Sean Schwilling @ Your Service - 510-409-6946
But like anything else, it will take time to effect the transition. First, developers have to secure the land -- and if there are multiple owners of adjacent parcels, that could be a challenge especially if owners aren't willing to sell.
Then getting the plan approved by the local government could literally take years. That's not even including the actual building structures and permits.
Because the process to build something new could be lengthy, some builders are opting to buy what's there, and rehab/replace/rebuild.
It helps to see various things develop....look at how beautiful Mandela Parkway turned out to be! To see just how far it's come along, just try getting a seat at Brown Sugar Kitchen for breakfast or lunch. There's almost always a long line of people waiting to get in. And you'll be amazed at the diversity of people who dine there --- white and blue collar mix it up (how wonderful!)
Take a look at Pacific Cannery lofts --- it's 77% sold. And the live/work lofts designed by Thomas Dolan don't stay long in the market. And if you haven't seen them yet, check ouf the Cigar Factory Lofts.
Things are moving...maybe at a snail's pace by some people's standards, but the point is, they're moving in the right direction.
With all the younger people you see on their Bycycles and back packs and Dogs in W Oakland and N Oakland it is only a matter of time. It will be the next Emeryville in 8-10 years as long as the economy does not crash again like it did a few years ago.
I don't think it's going to truly gentrify anytime soon. If you are considering WO as an investment for a windfall don't bother. If you want a less expensive area to live and also close to SF via BART, you should consider being part of the wave of improvement. There is an amazing community there, if you know where to look.