Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 26, 2015

We all scream for yogurt, boba (and ice cream)

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

Your occasional Alameda Landing update. The registration period for the Alameda Landing BMR units closed earlier this week and word has it that 500 applications were submitted and 120 applicants qualified with 3 preference points. So essentially if you are not a four or more person household living or working in Alameda you are out of luck.

Remember there are only nine units available for sale.

There was a rumor somewhere that California Pizza Kitchen is moving into the space across from Habit Burger at Alameda. As of yesterday the spot was still being leased to Spin Pizza, so I’m not sure where the info came from.

Two of the smaller spaces officially have tenant names and based on the type of store and the demographic close to Alameda Landing (college) they’re going to do well.  First up, next to Spin Pizza is Share Tea which is a boba milk tea type place.  I’m not a fan of boba milk tea, I have a tricky relationship with dairy, but it’s huge with the young ‘uns.


Also coming in, but disappeared off “official” lists for a while is Yogurtland, which is yogurt.  Frozen yogurt.  Has a good following and apparently gives away really cute spoons that people collect.  It is a thing.



The space next to Unleashed and Michaels is morphing into a “Junior Anchor” which, according to this 2010 list includes stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond (we’re probably not getting another one) and Sports Authority.  And a bunch of 99 cent stores.

Also another ice cream shop may be on the horizon in addition to yogurt land.  A quick service sandwich shop and Hawaiian BBQ.  More interesting is the large 6400 square foot building, the big green box which is listed as a “Japanese Restaurant.”




  1. I posted this a few weeks on Nextdoor: I was walking over by Chipotle and asked the guy when they were going to open and he said they planned on opening by the end of the month, but they can’t find anyone to work so it may be at the end of May. If you know anyone looking for a job tell them to go to

    It would be a good job for someone going to College of Alameda or for High School students on weekends…do kids still have part time jobs while in high school anymore or while in College? The 2 years I worked full time in college and took a full load of classes I got some of my best grades because I had a vested interest. The first year was paid by my parents and the last year I got student loans.

    Comment by Jake. — March 26, 2015 @ 7:22 am

  2. Perhaps part of the reason is we don’t have a ‘living wage ordinance’ in the City of Alameda. San Francisco, Oakland , Berkeley. San Leandro and even Richmond have them.

    Comment by frank m — March 26, 2015 @ 7:52 am

  3. good point Frank, we should have a “Living wage ordinance” at least equal to other near by cities.

    Comment by John P. — March 26, 2015 @ 8:00 am

  4. San Leandro’s living wage is only for businesses that contract directly with the City itself, so a business like Chipotle — unless they provide direct services to the City — wouldn’t qualify under San Leandro’s living wage ordinance.

    But I totally agree that Alameda should move forward with a living wage ordinance, but not in the San Leandro model.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 26, 2015 @ 8:05 am

  5. That’s a big space for “Japanese” restaurant under negotiations. Guess I might eventually get to try a Benihana.

    Alameda could use a Sports Authority type store, or heck, an REI! Hopefully that is what is going for the Junior anchor spot.

    Comment by BMac — March 26, 2015 @ 8:30 am

  6. It could be a Shabu Shabu spot. Those kitted out shabu shabu tables take up a good amount of floor space. I’m really hoping for some sort of hot pot restaurant.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 26, 2015 @ 8:49 am

  7. Off topic here: does anyone feel the Alameda Sun has an inherent bias coming from its Editor? (or is it the Journal…?) Serious bias. Ltrs to the letter I’ve had published are edited in such a way as to no longer carry the tone/intent I initially intended. The thought came to me after catching a glimpse this morning of an article on Alameda Firefighters and overtime in 2014. So heavy handed I KNOW there’s another side to it…but that’s not presented. Now, back to your usual programming…(and have a great day everyone! :0)

    Comment by Gabrielle Dolphin — March 26, 2015 @ 8:51 am

  8. I think the Sun has a definite point of view which has been getting stronger in the past year.

    Comment by Kate Quick — March 26, 2015 @ 9:19 am

  9. Oakland did not wait , leaving wages for everyone , this has turned Alameda a paradise for underpaid job and Part timer for which employer does not have to offer the possibility of any insurance even I the employee pay for it .
    Jake please re read your post if you spend 2 years in college {congratulation] one was paid by your parent , the other via student loan , why did you resort to part time job without benefit , these jobs are jobs , and you as well as everyone else deserve benefit , I have a very hard time with your concept , work I work part or full time.
    Like many we did pay in full for the university education for our kid , the reason is simple it is an obscenity in our society to have college graduate with loan which will take decades to repay While all the bank borrow money from the fed at near zero rate?

