4.5 out of 10

Lower Bal (Halcyon Foothills South)

Ranked 12th best neighborhood in San Leandro
37.7026224771677 -122.131516933925
Great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Medical Facilities
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
  • Cost of Living
Not great for
  • Safe & Sound
  • Schools
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Resale or Rental Value
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5

"Poor Schools and Nearby Crime Ruin Otherwise Good Neighborhood"

Just to the north of the Bayfair BART station and to the west of Carrington College, Lower Bal is a patchwork of apartments, Ranch homes and newer homes. The BART station actually makes this an ideal neighborhood for commuters and will be even better if they ever extend BART farther down into San Jose and connect it up with the rail system in the Peninsula.

You can roughly divide Lower Bal into three sections, the far northern end which is dominated by apartments, the older residential section north of Halycon and the elevated BART tracks and the newer residential section south of that and closest to the Bayfair BART station. Bayfair is a connector station where the Daly City, Dublin and Richmond lines all stop—which also makes it perfect for commuters who live in the area to get virtually anywhere in the Bay Area in less than in an hour.

The Bayfair Mall, one of the first East Bay malls, is just adjacent to the station, adding to the convenience of the location since you can stop off at the mall to get something on your way home from work.

The northern most end of Lower Bal is filled with apartments and condos of various kinds, from the long ugly shoe box shaped variety, to newer gated condos. Apartments in this area run between $1000 and $1500 for a 2 bedroom.

The middle section of Lower Bal looks like a pretty typical San Leandro neighborhood, with older looking Ranch style homes. They are relatively nicely kept but some do show some signs of age. This middle section has a median home price of $275 grand and tops out at no more than $350,000.

The southern most section of Lower Bal is perhaps the most attractive, with some of the newest homes in not just this neighborhood but probably in San Leandro. These streets are pretty much made up of Contemporary style homes dating from the late 1970’s. They feel as well-kept as the day they first sold and have that attractive upper class feel that neighborhoods in the 1980’s had—at least as I remember from my infancy.

Unfortunately, like the rest of San Leandro the schools around here are just okay at best, which makes this a little bit of a dicey area in terms of raising kids. There are some okay schools in the area, but I am not sure that you can luck out and get them for your kids. For example, Lincoln High is pretty terrible but San Leandro High is okay. But I am not sure which serves this neighborhood.

Crime is an additional drawback to this area. Just to the southeast of the mall in the City of Ashland there have been 3 murders. The area around the mall also sees tons of assaults and robberies and even one or two prostitution busts. So despite the pleasant suburban look of some of these homes, Lower Bal still feels like an urban area—more like Oakland than Pleasanton.

Overall, I can only really recommend this area for singles who are okay with a little bit of danger for a while as they work their way up—just too many problems with schools and nearby crime for families and others.
  • Nice Homes on the Lower End
  • Affordable Apartments on the North
  • Great Commuting Access
  • Too Much Nearby Crime
  • Bad Schools
  • Too Much Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles

Unranked Streets in Lower Bal (Halcyon Foothills South)

143rd Ave

"Heath Park is for serious tennis players only. "
37.7085655700369 -122.141331548232

147th Ave

"Great park and sushi"
37.707023151845 -122.136786227778
"the mall and movie theater"
37.7009462973607 -122.127829917367
"Tought street needs some community loving"
37.6975900060622 -122.134778735321
"Wonderful quiet neighborhood for families with kids"
37.6968854993519 -122.132173252234

Fairmont Dr

"Experience a little taste of the bumpkin road"
37.7022301667596 -122.127770528618

Grace St

"Nice neighborhood road "
37.7044781761618 -122.133371562709

Terra Ave

"Soccer games lead to weekly excursions at Halcyon Park"
37.7081530996059 -122.137220518942

Western Ave

"Just needs a little cosmetic work"
37.7035486748667 -122.135509154187

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