Bay Street

bay street

Above an artist’s rendering of improvements that are coming to Bay Street in the Irvington District. I wrote about the project in today’s paper. Click here to read it.

Bay Street is already a pretty cool place. It has perhaps Fremont’s best falafel, most ornate tea house (if it’s ever open) and most consistently empty parking lot.

It also might have the lowest carbon footprint of any street in town. Many of the merchants, especially on the west side (or is it south side) of the street live directly behind their shops. They commute about 20 feet to work.

That’s why it’s somewhat ironic that in the city’s effort to go green and put more people near transit (Irvington BART 2019, baby!) it’s encouraging the redevelopment of what might be its greenest block.

Anyway all the business owners I talked to also own their properties, and they’re happy that the city is plunking down $7.4 million (minus a $1.7 million MTC grant) for wider sidewalks, decorative street lights, benches and pretty trees. If their sales don’t go up, at least their property values will. Below is Haydee Vega, a Bay Street dressmaker.

bay street haydee

Matt Artz


  1. Thanks for running the artist’s conception illustration. Seeing it in color adds much. Why is it the Argus sometimes runs color on the Local spread and other times does not? Is it just do to page imposition on the press?

    Leilia Sfeis and her husband are wonderful people and sell the best Arabic bread in the area. A mom and pop store at its finest.

    The redevelopment will require store owners to upgrade their buildings and at their age, the Sfeis’ will probably decide its time to retire, which will be a loss for the area and my gastronomic pleasures.

  2. I was disappointed not to see any mention of the Sunday farmer’s market. It is the most successful one in Fremont and it runs year-round. It used to run down Bay St from 5 corners, but outgrew that space and moved around the corner in front of the cemetary. In my estimation, it is probably the greatest commercial draw to the area. It overflows the ‘infrequently used parking lot” that was noted in the article.

    I would be a significant move for sustainability to make a permanent pavilion for the market.

  3. Some of the vendors left the Bay St. Farmer’s Market for the one in Newark, which sets up on the back side of Newpark Mall. Anybody know how that one is fairing in comparison? I have never attempted to go over there.

  4. Good point about the market. The city said the current plan is to move the market from his temporary home on Chapel Way back to its original location once the Bay Street project is finished.

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