What does it take to build a new downtown from scratch?

That was the topic of a recent SPUR event held on Friday, September 25, 2015. The panel discussion and walking tour was SPUR’s first foray into Fremont and highlighted the City’s efforts to become more strategically urban.

Attendees heard from a panel that included David Cropper of TMG partners, Drew Hudacek of Sares-Regis, JasonMcCarthy of Studios Architecture, and Jessica von Borck, Assistant City Manager of the City of Fremont.

After viewing the renaissance that’s happening along Capitol Avenue, the walking tour ended with a reception at Fremont Street Eats, a gourmet food truck event sponsored by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.

You can read more about Downtown Fremont in the following summary, which originally appeared on July 31, 20015 in Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “Redefining what it means to be a Silicon Valley city” advertising supplement on page 14.

Downtown Fremont – On the rise

In 1956, five townships came together to form the City of Fremont. While these historic districts provide character and a rich context to the city, a central gathering place has eluded Fremont…until now. Fremont has embarked on a bold initiative to create a new downtown district from scratch where civic engagement, entertainment, and culture can mix together.

Downtown Fremont is just a short walk from the existing BART station, and is located between Mowry and Walnut Avenues to the north and south, Paseo Padre Parkway to the east and Fremont Boulevard to the west. Capitol Avenue serves as downtown’s “Main Street,” anchored by City Hall.

Building patterns in the downtown will evolve from yesterday’s low density, vehicular-oriented suburban development to a mid-density, pedestrian-friendly place filled with street-level commercial development, new residential development, and plenty of public open spaces.

The first public investment, the Capitol Avenue Streetscape, is underway. Next up is a mixed-use project called “State Street,” which will be breaking ground soon. This catalyst project by TMG partners and Sares-Regis will add 157 residential units and more than 20,000 square feet of new retail space to the downtown.

But you don’t have to wait for new buildings to experience Downtown Fremont. “Street Eats” is a Fremont Chamber of Commerce food truck event that rolls out on Capitol Avenue every Friday night through October. These types of events foreshadow an emerging community hub and demonstrate how new development and community partnerships can jump-start the social heart of a growing city.