5616 Bay Street • Emeryville, CA 94608
Score (7 out of 10)
Bay Street Emeryville represents the first lifestyle center in the Bay Area. Instead of a traditional department store, it has a large cinema and numerous eateries as its biggest draw.
Reflective of Emeryville’s past as a manufacturing town, this shopping center opted for an industrial look. You’ll find it blends comfortably with the modern storefronts and contemporary condominiums.
In general, we were unimpressed with the street down the middle. Far too often we encountered impatient, oblivious, or inconsiderate drivers.
Most of the stores are high-end, which saves a trip in the City. The selection has grown steadily since opening. Some stores are unique to the east bay, which makes this center worth the visit. The cinema is a welcome addition to the lively area.
You’ll find a number of good restaurants, mostly near the theatre. Some notables include P.F. Chang’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Elephant Bar, and Buckhorn Grill. Arrive early if you want dinner and a movie.
Unlike most malls, you have to pay to park. However, validation is available.
Most people park in the garage near the cinema, but it may be easier to use the garage (areas C and D) in the northeast building.
Bay Street Emeryville is located at the crossroads of I-80, I-580, and I-880. Being next door to IKEA, the traffic can be quite a challenge. The Powell Street entrance suffers from severe congestion during peak hours and many traffic laws go by the wayside. Brush up on your defensive driving techniques before making the venture. Don’t forget to use your turn signal when parallel parking. Or, forget driving altogether and use the free Emery-Go-Round shuttle from the MacArthur BART station.
To learn about the pre-European settlement of the area, visit the small interpretive center along the concrete-lined Temescal Creek. You’ll find interesting information about the site’s original inhabitants and an example of a shellmound (a small hill that typically contained buried human remains, shells, tools and artifacts of the Ohlone Indians). However, the fountain that was installed in the shellmound is an artistic liberty. Nonetheless, you’ll also find elegant landscaping comprised mostly of California native plants.
Mondays – Saturdays
10 AM – 9 PM
11 AM – 6 PM
Hours may vary by store.
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- AMC Theatres 16
- Barnes & Noble
- Old Navy
Official site: Bay Street Emeryville
Type: Lifestyle Center
Enclosed: No (Open Air)
GLA: 32,516.064 m2 (350,000 sq. ft.)
Architect: David L. Hoffman, SB Architects (residental portion)
Management Company: MadisonMarquette
Year First Opened: 11/20/2002
Year Renovated: n/a
Size: Small (-1)
Architectural Appearance: Chic
Cleanliness: Hospital clean
Occupancy: Bursting at the seams!
Store Quality: Standard (-0.5)
Parking: Parking Jihad! (-1)
Location: Very convenient
Services: Website, community room, Security (-0.5)
Uniqueness: One-of-a-kind gem