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Oakland Touts Downtown Turnaround In Year After Turbulent Occupy Protests

OAKLAND (KCBS) - In the year since a series of Occupy protests turned Oakland upside down, business all over the city has seen a renaissance particularly in the downtown core, city leaders said Wednesday.

Oakland is now home to innovative technology companies such as Pandora, in addition to the new restaurants, clubs and galleries that have opened all over the city, said Mayor Jean Quan.

"Downtown is beginning to thrive again," she said.

KCBS' Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

"We have at least 30 new businesses that are planned. We have some retail that we're talking to," she said, stores expected to open within the next year.

The mayor and other city leaders touted the turnaround at the newly restored Frank Ogawa Plaza on Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of an confrontation between demonstrators and police that wreaked havoc on downtown and began a months-long escalation of Occupy Wall Street protests in the city.

Quan cited a recent New York Times travel article that ranked Oakland 5th in a list of 45 places to visit in 2012.

"This whole part of Oakland is really on the rise," she said, describing the area around Broadway and Telegraph avenues as a "24-7 community."

"It's a place where people from all over Oakland feel comfortable."

City officials said tax revenue in the city was up 11 percent compared to a year ago, and the unemployment rate had dropped two points, from above 15 percent to 13 percent.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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