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Fremont’s Innovation Center coming into view in Warm Springs

FREMONT — The shell of the Warm Springs-South Fremont BART station has made conspicuous progress in recent months, slowly rising above a dusty field northeast of the Tesla factory.

That small step in the city’s complex Warm Springs development signifies something big: Fremont’s dream of creating an 850-acre Innovation Center is slowly becoming reality, after years of planning and negotiating among a daunting set of moving pieces.

“It’s so unique in the Bay Area to have a wealth of land to develop in a thoughtful way in proximity to BART,” said Kelly Kline, Fremont’s economic development director. “A project like this ensures our economic future by creating opportunities for a major employment center around transit.”

That vision has been focused in the city’s Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan, which council members will consider Tuesday night.

The plan envisions adding up to 4,000 housing units, 12,000 jobs, shopping and entertainment, restaurants, hotel and convention facilities, and parks and open space to an area anchored by Tesla and the new BART station. It also will offer office space tailored for biotech and solar-energy companies that already have clustered in the Warm Springs district, on Fremont’s southern edge.

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Chris DeBenedetti