Highlights from San Leandro’s 2013
This has been quite a year for San Leandro, with activity throughout the City and many new initiatives and businesses launching. Meanwhile, multiple existing firms and projects achieved regional, national and international recognition. Almost two years after the State-mandated elimination of the San Leandro Redevelopment Agency, the City has re-built its economic development team, led by Community Development Director Cynthia Battenberg and Business Development Manager Jeff Kay. San Leandro is emerging from a major recession and some big challenges with a renewed sense of optimism and energy.
Below are some of the highlights from the year.
January – East Bay’s first Chief Innovation Officer Deborah Acosta hired in San Leandro.
February – Chairman Genachowski of the Federal Communications Commission came to town to praise Lit San Leandro and promote the initiatives to expand high-speed broadband nationally;
Local firm Pasteurization Technology Group received the prestigious international Katerva Materials and Resources Award for innovative sustainability practices.
March – Lit San Leandro awarded the San Francisco Business Times “Real Estate Deal of the Year”;
The Millennial Academy began, based the Main Library, with workshops, technology related volunteer opportunities, gaming events, a homebrewing workshop and hands on “hacker/maker” 3D Printing projects;
Streetscape improvements along San Leandro Boulevard got underway. The finished product will create an improved pedestrian environment and facilitate a better connection between Downtown San Leandro and the BART station.
April – Westgate Center connected to Lit San Leandro and began re-branding its second floor as The Gate, a Technology Center;
An updated plan for The Crossings was unveiled with 115 units of workforce housing and 85 units of senior housing. Later in the year, the City successfully settled a dispute with the State of California, ensuring that all project funding is secure and available;
Major leases and purchases in the industrial area were signed including, Botner Manufacturing, Zinus Inc, and Meals On Wheels;
The sixth season of the Downtown Farmers’ Market opened.
May – Pet Food Express opened Downtown;
The beginning of the Environmental Impact Review marked a significant step forward in development of the Shoreline.
June – The Remote Process Control Team, including the City of San Leandro, Lit San Leandro, PhaseSpace, and The OmNom Project, was recognized as a finalist in the prestigious Mozilla Ignite Challenge;
Zero-Net Energy Building and Training Center opened as the first industrial building in the United States retrofit to generate as much energy as it consumes.
Downtown Community Benefit District balloting process successfully ended with the approval by City Council;
Banana Republic Factory Store opened in Marina Square;
Four Season Cafe and Deli opened Downtown;
The Downtown Tech Campus plan was unveiled, beginning the process of constructing 350,000 square feet of much-needed class-A office space adjacent to the Downtown San Leandro BART station.
August – BevMo! opened at Fashion Faire shopping center.
September – Food Truck Mafia’s San Leandro Street Eats commenced;
Business License Tax Holiday began, allowing new businesses in San Leandro to begin operations without having to pay any business license tax for their first year.
October – The Next Generation Workplace Study was presented to the community, increasing awareness and interest in the potential of the Industrial Area;
Preferred Freezer, submitted plans for state-of-the-art temperature controlled warehouses, a $50 million investment in San Leandro;
The City, the Chamber of Commerce and Zocalo partnered to host the New Horizons Innovation Cafe at The Gate;
San Leandro launched the Kiva Zip micro lending program, making 0% interest loans available to small businesses and entrepreneurs in San Leandro.
November – East Bay Maker Lab opened at Bayfair Center;
Taste of the Himalayas Indian restaurant opened on MacArthur Boulevard;
Macy’s completed a major interior and exterior renovation and celebrated with grand re-opening;
East Bay Flowers facade improvements at Davis & East 14th completed, enhancing the appearance of the busiest intersection in Downtown San Leandro.
December – Economic Development Strategy & Work Plan adopted, providing a blueprint for growing the San Leandro economy and encouraging investment;
Release of New San Leandro video, designed to showcase San Leandro as a city that is transforming itself into an innovation and technology economy;
A total of 3 million square feet connected to Lit San Leandro (up from 300,000 square feet at the beginning of the year).