Rachel DiFranco
Sustainability Coordinator

As the East Bay’s electric vehicle capital, the City of Fremont is proud to have hosted a very successful electric vehicle ride-and-drive event on Saturday, August 9 at the Pacific Commons Shopping Center. With nearly 300 electric vehicle test drives and …

As the East Bay’s electric vehicle capital, the City of Fremont is proud to have hosted a very successful electric vehicle ride-and-drive event on Saturday, August 9 at the Pacific Commons Shopping Center. With nearly 300 electric vehicle test drives and more than 500 event attendees, the Fremont “Experience Electric­—The Better Ride” event provided residents with the opportunity to view and test drive the newest EVs on the market.

 

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Signage for Experience Electric

"The residents of Fremont were a knowledgeable and energetic group of test drivers.  We had folks showing up before we opened and many staying right up until after we closed,” said event partner Maureen Blanc of Charge Across Town. “It was, by far, one of our more successful events." Vehicles test driven included the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus, Ford CMax Energi, Ford Fusion Energi, BMW i3, Chevy Volt, and Chevy Spark and Toyota RAV4 EV. Also on display were the Fiat 500e, Cadillac ELR, Smart Car and Via Motors Shuttle Van, as well as the Fremont-based Tesla Model S and GenZe electric scooter and e-bike.

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Via Motors Shuttle Van

To date, there are currently more than 26,000 electric vehicle drivers in the Bay Area, 1,752 of which are City of Fremont residents. With 14 percent of Alameda County’s total population, Fremont residents drive 31 percent of all of the EVs in the county. In fact, Fremont’s 94539 zip code is home to more electric vehicles than any other single zip code in California.

Not only are EVs gaining in popularity, but they are also becoming increasingly competitive in terms of cost with conventional vehicles, and may qualify for the California Clean Vehicle Rebate of up to $2,500 as well as a Federal Tax Credit of up to $7,500. Electric vehicles cost about one-fourth  the amount of electricity to travel the same distance as a conventional gas vehicle, and they emit one-third fewer greenhouse gases in the process. When charged at home with a solar electric system rather than from the electric grid, these vehicles become GHG emission-free. Plus, EV drivers in California get the added bonus of the Clean Air Vehicle sticker, allowing them access to HOV (carpool) lanes.

To learn more about electric vehicles, visit www.fremont.gov/EVs.

A list of upcoming Bay Area “Experience Electric” events can be found online at http://energycenter.org/experienceelectric/events

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Category: Fremont



Kelly Kline
Economic Development Director

There is no question that the Bay Area is home to some amazing innovation infrastructure – from San Leandro’s ambitious Broadband Initiative, to San Jose’s Cleantech demonstration center dubbed “Prospect Silicon Valley”.  Mix in the hundreds of incubators…

There is no question that the Bay Area is home to some amazing innovation infrastructure – from San Leandro’s ambitious Broadband Initiative, to San Jose’s Cleantech demonstration center dubbed “Prospect Silicon Valley”.  Mix in the hundreds of incubators, accelerators and co-working facilities, along with education initiatives and entrepreneur training, and you couldn’t ask for a better "innovation cocktail”.

As Warm Springs moves from the planning to implementation stages, we are exploring new developments that will further expand this ecosystem.  First stop: Hunter’s Point.  This project is particularly interesting to us based on the primary role of mixed-use developer Lennar, which is in contract to buy more than 100 acres in Fremont’s Warm Springs Innovation District.

Hunter’s Point has a rich history, dating back to the dry docks in the 1800’s and continuing until 1974 when the Shipyard closed.  This history brought a loyal resident base, and the area still has the highest home ownership rate in San Francisco.  On the plan horizon, more than 12,000 housing units will be added to the neighborhood.

