Located in the center of Alameda County, Castro Valley is the largest unincorporated community in the area. Largely undeveloped from a commercial perspective, Castro Valley is a community defined by local geography and a rich history. As the name implies, Castro Valley sits in the center of numerous Canyons and is surrounded by rolling hills, creeks, and Lake Chabot. While the local ranches and pastoral homes will never be confused for Silicon Valley, the city is securely focused on the future, with a strong emphasis on local education and a thriving medical service industry.
Lay of the Land
As an unincorporated census designated place Castro Valley is a loosely defined area with plenty of empty space between it and its closest neighbors. The northern edge of the Valley is defined by Lake Chabot and the Anthony Chabot national park. San Leandro lies to the west, Hayward to the south, and San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton sit scattered to the east of the city.
For an unincorporated city, Castro Valley has an unusually large population of approximately 61,388 residents spread out over a healthy 16.9 square miles. For an area with very little in the way of developed industry Castro Valley is also relatively affluent. With a median household income of $83,542, Castro Valley is well above the state average. While the median home value of $560,723 is also well above the state average it is one of the more affordable areas in Alameda County. Proximity to the Livermore Valley and San Ramon Valley areas with their vast employment bases accounts for much of Castro Valley’s appeal. It is nearly as close to Fremont and the extended borders of Silicon Valley making it a good choice for tech workers as well.
Being centrally situated between the central bay area and eastern Alameda and Contra Costa counties, Castro Valley benefits from an impressive infrastructure. Ground travel to and from the area is possible via Interstate 580 and Interstate 238 which connects the 580 to Interstate 880. Additionally, Castro Valley also features an Alameda-Contra Costa County Transit station as well as a station the offers residents’ access to the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. These two systems connect Castro Valley to the rest of the county and to the San Francisco Bay Area via busses and shuttle services.
Castro Valley is unique in that it has very little in the way of commercial development or industrial centers. This is unusual for the region considering how influential Santa Clara County and the Bay Area are with regards to the national economy. The local economy is primarily focused on providing goods and services for local residents. However, Castro Valley is fast becoming known for its regional excellence in regards to its medical services. This is highlighted by the Eden Medical Center, which is located within Castro Valley.
The Eden Medical Center is a state of the art medical facility servicing a large section of southern Alameda County and even portions of the Bay Area. Aside from being the primary trauma center for the region, the center is also home to the Sutter East Bay Neuroscience Institute. The center also houses facilities dedicated to orthopedics, childbirth, stroke care, cancer care, and breast imaging. It has also been recognized as an award winning hospital by several state and national organizations, including the California Hospital Assessment and Reporting Task Force.
As a community, Castro Valley enjoys a love of the outdoors and takes advantage of local natural features. This includes numerous walking and hiking trails that follow many of the local creeks and waterways. It also includes activities at Lake Chabot, a manmade lake which offers controlled recreational activities, as well as other activities at one of the many local community parks or state recreational areas in the nearby vicinity.
While not technically a part of Castro Valley, many residents also enjoy taking advantage of the facilities at the Anthony Chabot National Park which pushes against the northern boundary of the valley. Activities include nature trails, equestrian trails, group campgrounds, a public shooting range, bicycle trails, golf, fishing, and boat rentals