The 13th St. Commons is a public space initiative created by members of our downtown Oakland community that aims to support local merchants, visitors, and residents by radically reimagining 13th street as a community gathering space that plays host to small business incubators, social gatherings, family-friendly activations, live music events, and other Oakland-inspired programming.

Our well laid plans for the activation of the 13th Street Commons were derailed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shelter in place order that was put into effect, but not before we witnessed some of the transformative impacts we all worked so hard to manifest. We executed the agreed upon vision and, as a result, saw people gathering in the beautified space, using the thoughtfully placed furniture for dining and socializing, and most significantly, felt a shift of energy at the street level, making the space welcoming to all.

A substantial amount of time, energy, and passion went into the build out of the block, so we were thrilled when, in mid-July, the county guidelines allowed for the opening up of restaurants for outdoor seating. This news, paired with the city encouraging the creation of usable space in the public rights of way through its Flex Streets initiative, we saw an opportunity to reactivate slowly and safely and get back on track pursuing the vision as imagined.

Small Business Report