Located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, San Leandro is a sleepy suburban city known more for its historic neighborhoods and strong community involvement than the economic focus that drives the rest of the region. The city is perfectly framed by the Bay on one side and the San Leandro Hills on the other, creating a pleasant aesthetic and relaxed atmosphere mirrored in the attitudes of the city’s residents.
Lay of the Land
Located in Alameda County, San Leandro rests in the middle of the Bay’s eastern shoreline. The city is bordered by Oakland to the north, Castro Valley to the east, Hayward to the south, and of course the Bay to the west. While slightly north of what is considered the extended Silicon Valley region, San Leandro is nonetheless positioned to take advantage of the most popular urban and industrial centers of the region, including Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose.
The approximately 87,965 residents of the city reside on a 15.6 square mile stretch of land. While the community has remained true to a core set of values and a focus on natural preservation, the city lacks the overall economic development common to many of the other cities in the immediate region. This has led to median household incomes of $63,803 and an estimated median home value of $371,803. While these numbers are perfectly in line with the state averages, they do represent the low end of the spectrum for the area. San Leandro has a unique blend of suburban location with urban energy.
Ground based traffic for the city mostly flows along Interstates 880, 580, and 238. These three roads provide access to every significant location in the area. Most of the major public transportation is provided by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) service via one of two local stations. Travel within the city however is accomplished through a variety of locally focused transportation services.
The San Leandro LINKS bus line provides free public transportation from several locations around the city to the San Leandro BART station. The Flex Shuttle provides services to the local elderly community while the East Bay Paratransit system provides general shuttle services for members of the community physically unable to take advantage of BART facilities.
While many of the cities in the region have dedicated resources and community planning efforts on facilitating rapid economic growth, the residents of San Leandro have taken a more community service oriented approach. This has led to numerous active community groups focused on cultural growth and projects intended to preserve the natural landscape of the city or to reclaim areas that had been previously developed.
The Recreation and Human Services Department is an extremely active and key component of not only the city government but of the community in general. They are the organization primarily responsible for managing and funding many of the most important city programs as well as connecting needy projects with funding from within the community. This includes oversight of the Youth Advisory Commissions, senior programs, the local Monarch Butterfly program, Friends of San Leandro Creek, and the Community Benefits Program.
San Leandro is also a city that takes full advantage of the local shoreline when it comes to entertainment, recreation, and old fashioned relaxation. The Monarch Bay Golf Club is a natural grass course nestled amongst protected wetland areas and the Bay’s eastern shoreline. The course features a an 18 hole course, a 9 hole course, and a fully stocked bar and grill complete with banquet facilities. The unique design of this course was created to ensure a viable migratory path for butterflies on their annual journey, while emphasizing a fun and challenging game for its human visitors.
Additionally, the town features the San Leandro Marina and the Marina Park. Combined, the two locations provide residents to access with numerous picnic areas, walking trails, accommodations for large scale events and gatherings, and access to some of the most beautiful sunsets in the country.