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A CITY ON THE MOVE

COMPANIES WHO SAY ‘YES’ TO FREMONT

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Fremont the "hot new address" for startups

san-jose-mercury-news-logo-small.pngSan Jose Mercury News technology writer Michelle Quinn recently highlighted both Fremont and Berkeley as the “hot new address” for tech startups.

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Redefining What it Means to be a Silicon Valley City

business-journal.pngA supplement printed on July 31, 2015 in the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The supplement provided an overview of Fremont’s the business ecosystem.

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“With the BART expansion well underway, we’re excited to breathe new life into Silicon Valley with a projected 30,000 new jobs in Fremont by 2040.”

—Kelly Kline, Fremont Economic Development Director

Fremont Dedicates the Month of May to Affordable Housing



Dan Schoenholz
Deputy Community Development Director

May is Affordable Housing Month, providing a great opportunity for the City of Fremont to show its commitment to affordable housing and to keep residents informed regarding the City’s efforts. Here are a few updates on some of the affordable housing proje…

May is Affordable Housing Month, providing a great opportunity for the City of Fremont to show its commitment to affordable housing and to keep residents informed regarding the City’s efforts. Here are a few updates on some of the affordable housing projects that are currently in development.

One project of note is the St. Anton Communities project, Innovia [rendering below]. This 290-unit transit-oriented mixed-use affordable housing development will be located across the street from the new Warm Springs/South Fremont BART station, which is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2016.

The development itself will provide housing units, as well as retail space and a number of on-site amenities like active courtyards, social centers, a swimming pool, gathering areas, a tech center, and a bike repair facility. Not only that, but there will also be on-site free classes focused on workforce development, resume preparation, English as a second language, technology skill development, nutritional health and well-being, among others. The ground breaking is scheduled to take place in November 2016 and the development should be completed within two years.

A few other projects the City has in the works include:

  • Laguna Commons – a 65-unit affordable housing project with nearly half of the units reserved for military veterans has almost completed construction and is scheduled for occupancy at the end of May or early June this year.
  • Central Commons – a 30-unit Habitat for Humanity project for low-income home buyers is anticipated to break ground later this year or in early 2017.
  • Parc55 – a 93-unit affordable senior apartment project developed by the nonprofit Eden Housing that is set to begin construction in late 2016 or early 2017.
  • Stevenson Family Apartments – an 80-unit affordable housing project developed by the nonprofit MidPen Housing. Construction is planned for early 2017.

On top of these developments, the City of Fremont has taken on other strategies to increase affordable housing. Some of these strategies include:

  • Updated Affordable Housing Ordinance—In 2015, we updated our affordable housing ordinance to increase affordable housing funding and incentivize market rate developers to incorporate affordable housing into projects.  And since the update, the City is proud to say that fees collected and onsite affordable housing production have both increased.
  • Grant Funding—Back in 2014, Fremont competed for and was awarded a $1.7 million grant from California’s Local Housing Trust Fund Program.  The grant is being used to support development of the 80-unit Stevenson Family Apartments affordable housing project.
  • Shared Housing—Fremont recently partnered with HIP Housing, a San Mateo based nonprofit organization that creates homes for Bay Area residents. The home sharing program partners those who have spare bedrooms with those seeking a place to live, to create affordable housing and mutually beneficial options.

As we celebrate Affordable Housing Month, we’re pleased that we have great things happening on the affordable housing front, with lots more to come in the future. 

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Category: Fremont General

Two Wheels or Four, Carbonless Commuting is Getting Easier



Kelly Kline
Economic Development Director & Chief Innovation Officer

Commuting takes a toll -- on a personal level, and on the planet. But for those of us who must commute, guilt-free solutions are emerging thanks to significant investments in local infrastructure. Last week, the future of commuting looked a little greener…

Commuting takes a toll -- on a personal level, and on the planet. But for those of us who must commute, guilt-free solutions are emerging thanks to significant investments in local infrastructure. Last week, the future of commuting looked a little greener with hundreds of bicyclists participating in "Bike to Work Day" and the unveiling of eight new charging stations in Fremont’s Innovation District

Bike commuters have made significant strides as Fremont's bike lane network has extended its reach. At last count, Fremont had 156 miles of bike paths including trails, designated bike lanes, and bike routes, with many more in the planning stages. For the annual Bike to Work day on May 12th, Fremont had several "energizer stations” throughout the city for riders to refresh and refuel, and the numbers at its busiest stations (BART and the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge) have been higher in the last two years than ever before. We made the rounds that day, and collected some great anecdotes.

