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September 30, 2009 > Niles projects near completion

Niles projects near completion

By Corinne Davis
Photos By Dale Stone

Long before Charlie Chaplin strutted down Niles Boulevard as the Little Tramp, Niles had more character than class. Further back in wild and wooly days, outlaws made off with horses from local ranches. When the railroad arrived in the mid-1800s, law and order improved and some respectability was added to the growing town. By the 1920's and 30's, Niles was a vibrant small community with shops and businesses. As times changed, buildings that were vital in times past faded and Niles was on the verge of falling into disrepair.

Niles is now advancing fast toward the distinction of having class as well as character, thanks to the new Redevelopment project. Niles Plaza should be finished by November in time to celebrate the holidays.

The classic style Fire Station on Niles Boulevard will be the first in operation, putting to rest the whispered concerns fire trucks might lack adequate turning radius on the street.

"More than enough space," said Rob Kalkbrenner, Fremont Civic Facilities Development Manager, as he viewed Fire Station's No. 2 schematic design by MSL Engineering of Folsom unfurled on the table in his office.

Finishing the sidewalks and paving the roads involved some delays because completing all the Niles underground services first was a priority. Delays with utility connection slowed finishing the new Plaza, but the goal of completing the project by November is expected to be timely.

Kalkbrenner extended his thanks to Fremont voters for funding the improvements that will modernize the Niles infrastructure. Josh Huber, Redevelopment Project Manager agreed.

"Fremont appreciates the value of revitalizing the historic Niles commercial district."

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