While technically located in Alameda County, the city of Fremont is positioned on the southeast edge of the San Francisco Bay Area and is the closest East Bay city to Silicon Valley. Thanks to a thriving technology industry featuring firms specializing in the applied sciences and clean living, Fremont is a city rushing into the future despite a rich cultural history stretching back hundreds of years. As one of the largest cities in the region Fremont is also adapting to its role as an influential urban center while maintaining close ties to its core principles and community values.
Lay of the Land
Incorporated in 1956, Fremont was formed by combining the small towns of Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San Jose, and Warm Springs. While these cities are no longer considered separate locations, they do exist in modern Fremont as individual neighborhoods or developmental regions. While operating smoothly as the community of Fremont, each of the original five districts retains a sense of personal style and individuality that continues to shine through fifty years later.
With approximately 220,000 residents, Fremont is the fourth largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area in terms of population. Additionally, Fremont is a sprawling city, occupying over 87 square miles in total. As befits a technological center in its particular location, Fremont is a relatively wealthy city, with residents enjoying median household incomes of $104,838 and median home values of $631,400. As location would suggest, a large percentage of Fremont residents work in the tech industry.
When it comes to transportation, Fremont benefits greatly from its unique location. Ground based traffic flows easily thanks to the proximity of Interstate 680 and Interstate 880. It also features access to several commuter lines, including the Altamont Commuter Express, the Amtrak Capitol Corridor, as well as the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. These all make travel within the immediate area and outside of the region fairly simple. The city is also located on the edge of Silicon Valley which makes it fairly simple to take advantage of the Santa Clara County public transit system for travel within that region. Finally, residents also have quick and convenient access to the airports in Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco.
In many ways, Fremont is a geographically large, economically dominant center for technology and innovation that somehow forgot it is no longer a rag-tag collection of small California towns loosely rolled together. In total, Fremont is home to over 1,200 separate technology research and development companies. These include more clean energy focused companies than anywhere else in the country thanks to recent initiatives by the city council to grow that particular sector. This is in addition to the hundreds of restaurants, retail locations, and service centers needed to serve a large and diverse population. However, despite a history of growth and innovation the city of Fremont refuses to stop acting like a small town when it comes to community development.
Fremont is notable as well as the home of Mission San Jose, one of the oldest Spanish missions in the vicinity. While the original mission was destroyed in the earthquake of 1868 along the Hayward fault, a reconstruction was built and consecrated for Mass in 1985.
Downtown Fremont is the result of a belief among the community of Fremont that every town is anchored by a centralized downtown region where members from every part of the community can be allowed to gather for entertainment and enrichment. This has resulted in a thriving downtown district focused not on retail services, but on celebrations of diversity and cultural enrichment. This includes everything from weekly street festivals designed to showcase local food trucks to an annual Fourth of July parade. The city even sponsors a free “Downtown Date Night” complete with adult based dining and child based entertainment.
Additionally, Fremont has one of the most extensive park systems in the area. This system is carried by the Fremont Central Park, a spacious 450 acre development highlighted by the 83 acre Lake Elizabeth. Central Park alone features dozens of tennis courts, softball fields, soccer fields, walking paths, and facilities for outdoor celebrations and events. It also features numerous activities focused on Lake Elizabeth, including the Aqua Adventures Water Park.