Thinking about moving to Alameda? Central Alameda is really a great place to call home. In this one I’ll go over what you need to know if you are considering moving to the Central, Shoreline or Park Street neighborhoods.
1. Lifestyle Overview
- Density: As compared to other parts of the island, this section of Alameda is one of the more dense areas to live. You will find a higher concentration of multi family or apartment buildings as well as many businesses. Not to mention the lots are often on the smaller side so you have more homes per street.
- Urban: Especially in the areas near the Oakalnd Estuary, you will get a more urban vibe. This is due to the number of businesses that have popped up over the years to take advantage of the tidal canal. If you take a drive down Clement ave, you will see what I mean.
- Condos/apartments near the beach: This part of Alameda has the highest concentration of large condo and apartment complexes. This means you have a lot of people living in a small section of the island. When you couple that with the proximity to the beach, weekends and holidays can be feel really busy.
- Great for Starter Homes: As a result of what I just mentioned above, the price per square foot is often lower than other, more residential areas in Alameda.That means the prices are a bit lower and you can get into these neighborhoods (generally) at a lower price point. There are exceptions to this but by and large, it’s a great place to buy a starter home.
2. Central Alameda
This is the area between Park St and Grand Ave and the Oakland estuary and Central Ave. This area has a more urban/industrial feel that came about through a period of development after the estuary opened in 1902.
You can still find many queen anne cottages and craftsman bungalows as well as some moderately sized victorians. Though, you will also encounter smaller lots as well as a number of multi unit and small apartment buildings. So, density is a consideration here.
One big advantage to this part of Alameda is that is is very walkable to Park Street. And there are a few great park options which I mention later (scroll down).
Lastly, there is a bike lane improvement project happening on Clement Ave. You can read about it here.
The first thing you need to know is that this section of Alameda, like many others, was built on landfill. If this makes you uncomfortable, you should look elsewhere. If you ask ten engineers about it’s safety, you will get eleven different answers. In fact, Alameda has increased nearly 2.5x due to landfill over the years. Do your research before buying in this area.
If you drive down Shoreline Dr, you will immediately notice the presence of all the beach front apartment and condo complexes. This obviously creates more density. When combined with the beach traffic, parking can be a challenge.
Nearly all the housing stock was built in the 60s so you won’t find the craftsman or victorian styles here. In fact, it is very similar to the East Shore neighborhood I outlined in my post about the East End.
The two major attractions in this area is the proximity to the long section of public beach and a bird sanctuary. There is a jogging trail and bike lane that parallels the entire beach. It’s easy to be out and active here. The second is South Shore Shopping Plaza. Aside from Safeway and Trader Joe’s, some of my favorite restaurants like Trabocco are located there.
4. Park Street
Park Street is the official boarder between the East End and Central Alameda. It runs the width of the island and connects the Park St Bridge to South Shore Shopping Plaza.
Aside from all the amazing restaurants, bars and breweries, there are a few places you should know about.
The first is the Alameda Theater. This is one of the most iconic buildings in Alameda, largely due to the lit up neon sign that spells the islands name. It has been modernized with updated but the orignal architectural appeal still lives on.
Another gem you have to know about is Dans Fresh Produce. This is where I try to buy as much of my produce as I can. It’s like having a farmers market open all day, every day. I did an interview with Dan a few years back that you can check out here.
One last thing to note is that parking can be challenging here. There are only a few small lots that get full on most evenings and weekends. The same is true for street parking. So, plan to drive around for a few minutes or park a few blocks away and walk.
The school district lines do not line up with they typical neighborhood boundaries. Check out the school finder from the district here.
Most of Central Alameda goes to Love Elementary, Wood Middle and Alameda High.
The Shoreline neighborhood is split into three sections. Some go to Otis Elementary and into Wood Middle. Others go to Franklin then Encinal and still others got Paden elementary on the West End.
Here are the park options I outlined in the video:
I hope this list has helped you. If I can give you more context on the process of buying your first home, please do not hesitate to reach out. My information is below.
Heres to all your success!
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