Living and Working in San Leandro
San Leandro Profile from McCormack’s Guides
Located just south of Oakland, on the BART line, the city of San Leandro (population 81,851) is served by two freeways and is one of the better suburban commutes in Alameda County.
Viewed as a good town for people buying first home or wanting to live in suburb close to job centers. Good mix of housing and prices. Many of the residents work in Silicon Valley or San Francisco or at Oakland Airport, which borders San Leandro.
First-class marina and waterfront with restaurants. School rankings low to middle plus. In 1997, residents passed a $54 million bond to renovate all schools.
In the 1990s, San Leandro increased its housing stock by about 1,100 units and its population by 8,000 and between 2000 and 2006 added about 525 units.
San Leandro rises from the Bay to the hills and has many older neighborhoods, built just after World War II, two- and three-bedroom units. In the flatlands, near Interstate 880, the homes border industrial areas. Although San Leandro retains many blue-collar jobs, the town for some time has been moving into white-collar territory.
In the Sixties and Seventies, several industries pulled out of San Leandro, leaving large empty plants. The city rallied, sought new businesses and took care to keep up appearances and morale.
When the downtown was crippled by bypassing freeways and shopping plazas, the city pumped money and planning into the section. The result: The downtown, which is close to a BART station looks nice, attracts shoppers and gives the city a strong center. In recent years, this section and the east side have been landing restaurants.
When people describe San Leandro, two words frequently pop out: stable neighborhoods. The homes are old and plain but the paint is fresh, the lawns neat, the shrubs clipped. Drive the east side to see San Leandro at its best. Drive the west side to see some of the largest suburban lots of any city in the Bay Area.
For a final perspective, drive the flatland thoroughfare of International Boulevard-14th Street-Hesperian through several towns. Even the old streets of San Leandro come across as presentable in the way of older suburbia. City staffers are assigned to discourage blight, get people to clean up yards, get rid of junk cars.
State in 2008 counted 31,904 housing units: single homes, 19,467, single attached 2,028, multiples 9,505, mobile homes 904.
Near Interstate 880, large stores have opened, including a Costco and a Sportmart. Another mall has attracted clothing outlets, including a Nordstroms.
Nice waterfront: parks, a marina, two golf courses, restaurants. On sunny weekends, the waterfront attracts strollers, families, golfers, ball players, boaters. Well-stocked library. About 18 parks. Plenty of sports and activities for kids: baseball, soccer, swimming, day camp. Boys and Girls Club. Annual Cherry Festival celebrates local history. California State University, East Bay, and Chabot Community College are within 10-15 minutes.
Four homicides each in 2005 and 2004.
Good commute. Besides BART and the freeways, AC Transit buses carry people to San Francisco and East Bay cities. Near Oakland Airport but few noise problems (but check for self). Close to San Mateo and Bay bridges. Bisected by Interstate 880 on the west side and Interstate 580 on the east. I-880 recently widened in San Leandro and Hayward. In 2002, the San Mateo Bridge added, in effect, a second bridge. This helps people commuting to jobs around San Francisco International Airport.
Getting around on local streets can be a headache. Train and BART tracks and freeways force many streets into dead ends.