FREMONT -- A realty firm has bought a big chunk of vacant land in Fremont that is expected to become a key piece of the East Bay city's economic mosaic with office buildings, research and manufacturing facilities, and retail complexes.

Newport Beach-based Integral Communities, which develops mixed-use projects, bought the 150-acre site near Interstate 880 and Auto Mall Parkway from San Jose-based Cisco Systems (CSCO).

"This is a very significant piece of property, it's a great piece of property," said C. Evan Knapp, a principal with Integral Communities. "It is important for Fremont. It is important for the whole 880 corridor."

Integral has held some preliminary discussions with the city of Fremont about what might be developed on the site.

"We want to listen to what Fremont wants, what the constituents want, and then go out and execute on what people want," Knapp said. "We have kicked around some concepts, but we haven't decided yet."

Fremont officials would like to see the parcel occupied by office buildings, tech campuses, research facilities and industrial and manufacturing complexes, as well as retail stores and auto dealerships.

"We want this to be a site for job creation," said Kelly Kline, Fremont's economic development director. "This is also a great opportunity to expand the Fremont auto mall."

Kline added, "Residential is not allowed at this point."


Advertisement

The land is next to a bustling "power center" that is anchored by Target, Kohl's, Nordstrom Rack and a Cinemark movie complex.

"This land has been laying in wait for some time," Kline said. "It is in a very strategic location."

Municipal officials also see the site as contributing to efforts to create mixed-use developments in the vicinity of the Warm Springs BART station, which is due to open at the end of 2015.

"Including the Cisco land and the land around the BART station, this is twice the size of Mission Bay," Kline said, referring to the San Francisco neighborhood of tech and biotech offices, shops, restaurants and luxury condominiums.

Only a couple of years ago, Fremont was reeling from the loss of the NUMMI auto factory and the Solyndra solar company. But the repurposing of the NUMMI plant by Tesla Motors (TSLA) and Seagate's purchase of the former Solyndra factory for a research and development hub, coupled with the potential development on the old Cisco land, all point to a resurgence for Fremont.

"Fremont is absolutely on the comeback trail," Kline said. "This is a resilient community."

Contact George Avalos at 408-373-3556 or 925-977-8477. Follow him at Twitter.com/george_avalos.