Union City, California

For other places with this name, see Union City (disambiguation).
Union City

Union City Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station


Location in Alameda County and the state of California
Union City

Location in the United States

Coordinates: 37°35′47″N 122°02′54″W / 37.59639°N 122.04833°W / 37.59639; -122.04833Coordinates: 37°35′47″N 122°02′54″W / 37.59639°N 122.04833°W / 37.59639; -122.04833
Country United States
State California
County Alameda
Incorporated January 26, 1959[1]
  Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci
  Councilor Lorrin Ellis
  Councilor Emily Duncan
  Councilor Pat Gacoscos
  Councilor Gary Singh
  Total 19.3 sq mi (50 km2)
  Land 19.3 sq mi (50 km2)
  Water 0.000 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Population (2016)
  Total 74,000[3]
  Estimate (January 1, 2016) 72,952
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
  Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 94587
Area code(s) 510
Website http://www.ci.union-city.ca.us

Union City is a city in the San Francisco Bay Area in Alameda County, California, United States approximately 30 miles from San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose. Incorporated on January 13, 1959, combining the communities of Alvarado, New Haven, and Decoto, the city has over 74,000 residents today and very diverse population.[4] Alvarado is a California Historical Landmark (#503).[5] The city celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2009.[6] The Cities of Fremont, Newark, and Union City make up the Tri-City Area to the south .The larger City of Hayward surrounds the city to the north. The Tri-City Area hosts many local events, along with programs for the youth.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19 square miles (49 km2), all land with no bay frontage. The Niles Cone aquifer, managed by the Alameda County Water District, supplies much of the water consumed by Union City.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201574,494[7]7.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]


The 2010 United States Census[9] reported that Union City had a population of 69,516. The population density was 3,570.6 people per square mile (1,378.6/km²). The racial makeup of Union City was 16,640 (23.9%) White, 4,402 (6.3%) Black, 329 (0.5%) Native American, 35,363 (50.9%) Asian, (20.0% Filipino, 11.5% Indian, 10.8% Chinese, 3.7% Vietnamese, 0.9% Korean, 0.6% Japanese, 0.6% Pakistani, 0.4% Burmese, 0.2% Cambodian), 892 (1.3%) Pacific Islander, 7,253 (10.4%) from other races, and 4,637 (6.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15,895 persons (22.9%).

The Census reported that 68,998 people (99.3% of the population) lived in households, 422 (0.6%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 96 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 20,433 households, out of which 9,066 (44.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 12,734 (62.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,761 (13.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,182 (5.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 856 (4.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 128 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,740 households (13.4%) were made up of individuals and 1,002 (4.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.38. There were 16,677 families (81.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.69.

The population was spread out with 16,847 people (24.2%) under the age of 18, 6,453 people (9.3%) aged 18 to 24, 20,360 people (29.3%) aged 25 to 44, 18,146 people (26.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,710 people (11.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.2 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.

There were 21,258 housing units at an average density of 1,091.9 per square mile (421.6/km²), of which 13,580 (66.5%) were owner-occupied, and 6,853 (33.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.5%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.3%. 46,272 people (66.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 22,726 people (32.7%) lived in rental housing units. As of 2014 the median price of a house in Union City is over $500,000.


As of 2000 the population was 66,869 and 15,696 families residing in Union City and a total of 17,130 jobs and 32,700 employed residents in 2000. The population density was 3,473.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,341.2/km²). There were 18,877 housing units at an average density of 980.4 per square mile (378.6/km²).

There were 18,642 households out of which 45.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.6% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.8% were non-families. 11.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.57 and the average family size was 3.83. The median price of a house in Union City is about $400,000.

In the city the population varied widely in age, with 27.8% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $84,384, and the median income for a family was $87,114.[10] Males had a median income of $45,212 versus $35,085 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,890. About 4.8% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.


The first community in what is now Union City was founded in 1850 by John and William Horner, also called "Union City."[11] In 1854, it merged with the nearby community of New Haven to form the town of Alvarado on western side of town, named after the former Mexican governor, Juan Bautista Alvarado.[12] Alvarado was the first county seat of Alameda County, which it soon lost to San Leandro. Further east, the town of Decoto was founded in 1870. It became a railroad hub, with the transcontinental railroad running through it.[11] Alvarado-Niles Road one of the city largest street is named in which connects the historic Fremont district of Niles with the historic Union City district of Alvarado.

