Tuesday, June 26, 2007

NewsWraps 7/03/07

Fremont brings back summer tradition

For the first time in five years, the Central Park Summer Concert Series is back, restarting a summertime Fremont tradition. It all starts Thursday with a free performance by Appaloosa, a country-rock group that often plays the Saddle Rack, a Fremont country-and-western nightclub.
Each of the summerlong performances will be held at the Performance Pavilion in Central Park. The new venue was constructed last year for Celebrate Fremont @ the Park, the city's 50th anniversary celebration event.
The series will continue through the summer on these alternating Thursday evenings.

The Harry Potters Youth Concert. July 3,2007 Tuesday 7-8:30 P.M.

-All of the concert series performances are free and open to the public.
The Performance Pavilion is near the Fremont Community Center, 40204 Paseo Padre Parkway, off Mission View Drive.
Fremont's original summer concert

More Information
Call the City's Parks and Recreation Department at 510-494-4300 for more information.

Fremont School Board meeting tonight

Chris De Benedetti reports that Keith Wolff and A's consultant Jim Cunneen will present their plan at a FUSD board meeting tonight. FUSD has been keenly aware that there's no elementary school at Pacific Commons and at the very least one would be required there for the projected 700 grade school students. Some accommodations would have to be made for a large number of secondary school students as well. New to the plan is the concept of placing the school on the city's 40-acre parcel, where a train station and park are planned. It seems like a reasonable use for the property, but there's one issue: the school would be separated from the neighborhood by at least the 0.6 miles I cited earlier. The school would be far more attractive if it were well integrated into the neighborhood, but using city land would be a much cheaper alternative. FWIW I'd rather see a land swap between the two parties to make the school work within the neighborhood confines - important since the residential area will be a gated/limited access area.

More info Coming Soon.

International Cuisine, Retail to Open:

Coming Soon

Family Dentistry(???)
Focus Beauty(???)
Healthy Dessert(???)
Keneyama Sushi & Teppanyaki (July)
Shanghai Restaurant (July)

Now Open:

Cafe Zen(Now open June 30,2007)

Baby Hugs (Now open June 16)

More Detail from Water Park and Redevelopment Coming Soon.

Fremont: Fourth of July Parade -- 10 a.m. This year's parade will be held in the historic Niles district of Fremont. The parade will salute the Fourth of July with the theme "America the Beautiful." Watch top drum and bugle corps, high school marching bands, creative floats, dance and drill teams, equestrians and special guest celebrities. Free. http://niles.org/parade07.htm.

Bank pays for naming rights to water park

FREMONT — The city's goal for its planned water park is to provide locals with old-fashioned summertime fun. But in order to pay for it, they have turned to that very modern solution — adding a corporate logo to its name.
Goodbye, Family Water Play Facility. Hello, "Fremont Bank Aqua Adventure."
That will be the official moniker for Fremont's long-planned water entertainment facility in Central Park — if the City Council approves it tonight.
In exchange, the Fremont Bank Foundation has pledged to donate
$1 million to the project's
$14,667,800 budget.
The park's corporate name is intended to honor the community contributions made by the bank's founder, Morris Hyman, and his wife, Alvirda Hyman, city officials said.
Morris Hyman, a former chairman of Fremont's Parks and Recreation Commission, was instrumental "in the creation and development of Central Park," said Fremont Bank Foundation President Hattie Hyman Hughes, also the Hymans' daughter.
Alvirda Hyman still lives in Fremont, bank spokesman Curt Olsen said. Morris Hyman died in 2005. The foundation is the charity arm of Fremont Bank.
Have residents complained about the corporate name?
"I have heard only positive things about it," Fremont Senior Landscape Architect Roger Ravenstad said. "I can't think of any reason why it's not a positive."
"The contribution from Fremont Bank will make this project a reality," Fremont Parks and Recreation Director
Annabell Holland said in a statement.
Formerly called the Family Water Play Facility, its designs includewater slides, children's play areas, picnic grounds and new water play areas, such as a lazy river. Plans call for it to be built on the southern edge of Central Park, on the former site of the Puerto Penasco Swim Lagoon, a water-oriented recreation area from 1969 to 2001.
It is expected to be open roughly three months each year — from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
City officials expect ground to be broken in four to six weeks. Its target opening date is Memorial Day 2009.
Council members also will vote tonight whether to accept the facility's lowest construction bid of $10.5 million, recently submitted by Sierra Bay Contractors Inc. The Concord-based company's bid is well below the lowest bid of $11.75 million submitted — and ultimately rejected — earlier this year.
City staff members are recommending that council members vote to give City Manager Fred Diaz the authority to issue project contract changes that exceed $100,000 without council approval — a change to the city's purchasing ordinance.
If approved, the total cost of allowable construction change orders to this project would be capped at 20 percent of the construction contract value — roughly $2.1 million.
The contract change orders are limited to funds within to the project's council-approved budget. The recommendation was made to expedite construction, "because if you have to go back to council for a change order, we would have to stop construction to get the change," Ravenstad said.
In addition, contingency funds of about $1.3 million will push the total construction tab to roughly $11.8 million.
"I'm not happy with the cost of it, but the costs aren't going to be any less over time," Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman said. "I think it will be a nice addition to the park."
The council also will decide tonight whether to increase its payment to Anchor Engineering Inc., a construction-management firm. The proposed contract figure now is $767,525, up nearly $200,000 from what the council approved in February.
That price increase is tied to the decision to change the construction period from 9 to 12 months, city officials said.
"We felt that the tighter construction periods contributed to higher bids," Ravenstad said. He pointed to Sierra Bay Contractors Inc.'s recent low bid, which is $1.254 million less than the previous round's lowest bid.
Increasing the construction time may cost an extra $200,000 with Anchor Engineering, but the city's net gain is roughly $1 million when factoring in Sierra Bay's lower numbers, Ravenstad added.
The project's remaining budget costs are tied to design, environmental and bid-process works, according to city officials.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