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View of the Bay from the Shipyard Welcome Center

The Hunter’s Point project is striking in several ways.  It is vast – encompassing not only the old Shipyard, but also Candlestick Park for a total of 770 acres – and it sets a new standard for the term “mixed use.” In addition to the significant residential component, it contains the largest artist’s colony on the west coast, 700,000 square feet of retail space, and a 4.5 million square foot R&D District focused on sustainability and clean technology.  Transit connectivity will be accomplished through Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), and the Balboa Park BART station.  Downtown San Francisco is a short 10 minutes away on BRT. And, in response to the areas past environmental challenges, the parks and open spaces built into the plan (300 acres worth) will provide some of the most amazing public views in the Bay Area.  This so-called “Crissy Field of the South” also doubles as an adaptive strategy for sea level rise.  

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Commercial R&D/Office space is shown in Blue

To accomplish this audacious plan requires partnerships, not only between the City of San Francisco and Lennar, but with many other stakeholders.   The partnership with the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) is particularly noteworthy.  CalCEF is working with the former San Francisco redevelopment agency (now Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure) to identify anchoring institutions for a 260,000 square foot clean tech innovation center.  The goal is to create the core of an ecosystem that can support companies that are located in the adjacent R&D District from “Innovation to Installation”.  For example, an ideal combination would bring together a STEM campus, a clean tech incubator, a corporate headquarters, and a workforce training center.  The building itself would become a pilot and demonstration opportunity for the very technologies developed in the R&D District.

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Future Clean Tech Innovation Center

As with many large projects, the plan is expected to unfold over the next 20 years, which allows for different architectural styles, the testing of multiple generations of new sustainable technologies, and other evolving community needs.  You can read more about the project in this San Francisco Business Times article by Blanca Torres.

From Hunter’s Point to Mission Peak, the Bay Area’s Innovation Outlook is looking sunny. 


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Hunter’s Point Welcome Center

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Category: Fremont



Brent Pearse
Community Outreach Supervisor VTA Gov/Community Relations

By the Monday morning commute on August 11, Warren Avenue at the future BART corridor crossing in Fremont will open to traffic. The road opening marks completion of the long-awaited safety and mobility enhancements and infrastructure upgrades to make way …

By the Monday morning commute on August 11, Warren Avenue at the future BART corridor crossing in Fremont will open to traffic. The road opening marks completion of the long-awaited safety and mobility enhancements and infrastructure upgrades to make way for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension.

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In June 2013, Warren Avenue was closed to construct a grade separation of the roadway from future BART service and the existing freight railroad. Warren Avenue now trenches under the new street-level bridges that were constructed for both railroads, greatly enhancing safety by separating train traffic from pedestrian and auto traffic. A new pedestrian sidewalk on the south side of Warren Avenue (to be opened later) and striped bike lanes will also provide added safety. Additional lane widening on Mission Boulevard and new on and off ramps from Kato Road to Mission Boulevard will be completed later this fall.

"The closure of Warren Avenue played a major role in allowing VTA to make the necessary roadway improvements for connections to future BART service in Silicon Valley. Improvements to separate automobile traffic will help reduce traffic and enhance safety specifically for cyclists and pedestrians - a major win to Fremont residents and businesses for years to come,” said Bill Harrison, Mayor of the City of Fremont. “Thanks to the patience of our community, BART can now go all the way through our city and complete Fremont’s role as a destination for our neighbors to the north and south.”

The Warren Avenue grade separation is a major element of the overall Mission Warren Area Improvement Project, a joint effort by the City of Fremont, Alameda County Transportation Commission, Caltrans and VTA. In June 2012, RGW Construction, Inc. was awarded a $45 million construction contract for the Mission Warren Area Improvement Project. Overall project cost is $151 million funded by a combination of federal, state ($9.6 million in State Proposition 1B funds) and local sources. 

Perhaps more notably, the City of Fremont and both Alameda and Santa Clara Counties are making up 85% of the total cost for the Mission/Warren Improvements slated for completion in early 2015.

“Santa Clara and Alameda County voters saw that the benefit of bringing BART to Silicon Valley extends beyond transit and encompasses all forms of transportation in this critical location,” said Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which helped pass the measures that helped fund this project and others along the corridor. “The cooperation among the transportation agency, Fremont, Alameda and Santa Clara Counties and the state – not to mention motorists – has been phenomenal. Better infrastructure and better transportation options will help our economy.” 

