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The Castro Village Shopping Center has been the center of our town for the past 70 years. Construction started on the original 4 1/2 acre center in August of 1950 that would feature 28 stores once open. Amazingly, workers were able to construct most of the original shopping center featuring tile roofs and incense cedar walls in about four months. The $600,000 project started when real estate agent Arnold Anderson purchased a tomato field across from his office on the boulevard. With developer Robert Nahas, the two started the “Castro Village Association” and set in motion a plan to entice investors and business owners on board for the project. When it opened in November 1950, the center hired a children’s train to scoot kids around in the center, had square dancers performing, and even brought in legendary fitness and nutrition guru and motivational speaker Jack LaLanne. Among the original roster of stores in the center were Lee Brothers Grocery Store, Loupy’s Bakery, and Coonradt’s Dime Store. Since opening, the center has grown and been expanded in the 1970s, 1990s, and in 2016 as it continues to serve the Castro Valley community.