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 â€œdowntown,â€ Fremont is composed of five separate townships, each with itsâ€™ own unique â€œdowntownâ€ area.
Here is a quote from Fremontâ€™s history:
â€œThe 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.â€ (see link at the bottom for credits)
The City is very aware of the problems of no â€œperceivedâ€ 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:
This is worth looking at â€“ 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: