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Downtown Fremont?

Tonight, Fremont is taking a second stab at trying to turn the area around Fremont’s BART station into something resembling a downtown.

The city has tapped San Francisco-based development firm TMG Partners to spearhead a development on Capitol Avenue, which could turn the road into a hotbed of commercial activity with plenty of housing and public space to boot.

Just two years ago, developer William Faidi unveiled an ambitious plan that would have extended Capitol Avenue to Fremont Boulevard, and built a public plaza and lots of retail and housing  on the expanded street.

But, those plans fizzled when Faidi and his relatives started suing each other over family assets. Faidi, who owns the shopping center at Mowry Avenue and Fremont Boulevard (the one with the Barnes & Noble), was too preoccupied to pursue the development, and the city decided to ditch him and go with TMG. Fremont still needs to get Faidi and his property involved in the project, though, if it is to be as ambitious as Faidi’s plan.

Assuming the City Council approves a Memorandum of Understanding at tonight’s meeting, TMG will have 180 days to come up with a conceptual development plan.

Matt Artz

  • Doug

    To create a downtown requires visionary thinking and a major commitment. Given that we cannot even get the much smaller Centerville project off square one leaves me questioning the possibilities of ceating a Fremont city center. Is our city government ready to turn Fremont Boulevard into one lane thoroughfare in the downtown area to create a pedestrian-friendly environment? Take a look at what Livermore did to 1st Street and you will get the picture. That won’t happen here.

  • Coyote Bill

    Look at what we have. Two hospitals, several large medical clinics (Palo Alto Clinic), several smaller medical clinics, many, many doctors offices.
    Alameda County Superior Court, Social Security branch office, the one stop social service center. Unemployment center.
    Plus Bart and retail
    What we have now, has evolved into a
    CIVIC / MEDICAL /TRANSPORTATION/CENTER
    Can you think of a better place to put high density housing for seniors, people with disabilities. By high density I mean 8, 10 story buildings with retail on the bottom.
    As Doug says it requires visionary thinking.
    Do you think the present city council is capable of this.
    The Centerville mess says NO very loudly.
    In the mean time they continue to pour our tax dollars down there bureaucratic rat hole called redevelopment.

  • Pete

    Agree with doug!

  • MikeTeeVee

    Doug said: “Is our city government ready to turn Fremont Boulevard into one lane thoroughfare in the downtown area to create a pedestrian-friendly environment?”

    No, the plan all along has been to do that to Capitol Avenue, one block away. Similar examples include Mountain View and Walnut Creek and Pleasanton.

  • Matt

    The present City Council keeps shifting the downtown plans from one area to another be it the Pacific Commons, Centerville and now Fremont Blvd. They are clueless and dance to the tunes of City Manager who is the real problem. Time for Fremont folks to wake up and vote for new candidates other than the ones on the present City Council and the ones batpized in power at the Planning Commission.

  • MikeTeeVee

    Matt said “The present City Council keeps shifting the downtown plans from one area to another be it the Pacific Commons, Centerville and now Fremont Blvd.”

    Fremont has multiple downtowns, each with its own plan.

    The Central Business District plan (on Capitol Ave, not Fremont Blvd) has been in the works for years. As has the Centerville Unified Site and the Niles Town Plaza and the Irvington Bay Street streetscape and Pacific Commons.

    The plans aren’t shifting from one to another. But turning those plans into action hasn’t been working out all that well.

  • Doug

    MikeTeeVee said, “Fremont has multiple downtowns, each with its own plan.”

    He’s right. The five towns that formed Fremont in 1956 have tenaciously clung to their individual identities and the city has made every effort to help them by putting money into district projects, i.e. Niles Town Plaza. Drive from district to district and look at the banners that adorn the street lights. Not one district banner includes the city’s name.

    Mike also mentioned Walnut Creek and Mountain View. Excellent examples of revitalized downtowns. But note the word revitalized. There was something there to work with, which Fremont does not have.

    Anyone interested in seeing what a city (pop.50,000)can do if it has vision is visit the website of Greenville, South Carolina. They began their vision in the 70′s. But, they too had something to revitalize.