Oakland Real Estate
City of Oakland
Oakland, founded in 1852, is today considered a major Northern California city on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. To the north lies Berkeley, home to the campus of the renowned University of California. To the west, across the Bay Bridge, stands San Francisco. Separated from the mainland by and estuary to the southwest is the island city of Alameda, while San Leandro lies to the southeast. Along the hills, which run northwest to southeast, Oakland borders five of the East Bay Regional Parks. In the center of Oakland, and completely surrounded by it, is the prestigious city of Piedmont. Oakland is the county seat of Alameda County. As of 2006, the city’s population was 411,755, making it the third largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area after San Jose and San Francisco. Oakland’s climate offers features that are found in both nearby San Francisco and San Jose. It is warmer thank San Francisco, and cooler than San Jose. While it does not abut the Pacific Ocean proper, its position on San Francisco Bay directly across from the Golden Gate means that the city gets significant cooling maritime fog during the summer. It is far enough inland, though, that the fog often burns off by midday, allowing it to have stereotypically sunny California days.
This part of Oakland, which includes Trestle Glen and formerly known as Indian Gulch, was in 1917 a laurel lined canyon and hillside known for its waterfall, streams and oak studded groves. The Olmstead Brothers, famous landscape architects of the time from Brookline, Massachusetts, were hired to help in preparing the subdivision maps laying out the streets and parcels in a manner which would follow, or compliment, the natural contours of the canyons, ridges and hillsides. Residents enjoy the governance of the Lakeshore Home Owners Association, the eight commonly owned park squares and spaces, including a dog-walking trail, and the proximity to urban amenities and transportation.
Montclair is located in the hills east of Piedmont. The center of the neighborhood is a compact pedestrian oriented shopping district known as Montclair Village, which is located next to Highway 13. The hills of Montclair are heavily forested, and generally characterized by winding streets and large single-family homes. The neighborhood has some of the best public schools in Oakland – Montclair Elementary, Thornhill Elementary, Montera Middle School and Skyline High School.
In the first half of the 20th century, the main line of the Sacramento Northern Railroad ran through the Montclair neighborhood. The tracks ran southward from Lake Temescal, then up Shepard Canyon to a tunnel, the west portal of which was located immediately below Saroni Drive. Today, much of the old right-of-way in Shephard Canyon is a pedestrian and bicycle path. Montclair Village Website: www.montclairvillage.com
The Claremont neighborhood
Claremont straddles the city limits of Oakland and Berkeley. The main thoroughfares are Claremont and Ashby Avenues.
The name was given in the late 19th century by a real estate developer. Previously, the area was grazing land owned by a man named Harwood. Harwood’s name was given to the canyon and the creek running through the canyon. When a telegraph line was strung through this canyon, it was dubbed “Telegraph Canyon”. A stage coach line ran up the canyon and over the summit into Contra Costa County. This became and early auto route over the Berkeley Hills until the first auto tunnel opened up in the 1910’s at the top of Old Tunnel Road to the south of Claremont Canyon, above where the Caldecott Tunnel is today.
In the early 1900’s real estate interests associated with the Key System built the Claremont Hotel at the mouth of the Claremont Canyon. The Key System ran one of its commuter train lines directly to the hotel up Claremont Avenue. This train became the transbay “E” train upon completion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Passengers could ride directly between the hotel and downtown San Francisco until service ended in 1958.
The Claremont neighborhood was one of the areas affected by the 1991 East Bay Hills fire.
Rockridge, a very popular and thriving neighborhood is generally defined as the area east of Telegraph Avenue, south of the Berkeley city limits, west of the Oakland hills and north of the intersection of Pleasant Valley Avenue/51st Street and Broadway. The main street of Rockridge is College Avenue, home to many cafes and restaurants, upscale retail stores, and several bookstores. At the foot of College Avenue is the California College of the Arts. Highway 24 runs through the center of the district on its way east to Contra Costa County. The Rockridge BART station is located in the center of Rockridge, where College Avenue and Highway 24 cross. Rockridge Wedsite: www.rockridgedistrict.com