Oceanview, San Francisco

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Oceanview is located in San Francisco County
Location within San Francisco
Coordinates: 37°42′52″N 122°27′24″W / 37.7144°N 122.4567°W / 37.7144; -122.4567Coordinates: 37°42′52″N 122°27′24″W / 37.7144°N 122.4567°W / 37.7144; -122.4567
Country United States
State California
City and countySan Francisco
 • SupervisorAhsha Safai
 • AssemblymemberPhil Ting (D)[1]
 • State senatorScott Wiener (D)[1]
 • U. S. rep.Jackie Speier (D)[2]
 • Total0.308 sq mi (0.80 km2)
 • Total7,010
 • Density23,000/sq mi (8,800/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area codes415/628

Oceanview is a neighborhood in the southern portion of San Francisco, California. It was first established as a community in the 1910s and originally centered on the intersection of Sagamore Street and San Jose Avenue. Today, the neighborhood is bordered by Orizaba Avenue to the west, Lakeview Avenue to the north, and Interstate 280 to the south and east.

Ingleside and the Ocean Avenue campus of City College lay north of Oceanview; Cayuga Terrace is to the east; Daly City, California, and the Outer Mission are south; and Merced Heights is to the west.

Oceanview Playground and Minnie and Lovie Ward Recreation Center are located in the middle of the neighborhood, a two-square-block area between Plymouth Avenue, Capitol Avenue, Lobos Street, and Montana Street. The Ocean View Branch Library of the San Francisco Public Library is located at 345 Randolph St. Ocean View is served by Muni Metro Routes M, 29 and 54.


An M Ocean View train on Broad Street

Oceanview, also referred to as "Lakeview" by some natives of the community, has a rich history.[4] Oceanview was originally an Italian-Irish-German neighborhood in the mid- to late nineteenth century; the location acted as a station for train service between San Francisco and San Jose, owned by San Francisco and San Jose Railroad, bought by Southern Pacific in 1868.[5] Post World War II the Ocean View was one of the few places in San Francisco where African-American families could buy property. During redevelopment in the Western Addition/Fillmore in the 1960s and 70s, more African-American families moved to the neighborhood from the Western Addition and Bayview neighborhoods.[4] Until the mid-1990s, African Americans accounted for over 50 percent of the neighborhood's residents. In the early 2000s, lower real estate prices relative to the rest of the city brought in a new influx of Asians, Latinos, and Caucasians, making Oceanview one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco.

At one point in time there was a lake on Geneva Ave, down the slope from the eastern side of Oceanview. Lake view refers not to Lake Merced, but the former Lake Geneva the creek coursed through this canyon and by Glen Park and then through what is now Bosworth Street until it reached the bottom over which Mission Street viaduct is built. The other source is about where Cayuga Avenue and Regent Street intersect. Its channel was what is now Cayuga Avenue and joined the other branch under the Mission Street viaduct. The creek widened between Niagara and Geneva Avenues to form what was known as Lake Geneva.[6]


Partly due to fairly recent waves of gentrification in the past decade, Oceanview is more ethnically and economically diverse than San Francisco as a whole. Asians now hold majority status in the once predominantly-African American enclave. Although no longer a majority in the neighborhood as in the 1960s-1990s, many blocks abutting the Broad-Randolph Street corridor remain 50% or more African-American in residency. As of the early 2010s, the block off of Orizaba Avenue and Garfield Street is 54% black, the highest concentration of Oceanview.[7] As of the 2010 Census, Oceanview is 44.68% Asian, 22.99% African American, 20.36% Caucasian and 14.1% Latino.[8][9]

Marginalization and crime[edit]

Oceanview has been described as "hard to find" due to its location situated in between two freeways in the far southwestern outskirts of San Francisco. Passenger service on the train line that established the area ended in 1904, causing business development to decline in Oceanview. Post World War II, African-Americans were encouraged to buy property in the declining district, finding less discrimination and lower cost older average age homes throughout the area. The neighborhood began to show signs of neglect and deterioration by the 1960s. By the early 1970s Oceanview had become an African American-majority neighborhood, representing over 50% of the residents. The balance of the neighborhood residency consisted of African Americans, Asians, Latinos and Pacific Islanders, with fewer Caucasians residing in the district.[10]

