Fremont’s conceptual plan

Odd terminology Fremont’s using there. It’s not a plan or even a concept, it’s a “conceptual approach.” By being purposely vague, there’s a lot of room for modification, whether it’s brought on by the City Council and Mayor, Alameda County (if it chooses to be involved), or the citizens of Fremont. If you remember from when we first explored the Warm Springs site, most of the land on which a ballpark could be placed is currently undeveloped. NUMMI’s aversion to a ballpark was due to a fear of interruption to its operations, which are supposed to be 24/7. NUMMI was able to control costs by not having a large onsite parts operation, choosing instead to have suppliers ship parts rail and truck in a just-in-time manner so that parts arrived just prior to assembly. In choosing to close NUMMI, Toyota felt that suppliers were often located too far from plant, making transportaion costs higher than they are for other plants. The closure of NUMMI could run in a few directions. Fremont could take no action in the near future and choose not to create a redevelopment plan, in hopes of Toyota reopening the plant at some point or selling to some other interest who might see the plant as a major asset for its own manufacturing operations. That’s not likely as Toyota neither wants to reopen the plant given the aforementioned rationale nor keep it indefinitely and pay nearly $2 million in property tax on dead weight land. Instead, what will probably happen is that Fremont will work with Toyota on a redevelopment plan that could allow for construction on the undeveloped sections while maintaining the plant for manufacturing from other industries. As the parties start doing soil samples on and near the plant, they’ll probably find enough contamination accumulated over several decades to create a brownfield situation. In that case, Toyota will be responsible for the cleanup, though the federal government would be expected to step in and contribute something towards the effort as well. Assuming that the mess isn’t too bad at the ballpark site, it could be primed and ready-to-go in a fairly short period. According to City Manager Fred Diaz, who spearheaded the renewal of the ballpark plan, redevelopment is expected to happen at NUMMI whether or not a ballpark is built. The City has identified $62 million of onsite infrastructure spending and $15 million of offsite infrastructure spending that would have to be done to make the conceptual approach complete.

  • Northwest Parking (next to ballpark) – $16.883,686
  • Rebuilt South Parking (NUMMI vehicles lot) – $21,118,644
  • Pedestrian Promenade (links BART to ballpark) – $12,741,727
  • Frontage and Landscaping (area is barren right now) – $6,950,409
  • Site Utilities Infrastructure (power, sewer) – $4,459,185
  • Fremont/Grimmer intersection expansion – $1,035,000
  • Auto Mall/Grimmer intersection expansion – $350,000
  • Mission/Warm Springs intersection expansion – $350,000
  • Auto Mall/Osgood intersection expansion – $3,450,000
  • Warm Springs Rd/Ct signaling – $380,000
  • Ramp widenings from I-880 & I-680 – $985,000
  • New pedestrian bridge from Warm Springs BART station over tracks – $8.47 million

In addition, the City identified other pieces of infrastructure that have been built the last several years that can contribute to the feasibility of a ballpark at NUMMI. The ballpark, if/when completed, would look something like this:


The distance along the new pedestrian promenade would be around 1/4 mile. The City expects BART parking on the other side of the station to be used for the ballpark, so the station and bridge would be constructed in a manner that allows for walking through the station without having to enter a paid area. The vision doesn’t end there. The drawing above is considered Phase 1A. Phase 1B would involve the construction “of approximately 920,000 square feet of land and building area devoted to office, retail, and restaurant development along the promenade.” Should that come to fruition, the area would look more like this:


Phase 1B is essentially a reshaping of the ballpark village concept. Similar design cues exist, especially that public square beyond centerfield. The Pacific Commons setup was more of a quadrant extending from the ballpark.


Once again, having the A’s in Fremont will come down to an age-old debate among residents over their vision of the city. Is it a sleepy albeit large bedroom community cobbled together from five towns decades ago, or a city that aspires to having more a cosmopolitan feel? Over at the Tri City Beat, a comment by former mayor and ballpark opponent Gus Morrison sums up one side of the debate:

We don’t have much of a night life, but every time, every time, someone brings some fancy idea for a entertainment venue of some kind, it turns into a disaster, sooner or later. People open nice restaurants and we don’t go to them, and they close. We are what we are – a city built for families. We ought to be proud of that. Cities around this country, bigger and smaller than us, envy us. If we are going to change that, it ought to happen only after a lot of public input. Not 72 hours.

