Welcome to Foster City
Located on the south eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay, Foster City sits off of the coastline, a silent testament to the organizational power of man. Unlike many of the other cities in the region, Foster City doesn’t have a multi-decade history or deep seated cultural roots. Foster City is the result of careful planning and the vision of a few select individuals. On the back of this vision sprung a city built on the foundation of the San Francisco marshes and several landfills. Despite its inauspicious beginning, the city has grown into an important part of the region\’s economic and cultural landscape.
Lay of the Land
Located in San Mateo County, Foster City is a pseudo island resting in the southern reaches of the San Francisco Bay. An entirely planned venture, the city is surrounded by the cities of San Mateo, Belmont, and San Carlos. Though it is technically a part of the Bay Area, its southern location and technology industry has led many to refer to it loosely as part of Silicon Valley. It is a medium sized city with a population of approximately 32,377. However, it is a relatively affluent area with a median household income of $118,302 and estimated median home values of approximately $878,025.
As a regional center for business development Foster City is home to its own Bay Area Rapid Transit station as well as a CalTrain commuter train station. Additionally, SamTrans busses operate between several of the more popular locations within the city and the aforementioned stations. The city is also right near the intersection of U.S. Route 101 and 92 which make travel across the peninsula and to the eastern section of the bay area relatively easy.
Based on its proximity to other economic centers, regional accessibility, and existing business history, Foster City is often thought of as a part of the extended Silicon Valley despite its residence in San Mateo County. The city has a thriving technological base with a wide range of corporate headquarters and secondary offices. While the welcoming attitude and relaxed atmosphere have made the city a perfect location for numerous tech startups it is also a viable option for existing companies looking for an alternative to some of the more expensive Bay Area locations. This led VISA to consolidate many of its smaller corporate California offices into a central headquarters within Foster City.
However, Foster City remains an extremely balanced community, dividing resources among economic, cultural, and community pursuits. Foster City offers community activities and enrichment classes at the William E. Walker Recreation and Senior Center, the Foster City Community Center, and the Foster City Teen Center. As the names would imply, each of these locations is the focal point for services and activities centered around a specific community demographic. However, community services are not limited to these locations as the city also sponsors a wide range of festivals and cultural activities around the city.
The city’s cultural arts program is focused on providing a wide range of activities that appeal to all members of the community. These include visual displays such as the Foster City Art Gallery, a small display designed to showcase the skills of several local artists on a yearly rotational basis. However, the city also focuses on supporting other types of art, which includes sponsoring writing activities or photography contests. Performance art is encouraged through several local choirs as well as a theater group.
Celebrations within the city include a wide range of general purpose festivals as well as gatherings designed to celebrate the heritage of specific groups within the community. These operate on a seasonal basis or in response to interest within the community.