How to Revitalize a Neighborhood in Six Months

Ariel Schwartz writes about Popuphood, a project aiming to dramatically revitalize the Old Oakland neighborhood by offering six months of free rent to five retail establishments on one block.
January 27, 2012, 9am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Pop-ups seem to be all the rage these days in cities across the country, perhaps you've heard of a pop-up restaurant, pop-up store, or pop-up park in your city. In Oakland, entrepreneur Alfonso Dominguez and urban planner Sarah Filley teamed to create Popuphood by utilizing previously vacant storefronts along one block in the historic Old Oakland neighborhood.

"The concept of simultaneously curated retailers that open all at once removes several of the barriers to entry right away," explains Filley. "One is being the lone pioneer in a transitional neighborhood. Another is the initial capital of buildout, rent, and staffing. The third barrier is, doing it on your own, you don't necessarily have a retail community...In this case the retailers have [neighbors] that they know will complement their business."

According to Schwartz, building of their successes in Old Oakland, the team is developing an umbrella company to replicate the Popuphood concept elsewhere in the city.

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Published on Thursday, January 26, 2012 in Fast Company Co.Exist
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