2.6 out of 10

Fremont

Ranked 20th best neighborhood in Oakland
37.7735543847521 -122.209188602731
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Eating Out
  • Cost of Living
  • Public Transport
  •  
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Safe & Sound
  • Parking
  • Clean & Green
  • Gym & Fitness
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  •  
  •  

Reviews

1/5
2yrs+

"Depressing..."

Fremont is an unpleasant and unprosperous neighborhood within the straggly streets of Oakland, California. It spans about 0.4 square miles of very dense, lower-class urban life. As a result, crime is one of the community’s major concerns and, as such, has left behind a devastating and dangerous neighborhood. For your living arrangements, you only have the numerous depressing looking boxes and shacks that overrun the area. Demographically speaking, the district is predominately hispanic with a large black minority. And of these residents, most do not have a high school education, according to the 2010 US Census.

For the prospective resident, houses come cheap, but its at a steep risk. Houses are of the bungalow or Victorian style and have an old (1940’s), weathered aesthetic about them. But I warn you, many of them are just shacks and shacks alone. They are usually plotted on miserably unkempt lots and/or cement patches of narrow space with no room for a garage. They only afford a small, skinny slice of cement/dead grass for you to park your car on. These lots yield room to gritty, cracked streets and ugly communal spaces. There are also a couple boxy, 1950’s apartment complexes that sprinkle the neighborhood, but the aesthetic doesn’t change. For numbers sake, rents can cost you about $900/month, while median house values are around $230,000.

There are really no luxuries in this area, nor amenities that are worth noting. I guess you can count the Fruitvale Bart station, which is within walking distance of the neighborhood. Its commercial real-estate lies within the busier blocks, but still, they look like dilapidated shacks with barred windows and graffiti painted over the coverings when they close up shop. There are also a lot of old, grimy looking cars parked along these streets, many of them with missing hubcaps from the rims and paint chipping off the sides.

For young families (who I assume are desperate for a home), parents usually send their kids to Fremont high School, which has surprisingly undergone a recent transformation despite the poor quality of accreditations they have received in the past. To get here, many locals travel along both highway 880 and 980, which makes for convenient neighborhood access.
Cons
  • Crime
  • Dirty
  • Poor Schools
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Tacos, Gangs, and a Pool"

Not to be confused with the city of Fremont, some twenty miles to the south, the Fremont neighborhood is actually one of the many enclaves of Oakland. In some ways, this is a pretty average neighborhood for the Fruitvale District. It has the usual crime problems for this area. The murder rate is depressingly off the charts with an average of about 4 murders per year. Given that the densely packed population of this 1/3 mile neighborhood is only only about 6000, that is a one in 1,500 chance of being killed here every year.

The homes here are also fairly typical of this area of Oakland. There are lots of bungalows, etc. There are also a fair number of worn-put looking Victorian apartments and older 50’s style boxy apartment blocks. Residents are really packed in here, so you tend to have individual floors and rooms of homes parceled out separately. Driveways lead back to other apartments (converted garages perhaps?) and you get a fair number of dingy looking establishments.

Signs of poverty and crime are pretty much everywhere you look, with midday drunks ambling unsurely down dirty garbage strewn streets where barred windows stare out at them. Older, faded cars parked on front lawns and heavy makeshift curtains cover windows, protecting against the gaze of would-be burglars. Put simply this is a pretty dingy depressing little urban neighborhood.

What is unusual about this neighborhood however are the number of restaurants here and the pool. Yes, that’s right. There is a pool here. (One of six public pools in Oakland.) It’s actually part of the Fremont High School, and has an imposing Art Deco stonework sort of a façade that is gated shut when not in hours of operation. As you might guess, this public pool is immensely popular during the summer when the heat and the lack of alternate opportunities draw locals to the facilities for beginning swimming classes for the little ones and water aerobics for the grown-ups.

What is also unusual are the attempts to improve the High School here in the Fruitvale, by breaking Fremont High into four smaller schools. This happened back in 2003. One of the schools that now finds its home on the Fremont High campus is Mandela High. Unfortunately, such attempts have not yielded terribly impressive results. Mandela, for example, though it has improved its API scores marginally year after year, it simply has not managed to show demonstrable results compared to the California average. If you look at the CST scores for example, across to board, Mandela students pass tests at a rate of 10% in virtually all categories. This is for tests that most high schools pass 50% of their students.

Of course, we do have to account for the extra difficulties instructors and students face at Mandela High. Everything from poverty, gang violence, and second language problems make the learning environment extremely difficult. It is nevertheless a disappointment to see such little progress overall.

Finally, one other thing that this downtrodden neighborhood has going for it, are the restaurants. A number of them have an authentic Latin feel to them. Among these I would put El Paisa and Santo Coyote, both of which have great fresh tacos worth braving the dangers the Fruitvale.

Strangely for such a high crime neighborhood there are also a number of other kinds of stores here as well. There is a very unusual looking jewelry store that always seems to have it larger garage door front closed. It is across the street from a “bait” store and a tattoo parlor and next to a beauty salon. This is a fairly thriving business area—although the main language of currency here is Spanish not English, so you Gringos should be prepared to repeat yourself a few times if you want to ask questions or order anything unusual.
Pros
  • The Public Pool
  • Good Authentic Food
  • Good Public Transportation
Cons
  • Crime
  • Poor Schools
  • Dirty

Travelling to Fremont?

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Best Streets in Fremont

1

East 14th St

1.5/5
"East 14th St. (aka international Blvd)"
37.7707007418454 -122.21125726378

Unranked Streets in Fremont

Bond St

2/5
"42th Ave. Best way to the Freeway. And Late NIght Taco Truck Food."
37.7729969547178 -122.210336571405

Ellen St

2.5/5
"Quaint street in a good location"
37.7761392509581 -122.207433749472

Thompson St

2.5/5
"A short street in a good location"
37.7769129529977 -122.20702242763
"Ygnacio Street needs a total turn around"
37.7741467402968 -122.207841870419

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