    Interestingly all the so call high tech Co Alameda is pandering to offer basically free insurance and very generous 401K . The vast majority do not even reside in the City .
    An interesting aspect which has not been taken into consideration for the so called traffic study .
    I am not against developing the base , I am against turning it for what it is becoming lines of strip mall from any town USA with house which look all the same , painted the same color , the same green grass , eating the same junk Pizza , Burger and Chinese or Mexican restaurant with the creativity of Mac Donald …..
    I wonder if they all watch the same TV program and go to bed at the same time ……
    Southern California has moved North without any quake .

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — March 26, 2015 @ 9:35 am

  10. Joel #9,

    I went to a four year university…The first year paid by my parents & grandparents, next 2 years paid by me and the last one paid with student loans and summer job. I paid my loans off over the time period allotted (actually quicker). I didn’t have benefits at my job but I did medical through a plan at the school which I paid separately. While in college, I worked at gas stations, McDonalds, a Ski Area, as a janitor, and fought forest fires in the summer…none of them were glamorous jobs but they got me through school. My parents could only help me get started but they had four more kids at home to support as well as a mortgage. Sounds like you only had 1 kid who didn’t have to work. My point was working at Chipotles would be a good job for someone going to the College of Alameda especially given its location.

    I was just surprised that they couldn’t find people to work there. I guess those places paying low wages will eventually have to do something in order to attract employees otherwise they will go out of business or have to raise their prices to pay for higher wages. There is a demand for fast, cheap food, but the reality is nothing is for free.

    Comment by Jake. — March 26, 2015 @ 10:37 am

  11. Chipotle will be able to find workers. They just have to be willing to pay them. Even though Alameda might not have a high minimum wage, since Oakland does, it will drive up wages on the island, since it is relatively easy to substitute one city for the other when looking for work.

    Comment by BMac — March 26, 2015 @ 11:36 am

  12. Off the point……what is the building that is being built between the Safeway gas station and the In-N-Out?

    Comment by Frank — March 26, 2015 @ 12:57 pm

  13. Chase Bank

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 26, 2015 @ 1:12 pm

  14. Chipotle prefers workers who want to stay in retail food service; they promote from within, including the franchise owners.

    Comment by Linda on Otis St. — March 26, 2015 @ 3:42 pm

  15. 7. Apparently the Sun does not have the discipline or professional where with all to keep a credible fire wall between news and editorial. If they edit letter content that is odd because some of the letters they run are often so LONG, it can’t be justified by need for space or even the sake of brevity. I guess the header “Ilse Say” on Irene Dieter’s op-ed makes some delineation that it is not straight news, but most papers don’t put op-ed on front page with biased header above the fold.

    What I really thought was precious was a letter writer claiming the Sun is biased because they have “printed at least two negative reports on her (Spencer’s) ‘no’ vote on the proposed new fire station and community center and nothing whatsoever on why she voted no.” The writer goes on to accuse the Sun of being a stooge for IAFF. This writer opens his letter by proclaiming that “Spencer is probably the most ethical, capable administrator this city has seen in the last 12 years.”

    Comment by MI — March 26, 2015 @ 6:00 pm

  16. 14)

    All of Chipotle’s restaurants are company-owned, rather than franchised.[51] As of December 2012, 1430 restaurants have since opened throughout the United States and Canada, with locations in 43 states, Ontario, British Columbia, and the District of Columbia.[52][53] Founder Steve Ells serves as chairman and co-chief executive officer,[54] and has a 1.25% stake in the company.[46]

    Oakland Chinatown Businesses Struggle After Minimum Wage Hike

    Hold the Guac

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — March 26, 2015 @ 6:19 pm

  17. “It’s the Final Nail to the Coffin”: Chinatown Businesses Struggle Over Oakland’s New Minimum Wage

    Some businesses in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood are feeling the effects from the city’s new voter-approved minimum wage. The new $12.25 [per hour minimum wage], up from $9, went into effect on March 2 and was approved by 82 percent of voters.
    “With this minimum wage kicking in, it’s the final nail to the coffin,” said Carl Chan, a board member for the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. The new minimum wage forced owner of the Legendary Palace restaurant to close its doors on Feb. 26. Officials said four restaurants and six grocery stores have closed since January.
    Many business owners are blaming the 36 percent wage hike, while some said the businesses were already in financial distress. “Business owners are angry,” said KC Lam, a business owner. “They can’t cope too much.” Lam said he will keep the New Gold Medal restaurant open by being creative — possibly opening an hour later and closing an hour earlier.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — March 26, 2015 @ 6:31 pm

