Cisco goes cyclical in Fremont

In what will probably end up a footnote in this neverending saga, Cisco completed acquisition of the bulk of the Pacific Commons site (the Trib’s George Avalos reporting). 103 acres were purchased from Catellus (ProLogis) in December 2009, followed by another 41 acres last month. Judging from the sizes of the acquired parcels, they do not include the area slated for a movie theater and Target.

Cisco could build a new campus in Fremont, but it’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Instead, it seems more likely that they may end up selling or leasing the property to some up-and-coming tech company, though being in Fremont tends to limit the kinds of firms that might locate or relocate there. Cisco also bought land near the Dublin-Pleasanton BART station with the intent to expand there. They ended up selling that property to the quasi-public State Compensation Insurance Fund. SCIF is relocating from San Francisco to Pleasanton and Vacaville, citing high costs at the mid-Market headquarters.

The stretch marks and scars of boom and bust cycles are everywhere throughout Silicon Valley. Aerospace and defense contractors were replaced by PC hardware manufacturers who were themselves replaced by Web companies. Farmland and orchards gave way to giant campuses for Cisco and eBay. Facebook may be moving into Sun’s former headquarters in Menlo Park. Such is the pace of innovation.

Speaking of transformations, the Argus’ Matt Artz has been trying to figure out what will happen with Union Pacific buying all of that old NUMMI land. He dug up some information on an railyard expansion project UP did in Lathrop, which would grow the yard from 134 to 277 acres over 10 years. The Lathrop yard, which runs 24/7 and was moved there to get out of an urbanized locale in Stockton, has a whopping 83 jobs on site. I’m sure the folks at the Taco Bravo on Auto Mall and Grimmer are ecstatic about having one job for every two acres come into their part of town. And as active as Fremont Citizens Network was in fighting the Warm Springs ballpark, they seem to be completely ignoring UP’s railyard plan.

San Jose note from erw, who attended the long session tonight (but he spoke at least twice!):

Both the Diridon Station Area Good Neigbor Committee’s Framework for Implementation and the Planning Dept.’s Diridon Station Area Plan passed unanimously. Council was very careful to not do anything to affect the parking for Pavilion/SVSE. Next steps: GNC to reconvene when big developments come up (HSR, Baseball) and an EIR for the Station Area Plan (expected complete by March 2011).

I should also add that an EIR study session may occur sometime in April. The Diridon Station Master Plan’s goal is to address near-term (10 years) development and construction in the area. In doing this, planners have made the following assumptions:

  1. Construction of Ballpark
  2. Development of the Core Area
  3. Development of the former San Jose Water Co. site (Adobe)
  4. Construction of BART Box [cut and cover]

The Master Plan EIR (separate from the already certified Ballpark EIR) will contain an alternative to the ballpark which has 2.4-5.3 million square feet of new commercial space.

22 thoughts on “Cisco goes cyclical in Fremont

  1. The fact that FCN is has not taken a hard stance against the railyard is quite strange.

  2. Not really. Part of what made the FCN so vocal was how public the A’s plans for the area were. This railyard is flying under the radar. I wouldn’t know about it if I didn’t visit this website. I’ve seen nothing else on it anywhere.

  3. @gojohn: Here’s a quote from a nearby resident found in a 1/15 Oak Trib article:

    Former Fremont City Council candidate Kathy McDonald, who lives across Interstate 680 from the proposed rail facility and fought a baseball stadium from going on adjacent land, said she wasn’t necessarily opposed to Union Pacific taking over the site.

    “I knew that the railroads were here before I moved here,” she said. “I don’t know that a railroad yard will be such a tremendous impact to us as residents.”


    It’s possible the FCN shares her feelings?

  4. FCN and the stadium issue had a significant bearing on general city finances and south Fremont traffic/development.

    One can pretty confidently state that a railyard will have minimal impacts upon city services, and will not require the city to fork out tons of cash or guarantees to support a project. The primary issue will likely be over health and potential traffic.

    With the UP railyard plan being still very nebulous, and no statement from UP as to timeframe, people are still trying to figure out what is going on, with many not even knowing that UP has purchased the property.

