed with $700,000 lofts.
C'mon now, we've got to look at the bright side of this. Oakland could become known as the place to be for troubled young adults. The chamber of commerce could say, "Oakland: We shelter our homeless in multi-million dollar lofts!" Before you know it, we'll be attracting less-fortunates from around the country.

And talk about location! Jack London Square is rife with theatergoers, diners and night clubbers. Truly a target-rich-environment for pan-handlers, pickpockets, drug dealers and those who just enjoy harassing middle-class folk out for a night on the town.

And for those who complain that the shelter would be bad for their property values, relax. What's a hundred grand or two? Your loft was probably overpriced anyway.

(Thanks to Bernard at A Certain Slant of Light, without him I might have missed this story.)

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