What are your thoughts about these preliminary ideas for a new City Hall that the city of Fremont is exploring?
FREMONT — Officials are exploring the idea of building a new Fremont City Hall, adding another element to ambitious plans to create a mixed-use district that they hope transforms a moribund 110-acre area into a regional destination.
Three weeks ago, staff employees and the five-member City Council toured City Halls in Redwood City, Mountain View, Cupertino and Milpitas to do some window shopping and compare notes on those cities’ civic centers.
“We looked at Redwood City and Mountain View to see how they merged their City Hall with active and successful downtowns,” said Jessica von Borck, Fremont’s urban initiatives manager.
Milpitas has one of the newest civic buildings, but Cupertino held special interest because its City Hall includes areas for the community, which is one of Fremont’s goals.
“We want to create a downtown that provides public spaces,” said von Borck. “We want to make part of our civic center area open to the public for events and art shows.”
The new City Hall would be built next to the old one, at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and State Street, where Fremont’s Family Resource Center is located.
Of course, ambitious proposals like these come loaded with an arsenal of questions, such as: How much will it cost? What would a new City Hall look like? How much will it cost? Where will the Family Resource Center go? And — one more time — how much will it cost?
The city is paying San Francisco-based Studios Architecture Associates about $150,000 to study those questions, and they are expected to deliver some answers by early next year, said von Borck.
“At that point, we’ll take a step back and identify how to move forward,” von Borck said. “We really don’t yet know the costs or how many buildings we’ll need. We’re in the data-gathering stage right now.”