The opening of Warren Avenue falls in a succession of milestones already achieved thus far on the largest infrastructure improvement in VTA and Silicon Valley history. To date, VTA has relocated all UPRR tracks from future BART operating corridor; completed the Kato Road Grade Separation in Fremont; and made significant progress at both the Berryessa and Milpitas stations. At the August VTA Board of Directors meeting, a contract award is up for approval for the design and construction of the parking structures planned at the two future BART stations in the amount of $86.8 million – the second largest contract to be awarded on this rail infrastructure project.

Congressman Mike Honda, who helped secure $900 million in funding that is bringing BART to Silicon Valley said, “People who have driven through this area have been very patient with the construction that has happened here for almost two years, and now their patience is paying off,” said Congressman Mike Honda. “These improvements on Warren Avenue represent real progress in bringing BART to Silicon Valley.”

The initial planned completion for VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension was 2018, but due to projected schedule and budget savings as a result of the design-build delivery method, passenger service is anticipated by late 2017.

 

VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension

VTA’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley Project is a 16-mile extension of the existing BART system to San Jose, Milpitas and Santa Clara, which will be delivered through a phased approach. The first phase, the Berryessa Extension, is a 10-mile, two-station extension, beginning in Fremont south of the future BART Warm Springs Station and proceeding in the former Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way through Milpitas, the location of the first station, and then to the Berryessa area of north San Jose, at the second station. VTA continues project development activities for the second 6-mile phase of the project that includes a 5.1 mile-long subway tunnel through downtown San Jose, and ends at grade in Santa Clara near the Caltrain Station. Construction on the second phase of the project will commence as additional funding is secured.

For more information, please contact VTA Community Outreach at (408) 934-2662, TTY (408) 321-2330, or visit www.vta.org/bart.


About VTA

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent special district that provides sustainable, accessible, community-focused transportation options that are innovative, environmentally responsible, and promote the vitality of our region. VTA is responsible for bus, light rail and paratransit operations and also serves as the county’s congestion management agency.  As such, VTA is responsible for countywide transportation planning, including congestion management issues, specific highway improvement projects, pedestrian and bicycle improvement projects, and provides these services throughout the county, including the municipalities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Sunnyvale.  VTA continually builds partnerships to deliver transportation solutions that meet the evolving mobility needs of Santa Clara County.

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Category: Warm Springs

How Invisible Water Sources Could Green the Nation



Christine Hertzog
Managing Director, Smart Grid Library

Walt Disney said it best: "If you can dream it, you can do it." That's the challenge for this generation — and the ones succeeding it — when it comes creating smart grids out of today's energy and water infrastructure. We're much further along in terms of…

Walt Disney said it best: "If you can dream it, you can do it." That's the challenge for this generation — and the ones succeeding it — when it comes creating smart grids out of today's energy and water infrastructure. We're much further along in terms of envisioning a modernized electricity grid than we are with the aging infrastructure of water.

That's easy to understand. Electricity is less of a challenge and less of a stretch to re-engineer. Starting with the traditional supply chain of generation, transmission, distribution and consumption, electricity is a walk in the park compared to the problems and complexities of water.

Infrastructure requires investment

Consider the overall infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers produces a very informative report every four years on U.S. infrastructure. The 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure graded critical infrastructure systems and identified the following investment needs.

Electrical grid: D+. Will require $57 billion by 2020 to upgrade.

Drinking water grid: D+. Will require $13 billion per year now and growth to $40 billion per year by 2040 — a staggering $1 trillion investment.

Wastewater grid: D+. Will require $300 billion by 2033 to upgrade.

At $57 billion, the costs for upgrading the electric grid to a Smart Grid are relatively cheap compared to the investments for water grid modernization. A Smart Grid for electricity can rely on one set of wires to move electricity around the supply chain. Of course, there must be equipment upgrades and new technologies in place to support a bi-directional electricity flow as consumers also become producers or prosumers and can sell electricity back to the grid, but today's existing infrastructure can accept upgrades to accomplish it.