By the 1980s after years of widespread civic neglect, the Oceanview neighborhood declined into one of San Francisco's most crime-ridden districts. A geographically remote, socially isolated, majority-black population of displaced blue collar workers endured an environment rife with unemployment and relative poverty. These socioeconomic factors transformed the working-class neighborhood, resulting in drug trade and gang activity. Notably, the primary neighborhood corridors Broad and Randolph Streets, became a dangerously active open-air drug market. These streets were marked by high concentration of liquor stores and shuttered former businesses. Crack cocaine and heroin drug abuse became prevalent in the area throughout the 1980s and 1990s, as nearly 20 crack houses were counted in the neighborhood by police authorities at one point in the early 1990s. During the period, Oceanview and adjoining Ingleside Heights experienced some of San Francisco and the Bay Areas highest violent crime rates. Gunfire was frequently reported in the area, with a sizeable percentage of San Francisco's homicides occurring in Oceanview. One year, 12 homicides occurred on a single Oceanview intersection. Despite the neighborhood's high crime rates, local news media paid little attention to Oceanview compared to other lower-income dangerous high crime neighborhoods in San Francisco such as Bayview Hunters Point [11]

Historically, the bulk of the murders that occurred in Oceanview were killings connected to the once thriving local drug trade in the community. Murders were also the outcome of armed combat between mostly young African-American men involved in local loosely organized gangs of childhood friends from opposing rival "turfs", or majority-black low-income neighborhoods and or public housing projects, throughout San Francisco including Randolph Street in Oceanview as well as the Sunnydale projects on the fringe of the Visitacion Valley neighborhood and the Western Addition, locally known as the Fillmore district.[12][13][14] These locally based gangs of mostly young male minorities involved in the criminal lifestyle of San Francisco often did not refer to themselves as actual gangs as there was no hierarchy, strict organization, recruiting or getting "jumped in" associated with groups whose main camaraderie was based on claiming their neighborhood, block or public housing projects.[15] Young African-American men involved in local turf gangs or "mobs" in Oceanview, as well as most predominantly African-American areas of San Francisco and much of Bay Area seldom adopted the Blood and Crip nationwide gang culture that was founded in 1970s Los Angeles.[16]

Concurrently, in the late 1980s and 1990s, Oceanview became a hub for independently produced local underground Gangsta Rap, known in the Bay Area as Mob music. During this time, young men from the local area began articulating the harsher realities of growing up in the neighborhood through Rap music. Thus detailing the violent street crime that plagued the district as well as voicing their unsettling daily struggles while living in Oceanview. Many Bay Area Rap pioneers such as the late Cougnut and Cellski hailed from the neighborhood, some from the public housing project at Randolph and Head Streets along the areas main corridor.

Gentrification and revitalization[edit]

During the 1990s and 2000s, San Francisco experienced the most acute case of Black flight of any major city in the nation as thousands upon thousands of middle class and lower-income black families moved out of the city due to a rising cost of living as well as the disproportionately high crime rates, sub-standard public housing and poor performing schools that existed in black-majority areas across San Francisco such as Oceanview.[17]

By the early 2000s, serious incidences of violent crime had decreased significantly in Oceanview. The efforts of a neighborhood group of community activists called Neighbors In Action and the local police force had effectively curbed the street crime associated with drug dealing and gang activity that had blighted the area for decades. Most notably, long-time Oceanview resident Minnie Ward helped spearhead the changes in Oceanview by working hard in community activism with her husband to reverse Oceanview's then increasing ghettoization in the early 1990s.[18]

Both Minnie,(d: 2005) and husband Lovie (d: 2003) were honored when the Oceanview Park recreation center was rebuilt and renamed the Minnie and Lovie Ward Recreational Center. The renaming commemorated the couple's contributions to cleaning up the Oceanview neighborhood. A new library opened on 345 Randolph Street in June 2000, replacing an older and markedly smaller reading room type library that was located at 111 Broad Street. At 117 Broad, Engine Co. No.33, an architecturally restored 1890s Victorian firehouse offers riding tours on an antique fire engine throughout San Francisco.