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At Don Edwards, which makes the critical connection between Fremont and the Peninsula, I spoke with a group of Google employees commuting from various points in the East Bay over to Mountain View. One "Googler", Sumer Mohammed, was making her first commute by bike. She welcomed the opportunity to try the route in a group, as a precursor to eventually making the trip on her own. She was only halfway there, but had a huge smile on her face and reported her brain was already engaged in a different way.

 

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At Tesla's energizer station, I met Larry Kawalec, who actually has a relatively short commute from his Fremont home to his job near Tesla. He chose to visit multiple stations for a lengthier workout. (There are always overachievers amongst us!) 

 

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Electric vehicle (EV) commuters also had a good week. Already, Fremont's 94539 ZIP code has received more EV rebates than anywhere else in the state, and the supporting charging network is keeping pace. A unique public-private partnership between the City of Fremont, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, industrial landlord Prologis Inc., charging station manufacturer, Delta Products Corporation, and charging payment software company Gridscape Solutions teamed up for a successful grant award from the California Energy Commission. The result: eight new publicly-accessible chargers for Bayside Business Park within Fremont's Innovation District, which are listed on the PlugShare map. Four of the 16 ports are "high-speed" and will entice new EV drivers, while also making it easier for existing EV owners to charge near one of the Bay Area's most dense employment areas. 

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Shilpi Sharma
Director of Fremont Startup Grind

Startup Grind Fremont has new digs! Entrepreneurs can now find us at Electronics for Imaging (efi), in their ultra-hip, new corporate headquarters in Ardenwood. At our last meetup in April, efi CEO, Guy Gecht, dropped by to welcome the group and quickly t…

Startup Grind Fremont has new digs! Entrepreneurs can now find us at Electronics for Imaging (efi), in their ultra-hip, new corporate headquarters in Ardenwood. At our last meetup in April, efi CEO, Guy Gecht, dropped by to welcome the group and quickly tell the story of efi’s rise to dominance in digital print technologies. 

Donna Novitsky, founder of Yiftee, was the featured speaker of the evening. Yiftee is a digital gifting solutions company. Consumers, corporations, and merchants use the Yiftee mobile and online app to send thoughtful, unexpected gifts via Twitter, email, and text. Recipients can then pick up their Yiftee gifts using their smartphone at their favorite local restaurants and shops.   

While describing the journey of creating Yiftee (her start-up dream), Novistsky talked about their laser focus on customers and the 3 C's in finding the right customer: Credibility, Comprehension, and Caring. “I'm a big proponent of broad market research...your product is not about you, it's about them [customers].”  Using this approach Novisky built her business and garnered $4 million in venture capital funding for Yiftee. It was clear audience members were extremely engaged in the story, as evidenced by the robust Q&A session which followed.

 

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Up next for Startup Grind Fremont is a celebration of Female Founders month on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at efi (6700 Dumbarton Circle, Fremont, CA). The meetup will feature three impressive women, each at different stages of their startup journey.

  • Niousha Zadeh is the founder and CEO at Brite Health, a brain health app for senior citizens. Niousha has PhD in Experimental Medicine; and is among the top 100 influential innovators in the Persian community. http://britehealth.co
  • Yukte Oberoi founded Yuhmbox along with Anuja Jaiswal to provide busy families with healthy dinner options during the week. She left her successful corporate career at NetSuite to follow her passion for family and healthy foods. http://www.yuhmbox.com
  • Saylee Raje is living her dream of building a community of Fashionista's to exchange ethnic dresses. She is an engineer by education and has also worked as a life coach. http://www.ethnicthread.com

Don’t miss out! Get your tickets here.

Can’t make next week’s event? No to worry – Startup Grind Fremont has other events scheduled through August. Stay informed by visiting Startup Grind Fremont, or by following us on Twitter @FremontGrind and Facebook at Startup Grind Fremont.

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Category: Fremont General