Momentum and Interest Growing in the Next Generation Workplace District
On October 2, 2013 more than 100 people gathered at the Zero Net Energy Center for a presentation by Greg Tung of Freedman Tung + Sasaki and City of San Leandro staff on San Leandro’s Industrial Area including recommendations for transforming it into a vibrant 21st Century workplace that will attract and retain advanced manufacturing and high tech companies and stimulate the creation of high paying jobs. The attendees represented a variety of stakeholders, ranging from large industrial business owners, property owners and real estate brokers to residents and small service oriented businesses. Mayor Stephen Cassidy opened the presentation discussing the history of our industrial zone and the opportunity to revitalize it.
Freedman Tung + Sasaki were contracted in June 2013 to develop a planning and economic study to address the immediate needs and opportunities arising from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center (to be completed in Summer 2014) and the Lit San Leandro high speed fiber loop. City staff is now moving rapidly to evaluate the recommendations and determine the resources required to implement the recommendations.
The City is forming an Industrial Area Working Group, consisting of property owners, business owners and residents of the industrial area. The group will provide feedback and assist in the prioritization of the near-term recommendations from the Study. For more information on the group, which is schedule to meet in early 2014, please contact email@example.com.
The study describes the City’s historical and current industrial area and evaluates the area’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The report also contains a map and list of opportunity sites vulnerable to change and strategies to better adapt the industrial area to immediate economic opportunities like Kaiser Medical Center, Lit San Leandro and the flexible and interactive demands (i.e., restaurants, bars, cafes) of the modern, digital workforce.
The three key strategies are: 1) boost value-added companies, 2) engage existing businesses, and 3) humanize the industrial area. Conceptual physical improvements proposed for the area include: Creating an attractive and uniform “spine” or boulevard on Merced Street; and improvements to Marina Boulevard, Hester Street, Timothy Drive and the Catalina Street/Farallon Drive intersection area such as pedestrian lighting, bus shelters/seating, bicycle lanes, crosswalk markings, and public art.