Ken Lowney and Creative Development Partners vie for Kaiser Convention Center Project
Publication: San Francisco Chronicle
By Rachel Swan
Photo: Michael Short
The Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center — a crumbling, ornamented building that once hosted Grateful Dead concerts and housed victims of the Spanish flu — has long been a piece of lost history in Oakland.
Now it’s become a political battlefront.
“If you don’t have roots here, you don’t understand why that building is so important,” said Randolph Belle, vice president of Creative Development Partners, a group that’s vying for rights to renovate and reopen the Kaiser center property. Belle, who is 47 and grew up in San Francisco, rattled off all the memories he had of Kaiser center events before the building
shuttered in 2005: Christmas pageants, basketball games, an MC Hammer concert in 1987 that he described as “epic.”