International Cuisine, Retail to Open

New specialty boutique shopping, along with additional international cuisine, will be opening at Pacific Commons over the next few months. The following retail and restaurants, located in the part of Pacific Commons just off of Auto Mall Parkway and Boscell Road (across Boscell from Costco), will open by the end of June:

Asian Pearl Seafood
, a dim sum restaurant, is slated to open in the fall.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Residents invited to submit shop local videos

Residents invited to submit shop local videos:

"Shopping in Fremont is important to us," Mayor Bob Wasserman said. "There isn't as much as we'd like now, and there isn't as much as we'd like to see. But the more people shop here, the more people who build businesses will know people shop here. And then more people will build here."

Fremont Police Department Officer Matt Snelson appeared in a video where a father was hesitant about giving his daughter shopping money. Snelson informs the pair that she can shop in Fremont, as 1 percent of the sales tax goes toward funding public safety.

The father then happily hands over shopping money, as long as his daughter shops in Fremont.

A second video features Fremont Firefighter Brian Guernsey confronting a young woman as she leaves a department store checkout counter.

Dressed in full firefighting gear, he loudly thanks her for shopping in Fremont, and won't let her leave until she hears how her purchase has helped public safety.

The final video features the father from the first video, fastening pillows to his car to "prepare for potholes" as he leaves for a shopping expedition. His wife questions his motives, and explains the sales tax is going to public safety.

Fremont maintenance engineer Derick Fisher then explains 1 percent of the tax helps public safety.

"Shopping in Fremont is important to us," Mayor Bob Wasserman said. "There isn't as much as we'd like now, and there isn't as much as we'd like to see. But the more people shop here, the more people who build businesses will know people shop here. And then more people will build here."

Tsui said the videos can be seen on the city's Web site at www.fremont.gov/Business/ShopFremont/default.htm.

They will also be shown on local channels 26, 27 and 29, and are posted on the popular Internet site YouTube.

Another component of the campaign is that locally-owned coffee shops, juice bars and bagel/doughnut shops will give Shop Fremont cup holders with coffee purchases.

As for residents making videos, the contest began Wednesday, and will end on Friday, July 13.

Winning entries will be posted on the city's Web site at Shop Fremont.biz, along with the three city videos. Winning entries will also be broadcast on channels 26, 27 and 29.

Contest Rules

Redevelopment agency

Redevelopment agency is awarded $200,000 grant:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has awarded a $200,000 grant to the Fremont Redevelopment Agency for soil remediation at the former Union Pacific Railroad yard in the Niles District. The city's redevelopment agency is scheduled to begin removal of contaminated soil at the site in late summer, in preparation for construction of the Niles Town Plaza.
The Fremont project was one of 17 selected to receive a Brownfields grant from EPA Region IX, which covers California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

Redevelopment budget is $85 million:
Redevelopment budget is $85 million
by Wes Bowers

Fremont Redevelopment Agency received a first report on the agency's budget at a May 22 meeting.

Convening as the Redevelopment Agency, Fremont City Council learned it will have $74.5 million in the 2007/2008 fiscal year for non-housing projects, and $10 million for below-market rate housing projects.

The redevelopment agency's budget is incorporated as a component of the city's budget. A second public hearing on the budget will be held June 5.

Elisa Tierney, Fremont Redevelopment Agency director, said some of the highlighted projects in the budget include Irvington District's Bay Street Streetscape.

The project, slated to cost about $5.3 million, is anticipating an additional $810,000 in appropriations, according to Tierney.

She added the project's first phase is scheduled to start this summer.

Tierney also highlighted the Greenbelt Gateway project along Grimmer Boulevard.

Estimated at $200,000, the project aims to make the streetscape along Grimmer more attractive.

Another highlight Tierney touched on was exploring commercial enhancement options in the Centerville area.

"This includes options for the Center Theater," Tierney said. "But we'll come back on June 26 with more detailed plans for the theater."

Other commercial enhancements in Centerville include streetscape improvements and pedestrian linkage areas.

The last highlight Tierney noted was the Niles Canyon Railway pedestrian bridge.

Currently, the project description on staff reports states redevelopment and engineering staff will assess the best options to locate and then design a pedestrian bridge. It is estimated to cost $350,000.

Resident Ed Pentalari said the agency should make the Greenbelt Gateway project a priority.

"It's an important thing for us to begin looking at," he said. "It's one of the main gateways into Irvington. As I drive into it, I always think what other people must be thinking when they drive into Irvington."

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