New South Fremont shopping center brings a benefit

Fremont’s quest for sales tax dollars continues as it considers a new shopping center at its southern limit along I-880:

The 49-acre Bayside Marketplace would include several big box retailers, about a dozen smaller shops and 1,993 parking spaces just north of Dixon Landing Road.

The distinction that the retailers would be big box and the usual assortment of smaller retailers is important, as Bayside Marketplace is not expected to be competition for the ballpark village’s upscale retailers. Cisco Field and the ballpark village are 4 miles north.

However, the new shopping center would provide competition for other big box-anchored centers in the area. In a small area sandwiched between the bay and nearby hills, it’s a curious choice to add additional, similar retail since at first glance it would appear that the area if pretty well serviced already. Here’s a partial list of nearby stores:

  • McCarthy Ranch (2 miles south, Milpitas): Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Borders, OfficeMax, Sports Authority, Michaels, Ross
  • Pacific Commons (4 miles north, Fremont): Costco, Circuit City, Kohl’s, Old Navy, Lowe’s, Ashley Furniture, DSW, Party America, Office Depot
  • Auto Mall/Durham (4 miles north, Fremont): Wal-Mart, Fry’s, Home Depot
  • Great Mall (4 miles south, Milpitas): Kohl’s, Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory, Home Depot
  • NewPark Mall (6 miles north, Newark): Target, Macy’s, Sears, Toys “R” Us
  • Fremont Hub (8 miles north, central Fremont): Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Trader Joe’s, Cost Plus, PetsMart, Pier 1 Imports

Looks like they’re pretty well covered, right? If the developer and Fremont are willing to move in this direction, more power to them.

A couple of nice benefits will come out of the project. The developer is also going to build on 49 of the parcel’s 150 acres. The rest has already been converted to wetlands (I’ve biked through there in the past, including what appears to be an old runway/tarmac). Then there’s the extension of Fremont Boulevard all the way down to Dixon Landing Road. The extension will provide an alternate parallel route along I-880 along with bike lanes and new trails. Currently, Fremont Blvd hits a dead end at a flood control channel that defines the northern limit of the property. Fans coming from North San Jose (hello, Cisco) can use McCarthy/Fremont to bypass 880, then head onto Cushing, which would take them straight to the ballpark. The extension’s been in the plan for years but the downturn in the commercial real estate market forced the developer to pull back. The extension could prove beneficial in lightening the load from the south.

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