Bruce Mirken is conducting what seems like a high-profile auction in New York City.
“As you can see,” he says to the gathered crowd, “we’re auctioning this lovely Manhattan luxury condo that was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Blankfein back in 2008 for $26 million. I wish you could see the lobby of this building. It’s bigger than some small countries!”
Mead Avenue is a single block in West Oakland in the triangle where San Pablo Avenue and Market Street meet. Like streets in a lot of low-income communities, Mead Avenue has seen poverty, gangs, gun violence, the crack epidemic. There’s also a church on the corner, a Boys and Girls Club across the street, and a non-profit dedicated to Men’s Health close by. None of those things may be as important to Mead Avenue’s future as that big thing our entire economy revolves around: real estate. Here’s Derek Suring, a real estate agent in Oakland.