Living in Emeryville

Hi parents,

Could you please comment if you live in Emeryville, if you'd recommend it, what to consider, etc.?

Thank you!

Parent Replies

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RE: Living in Emeryville ()

I live right on the border of Oakland and Emeryville and have 2 elementary school age kids. Emeryville is fine for family with kids, lots of playgrounds and centrally located to lots of shopping and restaurants and short commute to SF if you work in the city. Emeryville is so small that it really just feels like a cleaner neighborhood of Oakland. The only downside is the public school is subpar if you intend to send your kids public school. 

RE: Living in Emeryville ()

Emeryville has no churches.

RE: Living in Emeryville ()

Pros:

close to SF, lots of options for public transportation (BART, emery go round, transbay buses).  Relatively new buildings, mainly apartments or condos.  Close to a lot of good food places (Berkeley, El Cerrito, temescal, rockridge).  young professionals/families with young kids if you are of that demographic.

cons:

super EXPENSIVE!! housing can easily run 2500/month for a 1 br, 4000 for a 2 br and so on.  Daycares in emeryville also really expensive compared with surrounding Eastbay cities.  Crime is still an issue, homeless population also really visible (and heartbreaking to see). 

Anything the poster is considering specifically?

RE: Living in Emeryville ()

We just moved to Oakland just a few houses east of the Emeryville border. We LOVE it. Obviously we're new, so I don't have a ton of experience yet, but here's what we've found so far:

  1. We're in a great little nook on 55th Street. Mixed-use zoning, so there are single family homes, small apartment buildings, and industrial/commercial stuff like an architecture firm, yoga studio, art gallery, custom window designers, cafe (Doyle St -- super cute!), etc. Feels very diverse and also has a bit of an urban feel, which we love coming from SF for 10+ years. 
  2. We didn't need to get a car. We never had one in the city, and I was sure we'd need one once we came to the East Bay, but this part of Emeryville feels super walkable while also feeling quiet and cozy. We use an electric cargo bike as our "car" and use it whenever we need to do errands nearby, and we rent a Zipcar when we need to go farther. So nice to feel connected to amenities but also have space in our home and a backyard.
  3. Emeryville has followed Berkeley's lead on urban planning. They've extended Berkeley's bicycle boulevards and walking paths, have really nice parks, and generally seem to pay a lot of attention to public roads, signage, and landscaping (unlike Oakland). 
  4. The industrial parts of Emeryville are pretty cute. They're older buildings from the early to mid 20th century (brick, stone, etc), covered in ivy and on tree-lined streets. It's kind of lovely.
  5. Access to all of the shopping at the mall is huge. IKEA, furniture shops, Home Depot, Best Buy, movie theater, etc. are all within a mile of our house. We take an 8-minute bike ride through a greenbelt to get to Berkeley Bowl West for groceries or just have Amazon deliver from Whole Foods. The only thing we seem to have to drive farther for is Bed Bath & Beyond in the Jack London Square area.
  6. There are some parts of Emeryville that are a little rough but I don't feel unsafe.
  7. The train tracks are kind of a b*tch, logistically speaking. There are only a couple roads that go across them, so not great for bikes and pedestrians, though we do them on our cargo bike. There's a pedestrian/bike bridge that crosses next to the Amtrak station, but it's kind of out of the way and therefore not super helpful. I've looked at the city's planning documents, and they seem to have a pedestrian bridge at least on some kind of roadmap for the future to cross near 53rd or Stanford and straight over into the mall area. Will be super easy to get to Trader Joe's etc at that point.
  8. The Emeryville Center of Community Life seems like it has the potential to be cool and interesting, but it always looks sort of desolate and human-less to me. 
  9. Don't have much info about the schools because we're technically in Oakland.
  10. I hear it used to be called "The Rotten City" and there's some interesting history to go along with that. Google it. :) 

Okay I think that's the extent of my insight for now. Good luck!

RE: Living in Emeryville ()

We live in northeast Emeryville with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, and are really enjoying it! Pluses for us include:

  • Walkable/bikable area (love the Greenway), with a number of good neighborhood coffee shops, restaurants, Berkeley Bowl West for groceries, gyms, parks with playgrounds for kids, etc. that we can get to easily with the kids without climbing into the car.
  • Easy commute into downtown SF via the transbay bus or by biking to the West Oakland BART (my husband uses a folding bike in order to bring the bike onto the crowded train).
  • TRAINS regularly passing by for my train-loving toddler
  • Easy access to various Berkeley and Oakland resources (e.g. Aquatic Park, Oakland Zoo, Tilden Park, etc), and it's not too bad to hop across the bridge on weekends to access the city
  • Reasonable levels of crime, although it's still a semi-urban environment (so we don't leave things visible in the car, etc.)
  • Nice east bay weather, although the further west you live the more you get the marine layer coming off the Bay in the mornings and evenings

I've heard that the Emeryville public school district is having some administrative challenges, but haven't looked into it closely, since we're a few years away. Feel free to message me if you'd like to ask any specific questions!