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Fremont Says BART Extension Is Helping Warm Springs District Blossom

FREMONT (KPIX 5) - For years, people talked about Fremont mostly as the place where BART service stopped, but the extension into the South Bay is a boon to the city's economy, lawmakers say.

"Fremont doesn't want to be the Bay Area's best kept secret anymore. And we're not going to be the Bay Area's best kept secret because of the Warm Springs BART project," said Mayor Bill Harrison.

The new transit stop in the Warm Springs District will be just a ten minute walk from the Tesla Factory, and the city recently rezoned 897 acres of land around the station as an "innovation district."

"When you put those two things together, what happens? The ability to have a BART station right next to a place like Tesla is very special," says Harrison.

4,000 new, relatively affordable, homes are planned for the area, and there's enough room for 12,000 new jobs and some new schools, all in a place known for being one of the safest cities in America.

"What they're doing is absolutely brilliant," said Vivek Wadhwa of Singularity University. "Being near a technology leader inspires other companies to be like them."

Wadhwa said the area is sure to attract startups who can't afford Silicon Valley.

"In the tech world, you want to have the coffee shops, you want to have the theaters, you want to have the bars. You want to have the ability to socialize. You want to have parks nearby. So this is Silicon Valley, except it's not as expensive as Silicon Valley," he said. "It's a win-win."

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