Situated on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay, Emeryville is a small city with a large role in the region. Nestled between Berkeley and Oakland, and directly opposite of the Golden Gate Bridge, Emeryville resides at the center of several converging highways and transcontinental rail lines. This factor, combined with its location within easy access to several different urban cores, makes the city an extremely convenient location.
Lay of the Land
An extremely small city with regards to geographic size, Emeryville manages to squeeze over 10,000 residents into a land area of just over 1 square mile. This number actually swells considerably during the week as employees of the various technology and business organizations within the city make their way to work. Emeryville has numerous neighbors, both in its immediate proximity, such as Oakland and Berkeley, and in a general sense, such as Alameda County and the Bay Area in general. The estimated median income for a household in Emeryville is a modest $65,259 while the estimated median home value of $311,046 is actually below the state average. Emeryville is unusual in that its companies employ about 20,000 workers while its residents total around 10,000, with about 36% being homeowners.
Like many of the cities within the area Emeryville is dedicated to supporting alternative forms of transportation through a thorough bicycle and pedestrian plan. This includes storage facilities and lockers for public use via a reasonable annual fee. The Amtrak station provides line service to various locations within California as well as to destinations outside of the state such as Seattle and New York. Additionally, Bay Area Rapid Transit maintains a full service station within the city connecting Emeryville to the rest of the Bay Area. Finally, Emery Go Round is a local shuttle service that provides free transportation to residents, visitors, and employees from the local BART station to numerous locations around the city.
Despite its modest relative size, Emeryville is a city taking full advantage of its location in order to maximize economic growth and development. As such, it is considered a key regional industrial complex, with dozens of well-known companies maintaining either a strong corporate presence or regional headquarters within the city. These include Pixar Animation Studios, Jamba Juice, Electronic Arts’ Maxis Software division, Clif Bar and Leapfrog. These are in addition to the numerous smaller software and biotechnology companies that also operate within the city.
Despite the economy being driven primary by major technology research and development players, the city has not neglected to develop and support commercial centers. One of the more prominent of these locations is Bay Street Emeryville. Geographical limitations have forced the city to embrace mixed use development, and Bay Street Emeryville is no exception. The area has over sixty-five retail locations, ten restaurants, and a sixteen screen movie theater. It also houses over one thousand residents in approximately 400 residential units.
Again, geographic considerations mean that Bay Street Emeryville is located near several other key locations and retail centers. It is near several hotels, the aforementioned Pixar Studios headquarters, and three other shopping centers: East Bay Bridge Shopping Center, Emeryville Marketplace, and the Powell Street Plaza. Each one of these locations has its own ambiance and retail focus. Nearly all of Emeryville is within easy walking distance of any other Emeryville destination.
Despite being focused on economic growth and regional relevance, the city of Emeryville also provides residents and members of the surrounding communities with access to a host of community enrichment services and local programs. These include generalized services such as early childhood intervention programs, pre-school education programs, and numerous services designed to provide quality of life increases to members of the city’s elderly community.
It also includes culturally focused events such as Emeryville’s Annual Arts Exhibition. A month long event, the exhibition features artwork and fine crafts created by various amateur and professional artists who work or live in Emeryville. Additionally, it features dance performances and poetry presentations designed to complement the visual art displays.