In contrast, water needs anywhere from two to four sets of pipes depending on the amount of built environment needed. There's the pipeline grid for clean drinking (potable) water. There's another grid for wastewater, and sometimes a third grid for stormwater to handle the runoff from urban, suburban, industrial, commercial or agricultural sites.

The invisible water grid

The remaining water grid is one for reclaimed water. There is growing recognition, particularly in water-stressed areas, that it is sheer insanity to use potable water to flush toilets or water lawns. Reclaimed water could do the job, as could gray water — the water from showers, laundry equipment and bath sinks before heading back into the water grid as wastewater.

It is easy to find many solutions that generate locally produced electricity that can be consumed onsite (as promoted in the distributed energy resources model), but the technologies are not nearly as numerous when it comes to gray water. Nor are the discussions about the pros and cons of various solution alternatives.

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Purple pipe construction helps create a better water infrastructure in new buildings. (Credit: John Loo via Flickr)

Does it make economic sense to divert gray water on a highly decentralized basis — such as onsite reuse? Or is the better solution to divert this gray water to centralized plants for treatment into reclaimed water — meaning it is safe for body contact but not for drinking — and then into specialized non-potable uses? Either configuration requires new grid infrastructure to handle gray water.

The retrofit challenges are significant. New plumbing and equipment would be needed to divert, treat and reuse gray water on site. And what about the energy/water nexus — do we consume less energy with decentralized gray water solutions or with centralized reclaimed water solutions?

Are the 3 primary drivers headed in the right direction?

Some jurisdictions have decided that a centralized solution is best. Some state and local governments are requiring new water infrastructure for new buildings, known as purple pipe. This typically entails creation of dual piping systems for commercial and industrial buildings to accommodate reclaimed water when it is available for outdoor landscaping or indoor toilet flushing.

The use of reclaimed water is the closest that the water grid gets to being bi-directional in terms of smart grid configurations — it's an intriguing closed loop on a small or large scale. But it eludes the reasonably straightforward upgrades that we can plan for the electricity grid.

As I've noted before, the three primary drivers for the smart grid are technology, policy and money. Many innovations in these drivers have accelerated the transition of the traditional electrical grid into a smart grid. We need similar innovations for water use — particularly consumption and treatment. We need to dream up some very different scenarios in order to transition our water grids — potable and non-potable — into smart grids, too.

 

This blog post is reposted from GreenBiz.com with permission from the author.

Christine Hertzog is a consultant, author and professional explainer focused on smart grid technologies and solutions. She provides strategic advisory services to startups and established companies that include corporate, market and funding development.

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Category: Fremont

Look Who ‘Scooted’ Into Town! Q and A With GenZe



Yesim Erez
Head of Marketing

As a hotbed for electric vehicle technology and home to the most EV Drivers in the Bay Area, Fremont is excited to welcome a new member to its EV ecosystem.  Mahindra GenZe is pioneering a sleek new electric two-wheeler and once you learn more about it, w…

As a hotbed for electric vehicle technology and home to the most EV Drivers in the Bay Area, Fremont is excited to welcome a new member to its EV ecosystem.  Mahindra GenZe is pioneering a sleek new electric two-wheeler and once you learn more about it, we’re pretty sure you’ll want one for your university student, or for your own quick trips around town and to the train station.

1.     In a nutshell, how do you describe the GenZe product and its target market?

The GenZe 2.0 is a two-wheeled all-electric eco ride that helps urban commuters and students get to where they need to go - with all their stuff - in the most efficient manner possible.

At Mahindra GenZe, we innovate to solve the problems of urban mobility.  Whether you are a student on a university campus, or an urban commuter, it’s increasingly difficult and expensive to own, park and maintain a car.     