Union City is a former railroad and Steel Town with an extensive industrial heritage. The Pacfic States Steel Company occupied the land behind Union City Station which is now being redeveloped into the Union City Station District Downtown. Relatives and descendants of former Pacific States steel workers receive compensation and preference when purchasing new Station District housing. The Alvarado and Decoto neighborhoods were both former railroad hubs and both still have very active railroad lines that bisect both East End and the West Side of town. Trains are a way of life in Union City and natives are accustomed to waiting for Amtrak and freight trains to cross while commuting the city thoroughfares.

In the 1950s, Alvarado and Decoto - the latter now making up the eastern side of the town - were annexation targets of the nearby communities of Newark, Hayward, and what became Fremont. In 1959, they decided to incorporate themselves into a single city, and named it after the Horners' original settlement, Union City.[11] The city grew from 6,000 to 73,000 between the years of 1959 to 2014. In 2010 the city's planning commission estimated the population would grow to 75,200 by the year 2020.[13]


Union City is the location of the American Licorice Company's West Coast operations, having moved there in 1971 from San Francisco.[14]

Union City is home to three major health care providers: a Kaiser Permanente facility, a Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, and Washington Hospital's Nakamura Clinic.

Union City also has a large number of industrial and shipping companies including R&S Manufacturing, RCD Concrete, Jatco, and EntirelyPets.

Local Shopping

Union Landing Shopping Center is a 100-acre shopping center, adjacent to Interstate 880 in Union City and is one of the largest centers in the city and has about 70 stores. The mall was completed in 1999 after several years of debate on the land. The land was previously a drive in movie park.[15] One year later, a nearby Target shopping center and more recently 24 hours Fitness and City Sports was built near Hayward/Union city border near Interstate 880 on Whipple Road.[16]

Top employers

According to Union City's June 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[17] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Southern Wine & Spirits 1,150
2 New Haven Unified School District 998
3 Wal-Mart 780
4 Axygen Scientific, Inc 370
5 Abaxis, Inc 370
6 Kaiser Permanante 330
7 City of Union City 322
8 Ajax Custom Manufacturing 300
9 OSI, Inc. 300
10 Blommer Chocolate, Inc. 290


New Haven Unified School District serves 12,873 students from the cities of Union City and Hayward(south)The district consists of seven(K-5)elementary schools, two (6-8) middle schools,one comprehensive high school James Logan High School and adult school/ K-12 independent study at former Decoto school .[18] The New Haven Unified School District will rename Alvarado Middle School to Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School in honor of Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Itliong in December 2015[19][20][21][22]

Cornerstone International College, located at 725 Whipple Rd., is the first post-secondary institution established in Union City.

Purple Lotus Buddhist School is a K-12 school in Union City.

[23] Union City lies within the Ohlone Community College District and Chabot-Las Positas Community College District . [24]


Several transit systems service Union City. AC Transit, the Dumbarton Express, and the city's own Union City Transit which started in 1974 runs 8 bus lines throughout Union City and parts of Hayward.[25] The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) rail system came to Union City when the system opened in 1972.In 2007 the Union City Bart station was rebuilt and developed into Union City Intermodal Transit Station. A second entrance is planned that will provide future connections to Multimodal trains . Union City is also served by a network of high-capacity streets, with 4 exits on Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway). Highway 238 also serves the city (Mission Boulevard).The central business district in Union City runs about two blocks from Decoto Road to Union Square.This area is mostly commercial and has many transit stops,retail centers and places to dine.

Station downtown district

Union City has invested $100 million into an expansion of the downtown district, including development surrounding the existing BART station, which is itself under construction to link BART with passenger rail services: Capitol Corridor, Dumbarton Rail Corridor and Altamont Corridor Express (ACE). The city expects the project will add jobs and revenue.[26]


Union City runs a council–manager government. The City Council consists of five representatives, the Mayor and four Council members, each elected citywide (no district elections). Mayor and elected Councilmembers serve a 4-year term, with a full 3-term limit.Carol Dutra-Vernaci is first female Mayor of Union City she took office on December 11, 2012.The two story William Cann Memorial Civic Center built in 1970 houses the City hall,Police Station headquarters and a separate Alameda County Branch Library building, located at the corner of Alvarado-Niles Road and Royal Ann Drive .

On July 11, 2015 Union City Police Department hosted a Justice & Equality Summit that encourages community conversation and was created to help build bridges of understanding, trust, and community. A first of its-kind event that gave the community an opportunity to have a real talk discussion with Union City Police and the chance to ask key questions. The idea for a Summit first arose in October 2014 as a way to get community members together to talk about policing issues and to get to know each other better. On December 9, 2014, over 300 James Logan High students organized a peaceful Die In demonstration in front of the police department, a phenomenon that had been occurring in front of police departments around the United States, symbolizing the police community strain that was happening in Ferguson, Missouri. UCPD response was quite effective in making sure it was handled well, and they received considerable praise from the community. This summit was hosted by the New Haven Unified School District's superintendent, the city manager, Vice Mayor, a faith leader, youth leader, and Chief McAllister, the first Black Chief of the Union City Police Department.[27]


Union City, Fremont, and Newark (collectively known as the Tri-Cities) have a daily newspaper called The Argus, which is part of the Bay Area News Group of newspapers.Union City Patch also serves the community and is part of the Patch.com a network community news websites that provide residents and visitors city news.

