Chirp, Home Buyer in 94539

Anyone know why Fremont hasn't developed a nice downtown (or even a few different areas with unique stores and restaurants)? Why doesn't it?

Asked by Chirp, 94539 Thu Jun 3, 2010

have anything like Pleasanton, for example? I know there is the Niles downtown, but Fremont is such a huge city, I would think there would be more cute areas than this. Are there plans to develop anything with a high concentration of stores and restaurants that are not big box and chains? Fremont has such a great location, nice weather, etc. that I would think this would be more of a priority.

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Chirp, Home Buyer, 94539
Sat Jun 5, 2010
Thanks Carl, I read the Fremont plan and it is very imformative. I am glad that Fremont has created a vision for future development, and I like the "sustainability" focus. Of course, it is called "General Plan 2030", which implies these changes may not take place for many years to come. I think it would be great if Fremont could develop into a bike focused city like Davis - it has that same flat topography.
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The Medford…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Fri Jun 4, 2010
Chirp:

To understand why there is no centralized downtown core in Fremont such as other cities, you have to understand its history. Whereas cities like Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Danville, Palo Alto, etc. have always been single cities with a single “downtown,” Fremont is composed of five separate townships, each with its’ own unique “downtown” area.

Here is a quote from Fremont’s history:

“The towns of Niles, Mission San Jose, Centerville, Irvington, and Warm Springs were incorporated into the City of Fremont in 1956. Some 22,000 people lived between Mission Peak and the bay. The size of the area and the melding of five towns into one city presented special problems. Planners located industry in the southern part and commercial development near the center. Conflicting factions sometimes polarized the city, especially during the campaign to locate city hall and establish a city center.

The opening of the Hub in 1962 was the first step in the development of the Central Business District. The General Motors plant opened in 1963.

The City of Fremont has gradually developed civic facilities and parks. Central Park was opened in 1962, the City Government Building in 1968, Lake Elizabeth in 1969, the Library Building in 1989 and the Police Building in 1996.” (see link at the bottom for credits)

The City is very aware of the problems of no “perceived” downtown core, and also understands the draws of such areas, given the popularity of the downtown areas of both Pleasanton and Palo Alto (both located within a 25 minute drive from Fremont). Even Hayward has been working hard to revitalize its downtown core and is enjoying a modicum of success. Realizing this, Fremont has been working hard to develop a general plan that incorporates a number of concepts designed towards this end. You can read about their plans in the 2030 General Plan Vision Statement:

http://www.fremont.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=3212.

This is worth looking at – there are a number of artistic renderings that will give you a good idea where Fremont is headed.

The city demolished its civic center a number of years ago as it was located atop the Hayward fault and was deemed seismically unsound (that fact that it closely resembled a Star Wars All Terrain Armored Transport [AT-AT] might have had something to do with it as well!). The city is currently crowded out of its existing facilities and had planned to relocate, however, economic constraints have put these plans on hold.

For more information, see:

http://www.fremont.gov/
http://www.museumoflocalhistory.org/oldmuse/history6.htm
http://www.fremont.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=3212
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