 What these customers need is an alternative, more efficient mode of transport .   The GenZe 2.0 is just that. It does not require gas or maintenance.  It has a removable battery pack and it occupies a small footprint, making parking much easier.  The Genze 2.0 is a true commuter solution, designed not just to transport the rider, but the things that he or she needs to transport along the way.  Indeed, the GenZe is built to accommodate bags of groceries, laundry and backpacks.   There’s even a protected compartment under the seat that allows charging a laptop during the ride.   We call it the ultimate mobile device.

2.     Talk about the name GenZe—what does it mean?

The GenZe name (the word) has two meanings.  It refers to both future generations, and to those that embrace zero emission vehicles.

3.     Similar to Tesla, it seems you are paying particular attention to the customer experience for buying a vehicle and we hear this strategy is paying off!

It is!  We have a completely new product that is not a traditional scooter or a bicycle – rather, it’s a completely new and easy-to-ride electric two-wheeler that will make commutes easier.  To show people how friendly and fun the GenZe is, we want to tell them the our story and let them experience the ride.  So, we have opened up a Customer Experience Center at 429 University Avenue in Palo Alto and are about to open up our second center at our Fremont Headquarters - 2901 Bayview Drive.  Of course, the GenZe is also available online at www.genze.com.   Our primary interface with the consumer, however, will be through Mobile Retail.  We are taking the GenZe to the customerand meeting them at their pain points (trains stations, parking ramps etc.) to let them experience its advantages first hand.

So far, reception has been great. We’ve already pre-sold a substantial number of GenZe’s, which will be delivered late this year.  

4.     We’ve noticed your robust marketing efforts, including the GenZe blog, which of course we admire!  How else are you connecting with customers?

We are bringing test rides to town in August.  We’re excited to show just how easy it is to hop on and ride.   To that end, we are sponsoring product giveaways and organizing experiential events all around the Bay Area.  Social media is, of course, is also a large part of the connection puzzle. Customers can connect with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mahindragenze or on Twitter at @MahindraGenZe to find out more about test ride events and our exciting promotions.

Right now, we are running an exciting contest where you can win a GenZe by entering at: http://contest.genze.com/urban-commuters-need-smart-alternatives/

5.     It’s important to talk about the fact that you are manufacturing the product in the U.S.  What drove the decision to manufacture domestically? 

We developed the GenZe though extensive research with urban commuters and college students right here in California and North America.  The design specifications and features were conceived to meet our customers’ daily transportation needs.   To continue that ask first, design next consumer driven approach, we needed design and engineering teams who really understand the US consumers needs.  We’re also committed to building the product where the talent and resources exist.

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Category: Fremont

Takes From Silicon Valley East (Blog) – A Year in Review



Jennifer Chen
Economic Development Coordinator

Happy Birthday to our blog! One year has passed since the launch of ThinkSiliconValley.Com, and this blog celebrates our 105th post! With the launch of our business website, we started posting blogs twice a week to Takes From Silicon Valley East and tweet…

Happy Birthday to our blog! One year has passed since the launch of ThinkSiliconValley.Com, and this blog celebrates our 105th post! With the launch of our business website, we started posting blogs twice a week to Takes From Silicon Valley East and tweeting daily on Twitter. The blog has been a depository of observations about driving industries, CEO interviews, insights into the reshoring of manufacturing, and other topics of interests.

Generating blog content twice a week has been a community effort. Our Economic Development team, City staff from Community Development, Public Works, City Manager’s Office as well as guest bloggers from Fremont’s business community, industry leaders, as well as reporters have shared their thoughts with us. In fact one third of our blog posts were contributed by guest bloggers.

We hope you have enjoyed reading the blog content as much as we have enjoyed generating it. Below please find links to our three most popular blog posts from the last 12 months. And, if you haven’t already, now is the time to subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter to receive hashtags on innovation, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, clean technology, and innovation. Please use the comment section below to share your ideas for future topics and provide feedback.

1. Got Place? Downtown Fremont Gets Creative (08/14/2013)

Recipe for city place-making: Start with a diverse and innovative population. Add proximity to transit. In a separate bowl, create policies that encourage pedestrian-oriented and mixed-use development styles and buildings. Stir and bake for a vibrant gathering place. 