Cultural landmarks

Site of the first county courthouse

The center, two-story building, is the original courthouse
Location 30977 Union City Blvd., Union City, California
Coordinates 37°35′48″N 122°04′52″W / 37.596667°N 122.0811°W / 37.596667; -122.0811
Reference no. 503[5]

The Bay Area Flight 93 Memorial is in Sugar Mill Landing Park. It was the first monument completed in the United States designed to honor the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93, which was homeward bound for San Francisco, but was hijacked and crashed in rural Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.[28][29]

The first sugar beet factory in the United States was located in Union City, called the California Beet Sugar Company.[5]

The Eden Landing Ecological Reserve is located at the bay shore of Union City and Hayward. Periodic waterfowl hunting is permitted.

Site of the first county courthouse

Alameda County's first courthouse was located in Union City, starting on June 6, 1853. The original courthouse was a two-story wooden building that was originally a mercantile that included a post office.[5][30] It was built by A.M. Church and Henry C. Smith. In 1865 the county seat was moved to San Leandro.[5] With the widening of Union City Blvd., the original site has since been paved over.[31] The site is listed on the California Historical Landmarks list.[5]

Masonic homes

Masonic Homes, a senior living community, has as its centerpiece a large brick building, built in the 1930s, visible from Mission Boulevard.[32] The building was identified as a significant historic property in the 1974 Historic Resource Inventory of Washington Township.[33]


Climate data for Union City, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 58
Average low °F (°C) 42
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.95
Source: The Weather Channel[34]

Sister cities

The Human Relations Commission, an advisory board to the Union City city council, recommends and maintains relations with international sister cities. As of 2012, six sister cities were represented:

Notable people


  1. "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  2. U.S. Census
  3. http://www.dof.ca.gov/research/demographic/reports/estimates/e-1/view.php
  4. Union City Facts
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Site of the first Alameda county courthouse". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  6. 50 Years: Union City. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  7. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  8. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Union City city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  10. "Fact Sheet: Union City, California". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  11. 1 2 3 "History of Union City". City of Union City, California. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  12. "The Union City Historical Museum Letter". 2 (5). Union City Historical Museum. September 2000. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  13. "Union City Climate Action Plan". November 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  14. "Candy"; Modern Marvels; History Channel; 2006; Viewed July 15, 2010.
  15. "24 hours fitness". july 21. Retrieved July 21, 2014. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. City of Union City CAFR
  17. New haven (June 9, 2014). "New Haven Unified School District sites". New Haven USD. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  18. Chris De Benedetti (19 April 2013). "Union City school is nation's first named after Filipino-Americans, but acrimony over decision remains". Mercury News. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  19. Natalie Neysa Alund (1 May 2013). "Union City: Graffiti scrawled on Filipino businesses investigated as hate crime". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  20. Alan Wang (30 April 2013). "Racist graffiti in Union City targets Filipinos". KGO-TV. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  21. "Anti-Filipino graffiti slams Fil-Ams; police probing it as hate crime". Philippine Inquirer. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  22. "Chabot-Las Positas Community College District website". Clpccd.cc.ca.us. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  23. First American Title, title report, 2005-02-28
  24. UC transit (September 2013). "9 new routes". Union City Website. Retrieved September. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  25. "Intermodal Station District". Union City. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  26. "2015 Union City Summit". Tri city voice. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  27. Tucker, Jill (December 9, 2007). "Union City dedicates memorial to 9/11's United Flight 93". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  28. http://93memorial.com/
  29. Swenson, Timothy. "Union City History Collection" (PDF). Museum of Local History. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  30. Timothy Swenson (27 February 2008). Union City. Arcadia Publishing. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-7385-5809-7. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  31. "Union City Community". Masonic Homes. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  32. "Masonic Home Independent Living Apartments". DHA Case Studies. Douglas Herring & Associates. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  33. "Monthly Averages for Union City, CA". Weather.com. May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
  34. "Union City adds new 'sibling' to its list of sister cities", Insidebayarea.com-The Oakland Tribune/The Argus, accessed 18 August 2012
  35. "Sister City Subcommittee", Human Relations Commission, Union City city government, union-city.ca.us, accessed 24 November 2010
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