Few new businesses have opened along the residential neighborhoods once downtrodden Broad-Randolph commercial strip. However, in March 2012 Donald Andrews, a third generation Oceanview resident in his 20s, opened Broad Street's first new business in almost ten years. An independent streetwear clothing boutique called Dream Team.[19]

Despite Oceanview's gentrification and revitalization, in recent years the neighborhood has suffered occasional gang and drug related violence. As of December 2012, concerned Oceanview residents and the Inner City Youth Center on Broad Street called for the reopening of the police substation on 103 Broad Street due to an increase in homicides and gun violence in Oceanview. The Taraval Police Station refused to reopen the police substation unless the entire facility was encased in bulletproof glass.[20] Broad Street continues to have some of the highest violent crime rates in the city. As of March 2017, there were four shootings and three homicides within a six month period around the intersection of Broad and Plymouth Streets. [21] [22]

As of 2013, many homebuyers are choosing to purchase homes in Oceanview. This is due to housing stock selling at a much lower price point than most San Francisco neighborhoods. Housing prices continue to rise annually in Oceanview. From 2012 to 2013, the median sales price of houses in Oceanview increased 6.3% and the number of sales increased by 66.7%. The average square foot price of a house in Oceanview was $484 which was a 12.8% increase from the same time frame.[4]



  1. ^ a b "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  2. ^ "California's 14th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
  3. ^ a b "Oceanview neighborhood in San Francisco, California". Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Fontes, Marsha (2003). "I am OMI". Western Neighborhoods Project.
  5. ^ Fontes, Marsha (1993). "Railway Recollections". West Portal Monthly.
  6. ^ William Crittenden Sharpsteen. "Vanished Waters of Southeastern San Francisco". June 1941. San Francisco Museum.
  7. ^ "Overview of Block 031301-3-008, San Francisco County, California (Block)". U.S. Census Bureau/Statistical Atlas.
  8. ^ "Ocean View, San Francisco, CA Demographics Data". Area Vibes. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  9. ^ "Ocean View neighborhood in San Francisco (CA), 94112 detailed profile". City-Data. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  10. ^ ""On the Lookout for a Better outlook" Oceanview guide, Moving to San Francisco". Street Advisor. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  11. ^ Jones, Carolyn. "OCEANVIEW// Neighborhood reclaims its mean streets". SFGate. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  12. ^ Thompson, A.C. "Forgotten City". San Francisco Bay Guardian News. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  13. ^ Sabatini, Joshua. "Gang violence blamed for recent shootings". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  14. ^ Thompson, A.C. "Bad Blood". SF Weekly. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  15. ^ Samaha, Albert. "Menace to Society: Why Many Young Black Men Are Accused of Being in Gangs". SF Weekly. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  16. ^ Samaha, Albert. "Crip-less: S.F.'s Dislike of Franchises Extends to Street Gangs". SF Weekly. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  17. ^ ritter, John. "San Francisco hopes to reverse black flight". USA Today. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  18. ^ Nolte, Carl. "Minnie Ward Helped Clean Up Ocean View Area". SFGate. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  19. ^ Mersch, Eric. "Dream Team Founder Rides Wave of Community Support". Ocean View Neighbors. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  20. ^ Mullaney, Alexander (December 1, 2012). "OMI neighbors, Inner City Youth call for reopening 103 Broad St". San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  21. ^ Smith, Christie (March 29, 2017). "One Dead, Two Hurt After Shooting in San Francisco's Oceanview Neighborhood". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  22. ^ Sarah, Ravani (October 8, 2016). "Shooting in SF's Oceanview neighborhood leaves 1 dead, 1 injured". SFGate. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  23. ^ "Oceanview Real Estate Overview". Trulia. Retrieved January 28, 2014.