Something tells me this struggle will go on well after my generation is too old to care anymore.

23 thoughts on “Fremont’s conceptual plan

  1. The original Pacific Commons ballpark village development plan was interesting – with it’s Wrigley Field like ambience of townhomes with front porches, apts with rooftop bleachers peering into the field across the street , public plaza, retail/shopping/markets /- built adjacent to the bay wetlands – before the housing mkt/ comm real estate tanked in the country. It would have been a plaesant place to visit anytime of year .The housing was supposed to pay a big chunk of the $500M pvt investment in a new ballpark. LW/Fisher had gained control of 160-200 of the 250 acres of mostly toxics-free greenfield land there -essentially taking it off Cisco’s hands . If the group still controls that real estate, maybe they are looking at Fremont again if they can time it with an uptick in housing the next 5-10 yrs- as I don’t see that debvelopment opportunity linked to Diridon and Fremont has sad in the past they won’t allow city coffer tax dollar -draining homes at PC site unless there is a stadium /signif reatail built in town, too.
    The proposed retail along the walkway from WS BART stn to new proposed WS stadium is surrounded by acres of ugly surface parking – just like the Coliseum , and is sited in a way that it is surrounded on all sides by low rise dirt -under- the- fingernails mom and pop biz such as repair shops and such. The stadium as sited is not visible from 880 like the actual NUMMI factory.
    I would never go there just to eat or shop when there is no game – just as I have no desire to go to the In and Out Burger across 880 from the Coliseum. Even if they can eventually scrape NUMMI and detox the land, who would want to live on homes built smack against 880 and who would be assured the dirt their kid is playing on in the backyard there is REALLY safe ?
    Here was the original Pacific Commons ballpark village – would have been a fun place to hang out and even catch some rays and a game !

  2. This area could be transformed from grungy, toxic industrial to trendy, happening neighborhood like Emeryville. Next to the freeway is a plus not a minus for heavy condo, retail, office mixed use. The magnet in Emeryville was the Public Market center with theatres, grocery, tavern, office, books, and the gigantic 20 restaurant food court. Surely A’s games on top of that sort of mix would be an even bigger magnet.

    • The difference here is that Emeryville was a former industrial site perched on the bay in an area where there is very little undeveloped land. The Fremont site is an industrial site in the middle of a larger industrial site perched between a freeway and a swamp.

      • It just doesn’t seem all that different to me. Heavy industry, railyards, freeways, landfill/marshland, it’s all pretty similar.

      • If you can’t tell the difference between those two sites then you should do yourself a solid and don’t make any real estate investments.

      • It’s a little late for me on that score. I’ve done pretty well in Bay Area real estate the past 30 years, thank you very much. Can we disagree on the potential for this location without the snark?

      • If there’s a difference, it’s that there’s little chance for residential development at or around NUMMI due to the cleanup time and the city’s desire to keep the area largely industrial. Emeryville at least allowed for patchwork residential even though it didn’t have a magnet like a BART station at its disposal.

      • should we really expect to hear something within2 to3 weeks>

    • We already have all of that in Jack London square

  3. Esthetic site difference between the NUMMI site and the Pacific Commons site is that the former is on the , to me, ” wrong side ” i.e., inland side of the physically separating I – 880 whereas the latter is on the ” water ” side , as it were.

  4. It’s sad that this country has been stripped of any civic pride, replaced by either self-absorbed individualism or cheap jingoism, often both.

  5. R.M.,
    OT: what the hell’s up with this new “” Based on the first two threads, appears very anti-San Jose (some here will love that!). Perhaps the workings of the don’t “Stand for San Jose” B.S.? No worry’s brah!’s allll about your site.

  6. Former Mayor and very elderly Gus Morrison is for any development in ” Fremont Downtown” which is around the non descript ugly Fremont Hub/Mowry strip mall area areas . He and his buddies are of the old school ” backrooms wheeling and dealing ” pre-immigrant 1960s and 1970s era Fremont
    He will always slam any ” new town ” development as in prior baseball village concept at Pacific Commons etc as too uppity for Fremont in his Linoln Town Car -driving eyes -I prefer to call these developments today’s Mercedes Benz real estate/demographic reality of the area .

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