1.8 out of 10

Bancroft Business / Havenscourt

37.7664164241685 -122.186524342075
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Internet Access
  • Public Transport
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Medical Facilities
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Safe & Sound
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
Who lives here?
  • No ratings yet


1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5

"Only Bad Businesses Here"

As always in this part of Oakland, it is important to report on the number violent crimes. This neighborhood averages about 3 murders per year and with similarly high murder rates. Given that the population of the neighborhood is around 6,000, that is a 1 in 2000 chance of being killed here on any given year. Just about as bad as it gets. Even with much of the worst violence being contained to gang violence, I could not recommend this neighborhood to anyone with other options.

The central feature of this neighborhood is the decrepit Eastmont Mall on Bancroft’s southeastern edge. The mall has been in steady decline for about twenty years now, and except for a supermarket and a couple of low-end retail stores, the mall is mostly the home of county offices these days. An additional stain on its reputation is that one of its corners, where 73rd and Foothill meet, is notorious for the being just a couple of blocks from where, on Mar. 31, 2009 four Oakland Police Officers were killed by a single shooter--the worst loss in the department’s history. Needless to say, this mall is not a major destination for shoppers outside of the area.

The mall is surrounded by both some of the newest and the most ramshackle living spaces in the area. You can find several of those newer boxy, pastel colored apartment buildings here—the kind that are meant to gentrify the area and draw new blood to help Oakland improve its standard of living. Unfortunately, there are also a number of homes with dead lawns, boarded windows and faded walls. The kind of places where bed sheets have been pitched at the windows to keep out the prying light. Very depressing.

One bright spot of the neighborhood is Markham Elementary. Despite being a economically disadvantaged area where crime and poverty make having stable families difficult, Markham has managed to continue to improve its standards in the last few years. It is not a fantastic school by objective standards, but managing mediocrity in an environment such as this is an accomplishment worthy of note.

The Havenscourt section of the neighborhood—stretching out around the street by the same name—is a little better than the area around the mall. This is still a working class neighborhood, but the homes in the area are much better cared for and actually quite attractive in spots. Havenscourt Boulevard is hands down the most attractive street in the area, its wide lanes bordered by leafy sentinels. The small bungalows along Havenscourt show some signs of care and offer the hope of a possible revitalization for the area—though, as seems to always be the case for most of Oakland, this is still far into the hazy future.

For now, this is not a neighborhood I could recommend.
  • Some Nice Bungalows
  • Good Public Transportation
  • Cheap Housing
  • Decrepit Mall
  • Many Ramshackle Homes
  • Gang Violence

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