Engaging residents focus of new civic center

March 11, 2014 by  

Fremont’s Downtown Community Plan Civic Center continues to move forward after the city council’s work session in February. During that meeting, architects hired by the city listened as lawmakers described what they believed were the important considerations to incorporate in the civic center’s design.

Two concepts for the center were proposed. One, dubbed ‘Town Hall’, was the clear favorite with council members. This design theme brings together a plaza area surrounded by a combination of retail and civic spaces fitted together beneath a large, sculptured canopy. Council chambers and city hall space would also be in the mix.

Council member Raj Salwan noted the town hall concept resonated with him and his co-workers:

“Most of us like the town hall, because it was more open, there was a plaza, and less of a focus on city council and more on the community, so it is more community oriented, it was more about making it more incorporated. We emphasized more that we wanted to have the town hall approach where the city chambers were connected to the city hall; they were not by themselves.”

For the retail community, whether selling specialty potholders or custom printing services, an area that promotes pedestrian traffic and encourages “lingering” is a boon to business. For city office workers, the design offers a convenient location to food and shopping venues.