As the name implies, The Block is literally a block jam-packed full of restaurants, boutiques, big name stores and even a movie theater. This innovative concept creates an outdoor mall, and considering Fremont, California, experiences near perfect weather year-round, this is a welcome development by locals and visitors. It will also save residents a drive to Santana Row in San Jose.
You really can’t fully appreciate just what a significant size this project is until you get out a map and look at the location, the Block will be 110 acres, bounded by Paseo Padre Parkway, Walnut Ave, Fremont Boulevard and Mowry Avenue. It is essentially a town within a city; it’s that big! The Block is adjacent to the newer Pacific Commons shopping center.
As you enter The Block by vehicle, it feels as though you are driving through a shopping center, only there are streets and the sun is shining on you. It will be a transit-oriented sustainable neighborhood that is extremely pedestrian-friendly.
There will be parking areas, but there will also be angled parking spaces on the streets in many areas throughout. This is handy if you are just running in for a carryout at a restaurant or to exchange something.
Public transport will move through The Block, but the sidewalks are designed for foot traffic. They are wide and lovely, lined with trees and flower gardens. As you walk through, you will find plenty of outdoor seating, fountains and even interactive sculptures done by Aris Demitrious, world-renowned artist. This is a place in Fremont, California, where you can leave your car at home or parked in a structure and just enjoy the day walking around, whether you need to go shopping or not.
You will find everything you want and more at The Block. Century Theatres will be a main attraction. This 16-screen theater is scheduled to open spring 2012. The rest of the area is made up of:
- Anchors – Right in the heart of the development, you will find Costco and Lowes. Although in a shopping mall anchor stores are on the ends, these two major stores are in the center, and parking is available.
- Shopping – From small boutiques with handcrafted goods by local artisans to big name stores, the diverse selection is a breath of fresh air. There is even going to be a Whole Foods.
- Restaurants – Expect plenty of dining options to tempt your taste buds with a lot of outdoor seating. Have lunch at Woody’s Deli, dinner at Dolce Vita, indulge in dessert at one of the ice-cream parlors and then grab a snack to take home at Insomnia Café.
- Artist Walk – With all the talent in California, it only makes sense that there would be a section dedicated to artists for display and sales.
- Children – The Block will feature an elementary school, day care and even a skate park.
Expect The Block to not be fully complete until 2013. Although there are already some retailers there and many expected to fill in before Christmas, there are also some not contracted in until next year. Anyone investing in real estate may want to take a closer look at Fremont, California, as there are going to be a multitude of employment opportunities opening up. The population is expected to increase and the city will see a lot more tourist traffic.