Oakland's Sweet's Ballroom Up For Sale

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —

Historic Sweet's Ballroom in Oakland, CA is looking for a new owner. As one of the Bay Area's most beautiful art deco venues, the 81-year-old ballroom, that once hosted Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, is for sale.

Sweet's Ballroom and concert venue is on the second floor of the J.J. Newberry building and is located at 1933 Broadway in downtown Oakland. Opened in 1924, Sweet's lay dormant from 1980-1998 until local resident Matthew Fox purchased the building and, with developers Phil Tagami & Len Epstein, completed a $2-million renovation to restore the art deco treasure. A focal point of the property is the 900-person capacity ballroom featuring an 8,000 sq. ft. dance floor, a 1,000 sq. ft. bar/lounge area, and a 2,000 sq. ft. balconied mezzanine. Due to its size and grandeur, many have compared Sweet's to a similar venue, The Fillmore in San Francisco.

Fox, who still owns a 31-year lease to Sweet's–he sold the building in 2001–hopes to attract a buyer who will bring world-class acts to Oakland, creating a venue in the East Bay to rival the best in the city. Historically, concert production companies have attempted to own and master-lease venues to succeed in an increasingly competitive industry. Sweet's Ballroom fits nicely in this business model. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner