In the fall of 2012, the City of Union City began to study ways to promote increased exposure for the Old Alvarado area and increase support for merchants and business owners there. With the help of EDAT volunteers (Economic Development Advisory Team), City staff, residents, merchants, and property owners, a series of public meetings were held to discuss the possibility of forming an association to direct this task by giving interested parties in the Alvarado area a non-profit structure to work within.
Historically the area was once the County seat for Alameda County, had the largest sugar beet refinery in the US, was one of the larger ports for supplying agricultural products to San Francisco, supplied the drinking water for Oakland via artesian wells, had a thriving Chinatown, was home to a large iron works, and was covered in flowers (carnations/roses/gladiolas).
In June, the Alvarado Historic District Merchants Association (AHDMA) was officially launched and is now a registered non-profit organization. Property owners, residents, merchants, non-profit groups, City staff and others worked together to create a group that can better focus on the needs of the area by preserving its historic flavor, promoting its current usage, and helping plan the future to make it more successful.