Deputy City Manager Jessica von Borck shares how gathering people in a central location regularly — through events like Street Eats and Fremont’s Underground Social Experiment (FUSE) — is creating the heart for Fremont’s downtown.

2. Why NUMMI’S Closure Could Be the Best Thing to Have Ever Happened to Fremont (10/9/13)

With every setback comes a new opportunity to overcome and thrive — and Fremont did just that. Emerging from the wake of the NUMMI closure, the City got back on its feet, as tenacious and determined as ever.

City Manager Fred Diaz shares how Fremont was able to get back into the game after NUMMI’s closure stronger, faster, and ready for new things.

3. Jobs, Transit, Housing, Oh My! Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan is approved (07/23/14)

For some time you’ve likely been hearing about Warm Springs/South Fremont as a significant regional opportunity for employment-focused, transit-oriented development … the Fremont City Council approved the Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan, marking a significant milestone for this development.

Community Development Director Jeff Schwob provides an abridged version of the PowerPoint for the Warm Springs Plan. Take a look at some of his favorite components of the plan, and see renderings of our Warm Springs Vision.

 

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Category: Fremont



Aaron Goldsmith
Director of Government and Community Affairs

  At the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, we still do things you might expect a Chamber to do. We provide networking and marketing opportunities for our members, we cut ribbons on new businesses, and we regularly get our members involved in regulatory and po…

 

At the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, we still do things you might expect a Chamber to do. We provide networking and marketing opportunities for our members, we cut ribbons on new businesses, and we regularly get our members involved in regulatory and policy issues that impact the business community. However, the Fremont Chamber does more than the average modern Chamber and a lot more than the Chamber your grandparents may remember. Here are three ways Silicon Valley’s third largest Chamber is differentiating ourselves in 2014. 1

Last week, the Chamber received good news on an endeavor to coordinate the construction of electronic vehicle (EV) charging stations in the Bayside Business Park in southeastern Fremont. The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded a grant amount of over $300,000 to our proposed project. Although the Chamber is not typically in the business of building infrastructure, a unique set of factors led us to this project. It came about from a bit of matchmaking by the City of Fremont’s Economic Development Office whereby the Chamber will collaborate with local companies Gridscape Solutions, Prologis, and Delta Products to construct EV chargers in 14 locations near the Mission Blvd. and 880 exchange. Starting in 2015, freeway motorists, business park employees, and local residents can pull in and power up their vehicles. As an organization, we take our stated goals to promote green business practices and behaviors seriously. We also see this grant as an opportunity to do something tangible in Fremont to enhance the business environment for the entire community.

This week, we are putting the finishing touches on the 31st annual Festival of the Arts. The Festival is a two-day street fair in downtown Fremont that brings hundreds of thousands of people to Fremont to shop, drink, eat, and enjoy our city’s sublime summer weather. The Festival is an economic boon to the City, a major fundraiser for local non-profit organizations and a revenue producer for our Chamber. The Festival injects over $170,000 of annual revenue directly to the City of Fremont through sales tax generation and direct fees. Over the years, the Festival has raised over $9,000,000 for local organizations, and it helps our Chamber stay independent as we collect revenue from beer and wine sales which, in turn, keep our lights on all year round. There aren’t too many other local organizations that wrangle 3,000 volunteers for a weekend event, but it’s an undertaking well worth the effort.

After all the excitement of the Festival is over, we will be resuming Fremont Street Eats in downtown Fremont (Capital Ave. at Liberty) on Friday, August 8th. With our partner, the Food Truck Mafia, the Chamber hosts a weekly event featuring food trucks and live music in a relaxing outdoor environment. We like producing Street Eats because the event fosters community within Fremont. We brought Street Eats to downtown Fremont to encourage attendees to become accustomed to spending time in our future downtown district and to create a sense of “place” in that area. Everyone is invited to join us each Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. until October 25th.

So, while Grandma may not recognize the Chamber of Tomorrow, we hope to be more engaging with today’s business interests. Join us!  

