7.1 out of 10

Fruitvale Station

Ranked 22nd best neighborhood in Oakland
37.7731770247084 -122.22161861412
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Cost of Living
  • Public Transport
  • Resale or Rental Value
  •  
Not great for
  • Safe & Sound
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Parking
  • Parks & Recreation
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
Aug 07, 2017

"Vibrant, diverse, and amenity rich neighborhood for those who don't mind a bit of grit"

I've lived in this neighborhood for seven years and absolutely love it.

This is one of the few places in the Bay Area where a single family house with a large backyard is still relatively affordable. Housing is less than half of the cost of SF and less than 2/3rds of the cost of downtown Oakland or North Oakland.

I love the amenities near me and the central location. I'm walking distance to Bart and commute to my job in Downtown SF in less than 40 min door to door. That's a shorter commute than from many places in SF! I have at least 7 meat & produce markets, a microbrewery, a coffee roastery, and countless restaurants and taquerias within a 10 min walk of my house. This morning, I stopped by the farmers market stands outside the Bart station and picked up eggplants and squash for $1 a lb. Beat that.

I know and love all of my immediate neighbors and hang out on occasion with some of my neighbors down the block. While we may speak different languages and come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, there is a real community vibe on my street and people regularly say hello, share produce from their backyards, and look out for your package deliveries.

Most people don't know that the weather in Fruitvale is one of the best in the Bay Area. We are usually about 10 degrees warmer than SF, 5 degrees cooler than San Jose and have more sunshine hours than Berkeley or North Oakland because the peninsula buffers the fog.

Those are the pros, which in my opinion considerably outweigh the cons. But the cons also deserve consideration.

The crime risk is absolutely real - in particular property crime and other crimes of opportunity. If you park your car on the street, get a car lock and don't leave anything valuable in the car. Break-ins and theft are as common as any other location in Oakland. Prostitution on International Ave and illegal dumping are conspicuous and comes and goes depending on how hard police are enforcing. All that said, it may surprise others to know that the crime risk rarely affects me. My house is fenced in and I park my car in my driveway behind a gate. I walk everywhere in the daytime and take rideshares, bicycle, or drive at night. I'm not at all worried about homicide because shootings are almost always targeted and gang related. Whoever wrote the review estimating your risk of death to be 1/500 in this area doesn't understand conditional probabilities.

The neighborhood is also lively and some folks may get ruffled by the occasional fireworks, dog barking and loud parties. My street is relatively quiet and when parties do go down (maybe once a month), they usually wrap up by 11pm because this is a working class neighborhood and everyone has to get up super early in the morning.

I can't imagine that the school system is anything to write home about. But I don't have kids so this is a non-issue for me. Google opened up a children's coding program (Code Next) in the Fruitvale Bart plaza last year to serve local kids but I haven't looked into the eligibility criteria.

In summary, I really love this neighborhood and think it's a real undiscovered gem for progressive and creative types who don't mind a bit of grit.
Pros
  • Grocery stores
  • Diverse
  • Walkable
  • Good Transportation
  • Inexpensive Housiing
Cons
  • Property crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
2yrs+

"Almost unlivable"

Framed by Highway 880, Fruitvale Avenue, International Boulevard and High Street (aptly named), Fruitvale Station is just that, the Fruitvale Bart Station. It is one of the most crime ridden areas within Oakland and, as such, bleeds of lower-class condemnation. The area is blemished with eyesore streets, abandoned commercial buildings and poverty stricken homes. Demographically speaking, the district has a total population of around 1,500, of which is largely hispanic.

Fruitvale’s small commercial terrain, which spans less than 0.2 square miles, is nothing close to a livable environment. Houses are small, old and weathered, usually plotted on cement patches of land with only room for one car in the garage-less driveway. Homes are usually protected by metal gates and barred windows. There are a few two-story homes, but their dingy outer aesthetic doesn’t change. For parking, most residents have to park their grimy cars (with missing hubcaps) on the gritty streets of Fruitvale. As a result, this can make street parking relatively difficult. If you’re looking to move in here, median household incomes, according to the 2010 US Census, are around $40,000/year, while median rents circle around $800/month.

While most residents here have less than a high school education, it dramatically contributes to its high crime rate and poverty in the community. You can really see it in the plethora of abandoned depots, meager looking auto body shops, small food markets, Mexican restaurants and other quick stop eateries, most of which have bars on the windows (especially on International Boulevard). There is a Home Depot situated on the other side of the neighborhood, but that is largely due to the construction jobs in this area. Its main contribution to the city is the Fruitvale Bart station, which serves thousands of locals every day.
Pros
  • Good Transportation
  • Inexpensive Housiing
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • Dirty
  • Gangs
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"A War Zone"

This is the center of the Fruitvale District, giving the area both its name and the eponymous BART Station. As you might expect given this area’s reputation, this is a major crime area. Despite being home to barely 1600 residents, this tiny neighborhood averages about three murders each year. That means that if you live in Fruitvale Station, you technically have a one in 500 chance of being murdered every year. Think about what this means. If you live fifty years in this neighborhood, there is a one in ten chance that you will be murdered. These are pretty bad odds, it seems to me. (Especially if you consider that in some other neighborhoods we had noted that a one in 3000 chance of being killed was what we would consider dangerous.

Of course, there are some mitigating factors here. For one thing, this is a neighborhood that brings in a lot of outsiders. There are a lot of newer box stores here, for example, which means a lot of outside foot traffic that would not otherwise be in this neighborhood. The BART station is also here, which means that many people are just passing thorough the area on their way somewhere else.

Outside of the BART station and the newer box stores, much of the rest of this neighborhood is really showing the signs of age and ill maintenance. The homes have loose boards and missing shingles. There are a lot of trucks here as construction is one of the main jobs in this neighborhood.

Railroad tracks also run through the center of the neighborhood, contributing not only to the noise from the freeway but also to the noise from the BART. There are a few Mexican restaurants in the area but it is simply not safe enough to venture there.

Put simply, it is just too dangerous to venture into, even in the daytime.
Pros
  • Inexpensive Housiing
  • Good Transportation
  • Good Box Stores
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • Gangs
  • Dirty

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Unranked Streets in Fruitvale Station

35th Ave

3.5/5
"35th ave and therebouts"
37.7744222791002 -122.223958840018

40th Ave

0.5/5
"40th Ave....Fairly quiet during day....Gunshots at night."
37.7723738933787 -122.219274482091

41st Ave

1.5/5
"Great Place For Collage Grads! Not So Good For Families"
37.7720961041641 -122.218099907964

Wattling St

1.5/5
"Horrible location and noisy"
37.7712009360381 -122.220902631319

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