A multicultural mixed-use community gathering place with housing, commercial, and arts-based spaces

Swan’s Marketplace in Oakland, California, is an adaptive reuse project incorporating and commercial and arts space in a historic market complex. The renovation restored eight buildings on a shared block in Old Oakland, relocated the vendors of the landmark Housewives Fresh Food Market, and added office space and several retail and restaurant tenants. Twenty market-rate condominiums and 18 affordable housing units were created, and a Museum of Children’s Art adds to the diverse mix of available activities and programs. A shared courtyard and community garden physically connect the project components and create a sense of community that serves the project’s mission to revitalize the neighborhood.

Swan’s Marketplace saved a well-known and beloved shopping site while working to create a much-needed presence and vitality, as well as mixed-income housing in Oakland’s neglected downtown.

2001 Selection Committee

Swan’s Market was made possible by a successful public-private partnership. It succeeded in eliminating blight in the neighborhood while preserving its historic character and attracting middle- and upper-income residents without displacing existing residents and businesses. New businesses have taken root, further boosting the area’s economic vitality and stability.