  18. Oakland minimum-wage hike puts child caregivers in a jam

    Workers who benefit from Oakland’s minimum wage hike might soon lose a service that enables them to work in the first place. It turns out the well-intentioned law is putting a financial squeeze on Oakland’s child care industry, leading some providers to panic.
    “We’re scrambling to find ways to keep the doors open,” said Capt. Dan Williams, Alameda County coordinator of the Salvation Army. He says the added payroll costs of providing workers with a $12.25-an-hour wage have put his organization’s Booth Memorial Child Development Center and family shelter $146,000 over budget, which is “quite a bit for a facility that was barely making it as it was.” If the Salvation Army can’t scrounge up that money by writing grants and finding donors, it might have to cut some of its 63 child care slots. A number of other day care centers face the same predicament.
    Child care centers operate on razor-thin margins — thinner, even, than those of the restaurant industry — and many are lucky to wind up in the black at the end of the year. A restaurant can raise prices to meet the new cost of doing business, but child care operations have limited flexibility.
    Organizations like the Salvation Army depend on fixed subsidies from the state, which won’t adjust in response to changes in city law. Both the state-funded programs and their private counterparts are bound by strict state ratio requirements, which mandate that a certain number of employees be present with the children each day. For every four infants, for example, the law requires that centers provide one child care worker.
    So traditional staff-cutting isn’t an option for day care centers.
    “That’s one of the unintended consequences” of Oakland’s Measure FF, the November ballot measure that raised the city’s minimum wage from $9 an hour, said Richard Winefield, executive director of the nonprofit child care referral service Bananas. “A lot of (centers) are run on very narrow margins, and when they increase the hourly rate on their employees, they need to pass that on in tuition costs, so families need to fork over more money.”
    But many families don’t have the wherewithal to pay more, Winefield said. And as a result, they’re getting priced out.
    Bottom Line: To help understand what restaurants and small businesses in Seattle can expect following its pending 58% increase in the minimum wage, the devastating effects in Oakland following its recent 36% minimum wage hike provide a forecast of what small businesses in the Emerald City can expect going forward.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — March 26, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

  19. The closure of the “Legendary Palace” had nothing to do with the minimum wage!

    Comment by bayporter — March 26, 2015 @ 10:22 pm

  20. With correct timestamp.

    Comment by bayporter — March 26, 2015 @ 10:24 pm

  21. Legendary Palace went the way of Silver Dragon and the other Chinatown banquet places that closed down before the minimum wage hike. From an article about the Silver Dragon closure and about the transition of Oakland Chinatown in general:

    The Silver Dragon closed because it didn’t have the right clientele to support a large Americanized Chinese restaurant any longer. The number of Oakland residents who identified as Chinese on the census has increased steadily every year since 1970 to 9 percent in 2010. But Chinatown residents are likely to be Chinese-speaking and have less and less disposable income as they age. The median age of the 2,788 people who live in the heart of Chinatown — roughly Broadway to Alice Street — is 62 years old.

    “It’s an uphill battle,” said John Loh, an investor whose portfolio includes the Pacific Renaissance Plaza in the heart of Chinatown.

    “We need new blood,” he said, looking out the window of his office at the plaza’s courtyard. Nearly a dozen of the 69 storefronts are vacant. Like many of Chinatown’s business class, Loh has his hopes set on the development of a half-mile of land surrounding the Lake Merritt BART Station. But the Lake Merritt Station Area plan is years away.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 27, 2015 @ 6:38 am

  22. 21 True, but Wesley, a few years younger than I, was very ready to retire and didn’t have a family member who was just begging to take on the business. It was time to enjoy the grandchildren.

    Comment by Li_ — March 27, 2015 @ 4:45 pm

  23. When Oakland has 70% of its students living in poverty and receiving free lunches at school…These parents probably can’t afford higher prices at the stores and restaurants…. and they are losing jobs.

    Counter effect like store owner stated.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — March 27, 2015 @ 6:45 pm

  24. The immigrants make up this city.

    Chinatown hotel next up in S.F. gentrification wars
    By J.K. Dineen Updated 8:45 am, Friday, March 27, 2015

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — March 27, 2015 @ 7:17 pm

  25. McDonald’s hires 7,000 touch-screen cashiers

    McDonald’s to start using 7,000 touch-screen cashiers and the people striking for a higher wage haven’t even gotten the politicians to force a $10.10 per hour minimum wage yet.

    You want Fries with that.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — March 27, 2015 @ 9:36 pm

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