Going to the post office, the bank, and the dry cleaners are among the more mundane chores of life. But what if you could go to a post office that is across the street from the beach, and take a stroll afterward? What if your bank and your dry cleaners were within easy walking distance of a Bay Area shoreline?
That is just one of the benefits residents have in Alameda’s South Shore area. Located between San Francisco Bay and Clinton Avenue, from Broadway to Westline Drive, the area offers natural beauty and convenience rolled into one.
No one knows that better, perhaps, than Bette Barr of Alameda Realty. Barr not only sells homes and condominiums in the area, but she lives there herself as well.
Barr says the area offers, “A great mixture of housing stock. There are single family homes and condominiums. There are a few duplexes, and also apartments for those who choose to rent.”
Barr notes that most of the housing is “fairly young, particularly when you compare it with Victorians”, she says, comparing it to many of Alameda’s older neighborhoods. Most homes and condos in the South Shore area were built in the 1960s and 1970s.
Most of the single family homes, Barr says, “are very highly sought after, both because of their relatively young age and because they are all on one level, so there are no stairs to deal with.” Many of the single family homes, particularly on Otis Drive, are situated on man-made lagoons, formed from the old shoreline.
Condominiums, too, offer a bit more charm and space than the usual offering. “Most condos are two bedroom, two bath, or two bedroom, one and a half bath,” Barr explains. The one bedroom, one bath condos exist, too, but are not as common. Many of these condos look out over San Francisco Bay.
While homes start in the high $500s and go up, condos in the South Shore area start at around $375,000 for a one bedroom, one bath, and around $400,000 for a two bedroom, two bath, making them more reasonable than many other areas. “I can’t say it is affordable for everyone,” Barr adds, “but if you cannot afford a home, you can often afford a condo in this area.”
A handful of duettes (duplexes which are side by side, not up and down) are also part of the area. Mostly along Bayview Drive beginning at Broadway, the homes offer front yards which sit directly on the shoreline, with views of San Francisco, the Peninsula, and Bay Farm Island. Their price range is higher than other single family homes, in part because of beachfront access.
With the beauty and affordability come easy access to transit and shopping. South Shore Shopping Center offers just about every type of store (including a fairly new Trader Joe’s), and AC Transit runs both local lines to BART and Transbay lines into San Francisco. Other parts of Alameda, such as the Park Street business district, are within easy walking distance.
The Robert W. Crown Memorial Shoreline runs along the edge of the area, and Crab Cove Visitors’ Center lies just outside the neighborhood’s northwestern boundary — again an easy walk for most residents. On most days, residents can be seen walking, biking, and windsurfing along the beach.
The water orientation is, “what is really most desirable” for buyers, and prices do rise for homes with water or lagoon views. The explanation is not as much of a straight dollars-and-sense understanding, however. Barr says, “I get reflections from the moon on the water which come right into my living room. It is amazing to see.”