Development sites in Fremont

The City Council this evening will once again discuss Fremont’s plan that will guide development through 2030.  Yay.

So where are new buildings likely to sprout during the next 20 years? The city has a draft list. Here it is:

1) Decoto Road from Fremont Boulevard up to Paseo Padre Parkway

2) The Shinn Terminus, which isn’t far from Quarry Lakes and would be part of the Dumbarton Rail project that may never come to pass.

3) Central Park – This was added because Councilmember Anu Natarajan wanted to discuss the idea of a restaurant/tea house  in the park.

4) Mowry Gateway – That’s the chunk of Mowry just east of I-880. Now that Puppy Love has closed, it’s ripe for redevelopment.

5) Grimmer Boulevard Corridor – This is the part of Grimmer in south Fremont west of I-880 Oops. I was looking at the wrong opportunity site. It’s Grimmer between Central Park and the future Warm Springs BART station.

6) Fremont Boulevard Corridor – They want to build a trolley down Fremont Boulevard.

7) Pacific Commons

8) Warm Springs Bart station area


Niles gets the redevelopment money

Don’t forget to head over to City Hall tonight and give your two cents about the budget.

In addition to the operating budget which pays for police, fire and most other things, the council will also be considering the budget for the Redevelopment Agency, whose goal is to reduce blight and provide affordable housing in certain districts that include Niles, Centerville and Irvington.

Niles is the big winner when it comes to getting redevelopment dollars this coming fiscal year.

Of nearly $8.1 million in redevelopment funds not going toward affordable housing, Niles is projected to get $4.9 million. Centerville would get $1.8 million and Irvington would get $974,000.

Niles was the big winner this past year too. It is estimated to have received nearly $9 million in redevelopment agency funds by the end of this fiscal year on June 30. Compare that to $3.5 million for Irvington and $478,000 for Centerville.

BTW, the council will vote tonight on a $1.6 million contract to put the finishing touches on the Niles Town Plaza project, including the fountain.


Glenmoor and Mission Ranch

monster houseI never feel more out of place in Fremont than when the City Council debates whether large two-story homes should be allowed in the Glenmoor and Mission Ranch neighborhoods.

On one side are residents who want to protect the architectural integrity of single-story tract homes. Opposing them are people who want to build bigger houses so they can live with their mothers.

I come from a land of staircases and retirement homes. For me, the so-called “monster home” debate is like going to a sports bar and having my friends argue over whether to watch gymnastics or synchronized swimming.

Here’s a quick refresher. Residents in both neighborhoods came to the city two years ago concerned that new folks were tearing down ranches to build much bigger homes that ruined the feel of the the neighborhood and cut down on their sun and privacy.

The people building the bigger houses, most of whom are Asian immigrants, said they needed the extra space because they had their parents and children all under the same roof.

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Big apartment buildings

There’s a new proposal for a big housing complex at State Street and Walnut Avenue. Originally this was supposed to be a really nice condo project for wealthy people whose presence was to help Fremont convince high-end retailers to open shop city’s center.

But no one’s building condos these days, so it’ll be apartments, at least for now And there will be a lot of them, if it’s ever built. The complex will consist of two, four-story buildings with a total of 301 apartments, a park and a small commercial space fronting Beacon Avenue.

It’ll have a pool, fitness area, and — like any new “downtown” transit-oriented development worth its salt — 502 parking spaces. The Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to consider the project on Jan. 22.


Bowl to Fremont

Good news for Berkeley Bowl shoppers and people who think any developer is full of it when he dangles the prospect of a high-end supermarket in front of the Fremont officials.

The City Council will soon revisit a development proposal from Ray Tong, who earlier this year convinced the council to disregard a recommendation from city staff members and support a commercial center on Technology Drive off of Auto Mall Parkway, near the Fremont Boulevard intersection.

Tong wants the zoning to go from light industrial to neighborhood commercial, so he can build restaurants, retail shops, offices and a high end grocery store – modeled on the Berkeley landmark on the 8.7 acre site.

Noting that there isn’t really a surrounding neighborhood, city staff members said it was a bad idea that would cause unmitigatable traffic problems.

As a bit of a compromise, Tong agreed not to include medical offices in the plan. The planning commission gave it its blessing last month.

Not that it impacted the council’s earlier vote or its future vote on the revised project, but Tong is local, and he did contribute to several local candidates this year.


Richard Frisbie has more on his plate than Patterson Ranch

The Urban Planner, who signs his name “Frisbie” has alerted residents of a proposed development in the Irvington District.

The subdivision would include 145 single-family homes and 40 apartments and a park located between Paseo Padre Parkway and Washington Boulevard. the plan “contemplates” extending Union Street into the subdivision and realigning and extending High Street to connect with Main Street.

It goes to the Planning Commission on Oct. 23.

It will be interesting to see where the council’s smart growthers stand on 140 single-family homes relatively close to the planned Irvington BART Station.


Intersted in future housing developments in Newark?

Development leaders are hosting a community meeting Wednesday night at the Newark Community Center to share and discuss some of the proposed plans for housing development within the city.

By 2014, Newark will have to accommodate for 1,800 new housing units, a third of which is required by the state to be of the high-density (aka: apartments) fashion. Spoke to Terrence Grindall, director of community development, and he said this is meeting is an opportunity for residents to share their comments and concerns about such projects, which could involve tearing down shopping center(s) or abandoned school site(s) currently being used for other purposes. Continue Reading