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1 Jun 26, 2014,  San Jose Business Journal-The List: SV’s Biggest Chambers of Commerce by number of members by Lemery Reyes

Aaron Goldsmith
Director of Government and Community Affairs
Aaron is responsible for identifying and responding to legislative, regional and local government issues that may directly impact Fremont’s business community, and working collaboratively with that community to develop strategies aimed at influencing public policy. He is also responsible for developing effective working relationships and partnerships with local business and community groups in order promote activities and programs that enhance the overall quality of life in Fremont.

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Category: Fremont



Bill Harrison
Mayor, City of Fremont

Last Friday, the City of Fremont celebrated the groundbreaking of the Capitol Avenue Extension Project on the corner of Capitol Avenue and State Street. Thanks to a One Bay Area Grant of $5.8 million awarded to our City by the Alameda County Transportatio…

Last Friday, the City of Fremont celebrated the groundbreaking of the Capitol Avenue Extension Project on the corner of Capitol Avenue and State Street. Thanks to a One Bay Area Grant of $5.8 million awarded to our City by the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the City is now able to initiate the construction of a vital streetscape element that will connect the new Downtown to two major retail and employment centers as well as transit, with the Fremont BART station located just down the road.

I had the great honor of kicking off the groundbreaking event with a few opening remarks, announcing that Capitol Avenue will be extended from State Street to Fremont Boulevard which will include bike lanes, diagonal parking, a landscaped median, 10- to 15-foot sidewalks with street trees, and tie-ins to accommodate future charging stations.  Construction is scheduled for completion in March 2015.

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And then — the moment we’d all been waiting for — the official groundbreaking! Fremont’s Downtown is truly “On the Rise.”

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Next up was a live performance by local Bay Area band, The Honey Wilders. Their vintage rock/power pop sound had everyone in good spirits!    

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Afterwards, the crowd migrated to Fremont Street Eats, a partnership with Fremont Chamber of Commerce, Fremont’s weekly food truck event, to sample a diverse array of culinary treats. Crowd favorites included Indian street food from Curry Up Now and Rice-Rockit, which specializes in Asian fusion cuisine. Those with a sweet tooth enjoyed Truckin Sweet’s gourmet ice cream. 

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Throughout the event, residents had the chance to try out a new, revolutionary virtual viewing device called OWL®. This interactive visualization technology, allows you to look into binoculars and see a comprehensive 3D model of what the Capitol Avenue extension, among other downtown developments will look like once complete!

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Last Friday marked the beginning of Downtown Fremont’s transformation into a sustainable and vibrant place for the community to enjoy. The extension of Capitol Avenue will be the thread that connects together transit options, regional shopping centers, major employment centers, and surrounding neighborhoods into an area that will serve as a community focal point.

It was a truly momentous occasion for Fremont and an important milestone in our journey to become as our General Plan says a more strategically urban city.

Stay tuned! An event tied to the demolition of the former Citibank building will be scheduled for early fall. To learn more about upcoming events happening in Downtown, connect with us here.  For more information on our Downtown groundbreaking event, check out our media release here.

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Category: Fremont



Jeff Schwob
Community Development Director

For some time you’ve likely been hearing about Warm Springs/South Fremont as a significant regional opportunity for employment-focused, transit-oriented development. (If you haven’t, you should catch up; if you have, then keep reading!) Recently, our clos…

For some time you’ve likely been hearing about Warm Springs/South Fremont as a significant regional opportunity for employment-focused, transit-oriented development. (If you haven’t, you should catch up; if you have, then keep reading!) Recently, our close look at the Brookings Institute research on Innovation Districts revealed that Warm Springs clearly fits the bill for an Innovative District and has the potential to be a cutting-edge, national example of how diverse users mix and mingle, resulting in the elusive concept of innovation. 

Peel back the layers of any Innovation District, and you realize that it doesn’t just occur on its own. It takes a literal plan — a creative, thoughtful document that serves as the roadmap and policy guide for how the area grows and evolves over time. And last night, the Fremont City Council approved the Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan, marking a significant milestone for this development. 