    Add to the fact that even the city is trying to figure out whether they can have any legal influence over what UP does with the property, and you have a period of fact gathering to determine what your ordinary Joes can do to let their opinions be heard by UP.

    • @Fremont Resident – Thing is, other than a cavalier, uninformed comment by your City Council candidate there has been zero activity at FCN related to this. Compared to the reaction regarding the ballpark plan, I find it odd. This is potentially serious stuff and there’s plenty of documentation to support it.

  5. All those parked rail cars sprayed with graffitti will be a beautiful touch to enhance Fremont—while it may do nothing to drain city services it does nothing to add to the revenue stream for the city–and locking up that amount of land for a long time is unforuntae for those who had a greater vision for what Fremont could be….so what sort of developments typically surround rail maintenace yards….hindsight is always 20/20 vision—

  6. Like I’ve said in other threads, I hope the Warm Springs folks enjoy the several hundred condos that will probably one day pop up on the Warm Springs site – burdening the schools, the city landfill and traffic, 365 days a year. But at least they won’t have to endure the “light pollution” from A’s night games. With the new BART station in Warm Springs, it makes sense to put something on the site that would maximize use of the expensive BART extension. If residents don’t want a ballpark that would be used 80 days a year, then hundreds of condos occupied 365 days a year should do just fine.

  7. Wow…what a waste of land and space Freakmont, to allow a freakin railyard to be sitting there as an eyesore for the next 10 years.

    You FINALLY decide to build a much needed movie theater at Pacific Commons, but now you take two steps back by allowing a rail yard to take over that land near Nummi ahead of a ballpark??

    Typical FREAKmont!

  8. @dknight–“Freakmont” is making the place sound way more interesting than what it is. And they say there’s no there there in Oakland?

  9. @gojohn10–are you gonna call me a “Prick” again? I hope not. hat’s not nice. Anyways, Fremont’s a nice family community–good schools, low in crime, has the Hub, but not really big league material, and that’s the way they want it apparently. If your offended by my rather harmless opinion of it, I apologize. I lived there and my wife use to work there. I know the place well. Not for me. This is my last post on Fremont, promise. It’s not in the ballpark picture at all. It”s just that Freakmont line made me chuckle. Comon, we all gotta laugh some. So serious, so tense in here. I live in the armpit called Hayward, but it’s my armpit…lol.

  10. @jk-usa – Here’s an idea. Next time you want to rattle off a comment, read it thoroughly and think twice before hitting Submit. Better yet, think three or four times.

  11. I didn’t realize how close the Nummi land is to the new Warm Springs BART station. Putting a train yard with a small number of employees right next to a BART station is truly amazing. I think the new BART station gave Fremont a chance to redevelop the Warm Springs area into a more dense area to work and / or live. It think it might have been enough to really encourage Silicon Valley to truly expand into Fremont.

    San Jose is planning on 2800 housing units at the Flea Market site (future BART Berryessa station). They want much higher density for offices, housing, and retail within a half mile of First St. in north San Jose along the light rail line. Currently that area is mostly low rise 1 or 2 story tilt up offices with large surface parking lots. I think San Jose finally realized putting light rail from single family homes to offices with low density offices doesn’t get very many people to ride the trains.

  12. @ML If the Warm Springs ballpark came to fruition, could the railyard have still been built or were the two mutually exclusive?

  13. That’s what I thought. Just asking because some of the FCN folks on Tri-City Beat are defending their lack of response to the railyard by saying it is on different land and would have likely happened with or without the ballpark.

  14. BTW I just found out our Fremont little league canceled little league days with the A’s. In the past they’ve done Giants and A’s. This year is only the Giants.

  15. @Gohohn–sorry to hear that. No Fanfest and now little league days being cancelled in some cities. How much worse can it get for the A’s? Have to get some wins and become relevant again; and hopefully the G’s fall flat on their faces.

  16. Sorry for typo–GoJohn10.

  17. No reason given, but I know last year they were scrambling the day before because there were still a lot of tickets they hadn’t sold. I’ll ask the person in charge of these events for our league just to make sure. Also, I should have said in the original post, but at least the Giants day at AT&T is a game versus the A’s. So, we A’s fans still get to see our team, but IMHO it still isn’t the same.

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