Emeryville is home to Shellmound, which is a huge deposit of shellfish and other animal remains left over from the meals of ancient Native Americans. This archaeological marvel was formed by a settlement that is thought to have begun more than 2,800 years ago. Adding to Shellmound with your own leftovers is frowned upon.
Emeryville is often considered a neighborhood in Oakland, but is actually its own city. With its San Francisco Bay coastline and easy access to the Bay Bridge, University of California and Berkeley, Emeryville is not like most small towns. Though having only 10,080 people in the 2010 census, the city is growing fast, and is home to an impressive list of nationally known businesses, including Jamba Juice, Peet's Coffee and Tea, Clif Bar, Novartis and Pixar Animation Studios.
Moving to Emeryville
The listing prices for homes in Emeryville will be shocking if you're coming from most anyplace else in the country. But you can make yourself feel like a bargain shopper by glancing over the prices in some of the other zip codes in Alameda County, let alone nearby San Francisco or Sausalito.
What You'll Need
Moving to the Bay Area is like having a tooth canal and a colonoscopy at the same time, unless you're lucky enough to encounter a rich old hippie who's renting out the basement in his mansion at 1972 prices to any drifter who passes through town. Emeryville might be a bit more relaxed than San Fran itself, but expect to supply a mountain of personal info when you apply for an apartment here. You'll need an excellent credit report, criminal background check, rental history, references, proof of income, first and last months' rent and a sizable deposit before you move into any type of rental properties in Emeryville. Applications fill inboxes, so apply early and often, starting at least 5-6 weeks ahead of time. The good news is that, like the rest of the Bay Area, the weather in Emeryville is mild year round, so seasonal blizzards, tornadoes and hurricanes won't affect your moving schedule.
Even though Emeryville is a tiny city, where you live here does make a difference. From its shoreline with luxury apartments and views of the Frisco skyline to its business district and its borders with Berkeley and Oakland, the vibes, costs and transportation access do change a bit depending on where you live.
North Bayfront: If you're looking for rental homes here, you're in luck because most of the residents of North Bayfront rent. But you'll pay for the privilege of gazing profoundly across the San Francisco Bay.
South Bayfront: As you might guess, this neighborhood is south of the last one. Rent is a tad lower here than its northern neighbor, and there's also the South Bayfront Pedestrian Bicycle Bridge.
Civic Center: There are some hi rise apartments here amid gourmet pizza places such as the Arizmendi Pizzeria, several gyms, a 50s style diner and the Oaks Card Club poker casino.
The Triangle: In the south of Emeryville, this area has old houses beside new city apartments and condos. There is also a strip of big retailers here, including IKEA and Home Depot, which will help you deck out your new pad. Or just go to Best Buy and get some DVDs to zone out on.
Shellmound: Just kidding, you can't live there.
Top Apartment Communities
Avenue 64: Upscale studios, one, two, and three bedroom apartments close to Christie Park, the Public Market and BART connection.
Bay Street Apartments: One and two bedroom apartments that come in a variety of floor plans named after big US cities. It has a fitness center, pools, courtyards and is close to the huge Bay Street shopping center,
Archstone: You can't live on top of the Shellmound, but you can live here on Shellmound St. They have studios to 3 bed/2 bath units close to the Emeryville Marina and even the post office, for you old-fashioned types.
Living in Emeryville
Like the rest of the Bay Area, Emeryville residents love their pilates, yoga, hiking, organic food and art galleries. There are a number of bars, including the Elephant Bar (sounds like you'd better be a heavy drinker), eco-friendly buildings, community meetings, recycling programs, public art, a cinema, public transit that connects you to the rest of the Bay Area, and for those who prefer to burn fossil fuels as quickly as possible, Emeryville is close to I-80 and several other interstates and highways.