Central Station

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Climbing gym opens in renovated Oakland landmark

from the East Bay Business Times

Touchstone Climbing Inc. has opened 13,000-square-foot climbing gym in a historic Oakland building making that the latest of downtown Oakland landmarks to be renovated. The gym, called the Great Western Power Co., opened in a former power plant built in 1924 by the electric utility Great Western Power Co., which was bought out by the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in 1930.

The facility was decommissioned and put to other uses. Touchstone named the new gym after the former power company. Other renovated landmarks in downtown Oakland include the Cathedral Building on Broadway, the Fox Oakland Theater on Telegraph Avenue and the old Southern Pacific railroad station* on 16th Street.
The new gym, at 520 20th St., features 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, 1,500 feet square feet of bouldering, and more than 50 top and lead ropes. It also has a fitness room with TVs and rooms for yoga, cardio and other classes.
Less than a half-dozen blocks from Lake Merritt, BART and bus lines, the gym hopes to serve downtown residents and workers, providing a convenient place to work out within walking distance. The gym Touchstone's seventh.
* note the Southern Pacific Train station mentioned in the article is part of the Central Station Community Development which offers a choice of housing opportunities: condominium, townhome, loft, and apartment. Pocket parks, greenscaping, and a public gathering space in the revitalized train station

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