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Project to redevelop the site of the original Black Panther Party offices moves forward

A vintage copy of the Black Panther Party's newspaper
Steve Rhodes
Flickr / Creative Commons
A vintage copy of the Black Panther Party's newspaper

The decision by the advisory board on Monday marks another step forward in plans to demolish the storefront that housed the original headquarters of the Black Panthers 55 years ago.

Oaklandside reportsthe structure currently houses It’s All Good Bakery, a barbershop and four second-floor apartments. The property owner, Kim Cloud, who also owns the bakery, recently announced plans for the apartment complex, which he pledged would also include a wall to commemorate the history of the Black Panthers.

The proposed apartment building would have 20 units, only two of which would be reserved for low-income tenants.

The project has divided many residents of the North Oakland community. Some opponents fear the plan will further gentrify the community, as well as erasing an important historical landmark.

But others, including the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation and its president, Frederika Newton, the widow of the party’s co-founder, support the plans.

The decision by the preservation allows the project to proceed through the city’s regular review process. But ultimately, its fate rests with Oakland’s zoning manager.