4.2 out of 10

Civic Center

37.7999787162211 -122.263539876421
Great for
  • Parking
Not great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Eating Out
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Nightlife
  • Safe & Sound
Who lives here?
  • Professionals


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5

"Bland but conveniently located"

Located at the base of Lake Merritt and sandwiched between Lakeside and Chinatown, Civic Center is home to a plethora of bland government service buildings, public offices and a myriad of urban activity. It’s small and doesn’t offer its locals much of anything, except for the fleeting impression that Oakland has a security blanket. But not much of one.

The further away you travel from Lake Merritt, the more residential the area becomes. In recent years, mid-rise condominiums have been sprouting up in the neighborhood along with ground floor retail spaces. There are a few and lofty and well-maintained hotels and apartment buildings with great views of Oakland landscape. Those renting space are mostly low-income Asian families, which make up an overwhelming percent of the neighborhood’s transplanted population.

Many of the younger residents passing through the neighborhood are usually students attending Laney College. And for the working class, Civic Center bart stop gives them easy access to commute around the city.

Dining options are scarce. Those who work in the area typically travel to Chinatown, which conveniently straddles the neighborhood’s southern border. Nightlife options are also in short supply, with most of the bars and nightclubs catering to the urban crowd.

New drivers in the area can get a bit confused because of the wide one-way streets that the district is known for. Parking on these streets is plentiful though, even during commuter hours. However, most street parking spots are metered and parking garages can be a bit expensive.
Recommended for
  • Professionals

"Work and Nothing More"

The main office for my old job is here in this neighborhood. It's mostly office buildings and a few drug stores and restaurants around here. Travel is convenient since there is the Bart and the bus here. With the Bart I can get to and from here around the bay area very easily. I feel that the streets is a little dirty with some litter on the floor, but the buildings here looks new and modernized. It's a very similar to San Francisco, downtown here, but with a lot less people and cars in the streets.
I've only been here during the day, and I feel safe walking in the streets alone here by myself. The only thing is that I get hit on almost every time when I come out of the Bart station by small group of guys that hang around there.

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