As the only island community in the Bay Area, Alameda stands out as one of the most picturesque cities in California, featuring Victorian homes spaced out along tree-lined streets resplendent with natural beauty. The island was created in 1902 when a tidal canal was built to connect Oakland's harbor with the San Leandro Bay; as a result, Alameda quickly became an important shipping port.
Alameda is now home to 73,812 residents, and the 12.4 square miles of the island include manicured parks, a historic business district and unique recreational activities in the temperate Northern California climate. It's easy to see why Alameda apartments for rent are a popular choice among individuals looking for a high quality of life in a prosperous Bay Area community.
Alameda offers a vibrant arts and culture scene. The newly renovated Alameda Theatre and Cineplex has a reputation for being one of the finest Bay Area theaters, known for its Art Deco exterior and ongoing classic movie series. Performing arts are equally popular, and the Alameda Little Theater, Inc. converted an abandoned grocery store into Altarena Playhouse, where the troupe has staged intimate plays and reviews to more than 500,000 guests since it opened in 1957. The Crown Memorial State Beach is one of the most popular destinations for outdoor recreation, featuring sand dunes bordering a bicycle trail, the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary and a Crab Cove, a marine reserve established to protect plant and animal life.
Alameda is known for being a prosperous community with unemployment rates below the national average, and boasts a diverse local economy featuring numerous industries. The largest private employers in Alameda are Abbott Diabetes Care, Inc., Alameda Hospital, and Wind River Systems, which was purchased by Intel in 2009.
The largest public employers are the Alameda Unified School District, the City of Alameda and the College of Alameda. The Alameda Unified School District includes three high schools, three junior high schools, 10 elementary schools and four charter schools on the island.
In addition to several private schools, the city is also home to a community college, the College of Alameda. Classes are held on a 62-acre campus easily accessible from downtown Oakland, with a satellite campus for Aviation Maintenance Programs in a 2.5 acre site adjacent to the Oakland International Airport's North Field. The college is known for its technical and occupational courses, and maintains industry partnerships with local, regional and national corporations.
The Housing Authority of the City of Alameda is dedicated to providing affordable housing to low income residents, and advocates community inclusiveness and diversity in housing options. It owns and manages 12 housing complexes and seven condominiums for very-low and low-income residents, and also assists 1,600 families through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.
Because of the limited space in Alameda, it's difficult to increase the supply of rentals in Alameda; however, the Housing Authority has added seven condominiums and three apartment complexes and continues to create innovative solutions for affordable housing in the community. Alameda features numerous modern apartments and condominiums in addition to refurbished Victorian homes, and city-data.com reports that the median gross rent for an apartment in 2009 was $1,264.
Alameda is a popular tourist destination on account of its unique attractions such as the Pacific Pinball Museum, where vintage pinball machines are used to teach science, art and history. In addition to preserving one of America's favorite pastimes, the Pacific Pinball Museum also hosts pinball tournaments, fine art exhibits and the annual Pacific Pinball Expo, the world's largest pinball show.
As a beach community, Alameda apartment rentals offer numerous options for outdoor recreation. It is home to shoreline parks, bicycle and pedestrian paths and extensive picnic areas; it also has more than 3,400 boat slips among its private marinas. Throughout the summer, Alameda offers numerous free concerts, farmers markets, street festivals and sand castle contests.
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