Advice about Living in Emeryville
Archived Q&A and Reviews
I am a stay at home mom and my husband works in Emeryville. We are new to the area and currently living in corporate housing in Walnut Creek. I love it here, and so does our 2-yr old daughter, however my husband works long hours and finds the commute draining. We need to find a place where our very active toddler will be happy and safe. She loves to spend lots of time outdoors in parks and even just wandering around our very green apartment complex.
So my question is, will she be happy (and safe) in Emeryville or should we be considering another city? We have talked about Oakland, but are worried we don't know enough about the area and may end up living in an unsafe neighborhood.
We had budgeted 2.5K for a 2-bedroom, but are thinking that might not be enough. Thanks! Nicole
If you love Walnut Creek, generally you won't like Emeryville. I lived in Emeryville when my son was 0-4, I like Emeryville and would hate Walnut creek.
You asked about safety, Emeryville is much less safe compared to Walnut creek. Our friend was knocked down and had her iPhone taken from her just off 65th street. Our diaper bag was stolen from the playground at 64th and Hollis (it did look like a purse and was taken by kids). When we lived at 61st and Vallejo our house was robbed. Three incidents in 4 years. what I hated most was the tension between the socio-economic groups. Our house was under surveillance and the thieves knew our patterns. the only redeeming quality of Emeryville, safety wise, was that the cops actually respond and quickly, unlike Oakland. Sadly, we got to know the cops all too well.
Again, I like Emeryville but left as soon as we had a chance. your husband can commute. Done with Eville
Alameda is your answer. Extremely family friendly (many many young families live here) and a short commute to Emeryville.
Dear Mommy of small child,
I've lived in the Bay Area since I was born. Emeryville has improved a lot, but its improvement caters primarily to wealthy retirees and childless professionals who live in grandiose high rises that flank the Bay. Emeryville has lots of strip malls and one high end shopping area, a mega IKEA complex, and plenty of places you can drive. As for walking and parks--not the best place.
There is a beautiful waterfront walk populated with cyclists and dog-walkers where people sometimes take their older children, but I would not personally take my toddler there because of the fast moving bikes.
I currently live in a 2-bedroom in Oakland (Maxwell Park) at 2K/month. I am surrounded with neighbors who have small children and we have a nice park a couple blocks away. My neighbors are mostly teachers, cops, and some stay at home moms.
We just bought a house so our rental is going back on the market shortly. They will probably mark it up, but just an idea.
--Marie-Therese, not a fan of Emeryville for kids
I can sympathize with your husband's commute misery to/from Walnut Creek - the Caldecott and 24 has gone from bad to awful lately. However, I there are other East Bay options outside of Emeryville that would be an improvement for him and better for your toddler than Emeryville.
I lived in Emeryville pre-kid, so my experience is old, but basically it is a small city that is either (1) surrounded by busy streets/highways (2) highly commercial with big box stores or else (3) borders Oakland, with the concerns that you mentioned about Oakland. When I lived there, I was in a condo on the marina, which was great for us at the time, but for a mom with a toddler it would be very isolating, as it is cut off by the 580/80 highway. I really can't imagine a place for you and your child there that would be pleasant.
Other possible options to consider - Albany, El Cerrito, Alameda, Castro Valley. There are definitely parts of Oakland as well, such as Rockridge, Piedmont Avenue area and Montclair (I am sure BPNers can tell you more). You can also look in the BPN archives about neighborhoods as a reference. former Eville resident
My husband and I loved living in Emeryville but found it more suited for young professionals or couples with very young kids. After living there for 6 years, we moved last year when my son turned 18 months. Emeryville was great with a young baby in terms of shopping and proximity to San Francisco but once my son got mobile and wanted to go outside and play, there was not too much to do. There were two small parks we could take him too but there were few other young kids around. We could be at the park for an hour and maybe see one other kid his age. I typically ended up driving him to other parks in Berkeley and Albany where there were more little kids around he could interact with and parents I could talk to.
Emeryville is bordered by some not so good parts of Oakland and Berkeley so you should be on aware of your surroundings like in any other urban setting, but I never encountered anything bad.
If you are looking to move closer to Emeryville, I recommend Berkeley, Albany or El Cerrito. Your husband will still be driving with the commute traffic but he will have more routes to get there either by public transportation, freeway or city streets.
Just for a frame of reference, we rented our one bedroom condo in Emeryville for $2100 per month. Rents do seem to be going up however with more people looking for housing near San Francisco.
Still loves Emeryville but happy in my new home
We're a family of 4, looking to purchase a condo or townhome in the next few years in Oakland. We would like some recommendations on a good place to raise our very young children. In our current condo community, people are very unfriendly (seem to go out their way to avoid eye contact). There are many smokers who do not care how secondhand smoke affects the few children who do live in the community. Neighbors have ignored us or have been hostile if we express concern about noise or other issues in the community. There are hardly any children but many dogs- people fawn over each others dogs but will look right past us and our children. We've had several instances where we've initiated contact with our neighbors-even commented to people how nice their dogs are... and our children will be right there...and they express no interest in them at all!
We would like a condo or townhome because a single family home would be too much upkeep for us. Maybe this is asking too much, but we'd love a condo community where: there are several parents raising children, we could get together with other parents with small children on the weekends, a place where we could stop by if we need sugar or flour, have playdates for our children, and everyone is invested in keeping the community safe and happy, and will not become hostile if you express an occasional concern. By the way, good schools nearby are not a factor because we are saving for private school.
1.Do child-friendly condo or townhome communities exist in Oakland?? Does this exist outside of Oakland? (we both work here and want to avoid a long commute). 2. Will we just have to go the single family home route to find the type of community we are looking for? 3. Should we just stay here, and focus on continuing to develop a support system outside of our current condo community (fortunately we have good friend and family support not too far away).
BPN, what do you think? Would love to hear from all of the condo/townhome dwellers out all over the East Bay or SF about your experiences, opinions, and recommendations about this issue. It would be a great help to us- we appreciate it! Wanting a warm and friendly community to raise our children
We bought a house in a townhouse community in Emeryville in 2006. I have to say that our experience is similar to your experience, i.e. people going out of their way to avoid you. After 3 years we still don't even have furniture in the 'community room' so their is not much community. There are a good amount of families with young kids and we have good relations with most of the families who have kids our childs age and they can play together and attend birthday parties etc so all is not lost. If we were not so busy perhaps we would develop these relations more, the possibility exists.
My experience is that people who buy townhomes are not really looking for community, in fact they buy a townhome to avoid dealing with neighbors (let the association handle it!) and not have to deal with maintenance of the outside. Seems like most of the people who bought in our community did it to flip the house and when the market went bust they resorted to renting their houses out or are sticking it out and are bitter and miserable.
Wil be interested to hear if such a townhouse community exists in the East Bay. Big A