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Carved out of roughly the center of the city (encompassing parts of Centerville, Niles, Irvington, and Mission San Jose) is the planning district named Central which was established with the 1962 General Plan. Here are located municipal buildings as well as the BART station and a large hospital and medical complex.
Instead of acting as a magnetic center for Fremont as it was planned to do, however, it is vacuous. As the Central Business District (CBD) for the city, it is considered to be underdeveloped and unsuccessful. The biggest draw to the area is the BART station used by commuting traffic.
Along the main municipal and commercial streets (Mowry, Walnut, and Paseo Padre), the buildings are set far back from the street. Probably intended to allow for future growth and to give the district a monumental scale, the result is emptiness and lack of intimacy. Office buildings and strip malls form the transition between the municipal center and the residential edges of Central.
Residential areas here are lower income. They consist of: large apartment complexes; tiny, one-story, 1950s track housing; and poorly maintained 1960s-70s two-story houses. In some areas, wooden privacy fences line the streets (giving the neighborhood a defensive appearance) while shopping carts are discarded in the streets (a no-man's-land).
Central is home to two important cultural features of Fremont: the California Schools for the Blind, Deaf, and Multihandicapped and the huge Fremont Central Park with Lake Elizabeth.
Go To Adjacent Area(s)
North: Niles District
East : Mission San Jose District
South: Irvington District
West: Centerville District
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