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April 2, 2013 > Fremont mayor puts a positive spin on State of City

Fremont mayor puts a positive spin on State of City

In front of a large audience at the Fremont Marriott on March 28, Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison gave a positive report on current and future prospects for the City. He began his comments with the overriding theme, "Our City is in good shape." He noted that Fremont has "embarked on a proactive strategic communications strategy, and we are serious about letting the corporate and real estate world know that we mean business."

Two "growth clusters," Biotech and Cleantech are a driving economic force for Fremont and, as Mayor Harrison commented, some of these industries are already located in the City and have chosen to remain and expand in Fremont. He cited the expansion of Thermo Fisher, Delta Products, Seagate (in the former Solyndra facility) and additional investment by Men's Wearhouse using the well-known quip of its owner to underscore the mayor's contention that Fremont is a great place for business, "I guarantee it."

A new public-private partnership is an example of what is called the FAST strategy in the Warm Springs area. This is a cluster of innovation companies to advance manufacturing and R&D efforts allied with what is termed a "Silicon Valley renaissance." Harrison announced that Fremont will host the Western Region Clean Tech Open event in with Chevron Energy Solutions. Tesla's contribution to Fremont was acknowledged as well.

Harrison spoke of growth within the historic districts including the expansion of Dale Hardware in Centerville and the completion of improvements to Osgood Road in Irvington. Niles Boulevard improvements were mentioned and Ohlone College improvements being considered for frontage on Mission Boulevard in Mission San Jose. Changes on the Dominican Sisters property to include an Alzheimer Services and Memory Loss Center were mentioned. Ardenwood is home to many innovative companies including Boehringer Ingelheim that chose Fremont for their first US manufacturing facility employing 300.

Speaking of recreation, the Mayor noted that the new skate park is about to open at Central Park and Aqua Adventure Water Park is getting ready for summer activities as well.

Another indication of a Fremont vision is the staff and Council support, economic conditions and interest from stakeholders in a viable downtown including 110 acres bounded by Mowry Avenue, Fremont Boulevard, Paseo Padre Parkway and Walnut Avenue. Plans are underway to make the long awaited extension of Capitol Avenue to Fremont Boulevard, a reality. The area already has a foundation for economic prosperity with medical facilities close by, construction of Whole Foods, and in September, 300 apartments along Walnut Avenue. "This development will open in the Downtown, bringing even more people to this area. These are the first new rooftops in the Downtown to open since Fremont's incorporation." He added, these improvements will "deliver that 'sense of place.'"

Speaking in glowing terms, the Mayor remarked that economic and quality of life enhancement is happening throughout the City - expansion of The Block, education, safety, environmental and climate action, etc. - and nowhere more prominent that at the site of the new South Fremont/Warm Springs BART Station. With the completion of the subway through Central Park and under Lake Elizabeth plus grade separation construction underway, Fremont is on track to become a job-centric hub of the BART system.

Financially, the City of Fremont is beginning to experience the upturn of a growing economy and is poised to take advantage of its location in the Bay Area. Speaking of outstanding Citizen activity through Make-A-Difference Day projects and noting accolades that have been recognized by national publications and organizations, the Mayor asked everyone to become prepared through Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Personal Emergency Preparedness (PEP) training and the innovative Pulse Point application.

In conclusion, he said, "While Fremont may have come together as five small towns back in 1956, we are now one city making a difference and on the move.
We're building on the past, as we prepare for the future. I am confident that working together we can make our great city even greater."

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