As I presented the plan, I made sure to highlight its particularly unique attributes, including its transit focus, unique land use flexibility, vision for an exciting and dynamic public realm, and incorporation of sustainable design. I hope you take a few minutes to check out an abbreviated version of the presentation below, which includes just some of my favorite components.  

 

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Category: Warm Springs



Rachel DiFranco
Sustainability Coordinator

Fremont ranked high in a recent funding opportunity issued by the California Energy Commission, with both the City of Fremont (under the Bay Area Charge Ahead Project) and the Fremont Chamber of Commerce on the proposed notice of award list for the instal…

Fremont ranked high in a recent funding opportunity issued by the California Energy Commission, with both the City of Fremont (under the Bay Area Charge Ahead Project) and the Fremont Chamber of Commerce on the proposed notice of award list for the installation of publicly accessible electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. With only one Level 1, 25 Level 2, and 12 DC fast charging ports currently available to the public in Fremont, these two funding awards will more than double the number of Level 2 stations and increase the total number of publicly accessible EV chargers in Fremont to 72 ports.

Under the Bay Area Charge Ahead Project (BayCAP)—a consortium led by the Bay Area Climate Collaborative in collaboration with ChargePoint, ABM, the EV Communities Alliance—the City of Fremont will receive a total of eight publicly accessible, dual-port Level 2 electric vehicle chargers. Six of these chargers will be installed at angled parking spaces along three separate blocks of Capitol Avenue as part of the Capitol Avenue Extension project in Downtown Fremont. Another charger will be placed at the City’s Development Services Center, whose Permitting Department attracts many daily visitors. The last charger will be placed at the Boathouse in Fremont’s Central Park, which is the most heavily used park in the city. These eight publicly accessible EV chargers with 16 ports coming to the City of Fremont are only a small portion of the total 66 EV charging stations with 152 ports to be deployed across 19 agencies in the Bay Area under BayCAP. Over the next 10 years, the infrastructure supported by BayCAP is projected to result in net reductions of 10 million kilograms of CO2 compared to the global warming pollution of regular gas vehicles.

In addition to the funding coming to the City of Fremont under BayCAP, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce is negotiating its own CEC award that would fund the installation of six dual-port Level 2 and two dual-port DC fast chargers at Fremont’s Bayside Business Park along the I-880 corridor. To showcase their plans for these publicly accessible workplace chargers and demonstrate the benefits of EVs to the community-at-large, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce plans to set up an EV display at this year’s Fremont Festival of the Arts on August 2 and 3. They will display several different EVs (including a Tesla) as well as demo EV charging stations.

On August 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fremont residents will have another opportunity to view and even get behind the wheel of electric vehicles at “Experience Electric – The Better Ride,” a free public event at the Pacific Commons shopping center at the corner of Christy and Curie streets. Event participants can test-drive the newest EVs on the market in a hassle-free, no sales environment. This event is offered by the City of Fremont in partnership with the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), Charge Across Town, and Plug In America with funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). Interested individuals can visit www.Facebook.com/TheBetterRide for more information.

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The Bay Area currently has nearly 40 percent of the plug-in electric vehicles in California at around 25,000 vehicles. With nearly 1,600 of those vehicles owned by Fremont residents, Fremont is responsible for 30 percent of all of the electric vehicles in Alameda County. In fact, Fremont’s 94539 zip code has been issued more EV rebates than any other single zip code in California! Supporting electric vehicle infrastructure is one key way that Fremont is facilitating the adoption of cleaner methods of transportation, helping to achieve the stringent community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal of 25 percent by the year 2020. 

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Welcome to our blog – Takes from Silicon Valley East!  Our view is slightly different here on the east side of the bay – from the Mission Peak backdrop to the advanced manufacturing companies that dot our boulevards. As we become more urban and strive to interpret the business issues affecting our innovation economy, we want to share with you our observations, insights, photos, arguments, agreements, inspirations and CEO interviews – and here on our blog is exactly where we plan to do this.

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