Laurel is a culturally-diverse east Oakland neighborhood located at the foot of the Oakland hills bounded by Dimond to the west, Redwood Heights to the north, and I-580 to the south and east.
Laurel utilizes MacArthur Boulevard as its main thoroughfare and is the heart of Laurel’s boutique-commercial district, which spans 0.6 miles and contains over 100 local businesses — cafes, grocers, clothing, restaurants, salons, fast food, et al — on MacArthur Boulevard between 35th and High Streets. At both entrances, visitors to the neighborhood are greeted by Laurel’s iconic arches (pictured above), which were designed by local Leslie Golden and completed in 2006.
Like neighboring Dimond, Laurel residents maintain active neighborhood associations (Laurel Village Association and Laurel District Association) that spend a great deal of effort revitalizing Laurel’s commercial district as well as the rest of the neighborhood, in addition to hosting events in and around the neighborhood. Examples include the Laurel Gateway Project (the implementation of the aforementioned arches), the Laurel Art Garden at 35th and Delaware, as well as the current studies to bring higher density building, condos, and businesses to Laurel’s commercial strip.
The neighborhood itself is like a perfect snapshot of Oakland’s diverse population with residents coming from many different walks of life — black, white, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Laotian, Cambodian, Korean, Salvadoran, Mexican, Tongan, et al.
Laurel’s history is also quite rich, dating back to the early 20th century when home tracts were first laid between Quarry (present-day Maple Avenue) from School Street south of I-580 north to Kansas Street. Buyers can expect to find a range of styles – many from 1910 – 1950, though most of the homes marry modern upgrades with traditional features. 2-3 bedroom Craftsman cottages range from the mid $250s – the mid $450s. For some, there are a couple scattered condominium offerings scattered throughout the neighborhood also starting in the mid $200s.
Every year, Laurelites hold an annual street fair on MacArthur Boulevard between 35th and 38th Streets. This year’s street fair will be held on Saturday, August 13th from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m and will feature local entertainment, a health and wellness zone, activities for kids, and a plethora of food vendors. Click here for more information.
In addition, for the sixth year in a row, the Laurel Village Association is coordinating the Laurel Summer Solstice Music Festival on June 25, 2011. Amateur and professional musicians will perform free throughout the neighborhood. Click here for a full list of events.
Schools servicing its residents include Laurel Elementary School (API: 828 out of 1,000), Bret Harte Middle School (API: 909), and Skyline High School (API: 649). For those unfamiliar with California’s Academic Performance Index (API), click here for more information.
If you’re interested in a tour, a viewing, or simply additional charts and graphs of the market in and around Laurel, please contact me at 510-637-8016 or e-mail me at joshuammoore.com.
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