I went to Berkeley to go to Hayward, where I gave a talk at CSU East Bay. I had only been there once, about 15 years ago. My flickr photos of Hayward are here.
Hayward is an older early 20th century town that I believe is geographically determined as the intersection of the extension of Altamont Pass and the Railroads parallel to the Bay. It was always part of the Bay Area economy, but got absorbed as part of the continuum of development encircling the Bay in the mid-20th century. Wikipedia discusses the history here.
BART came to town, and is the focal point of downtown, which has seen some attempts at revival. While most of the storefronts are leased, these do not appear to be high end shops, though there is a very nice independent book store. (The Bay Area seems to have more independent book stores remaining than most of the rest of the US). Still non-glitzy shops need a place to be, so this is an observation of the character of the neighborhood and the opposite of a condemnation of its lack of yuppie gentrification.
Part of the problem with Hayward is how some of the streets (not B Street where the shops are strongest) but some parallel and perpendicular routes, are totally given over to the auto, and function as high speed freeway entrance ramps.
The CSU campus (formerly CSU-Hayward, now CSU-East Bay) is in the hills, and has a nice set of buildings which seem to be dating from the 1960s through the present day, surrounded by acres and acres and acres of surface parking lots. It is not expected you will get to campus except by car or bus, and it is too far to walk from BART (which came a little bit after the campus, which was founded in 1957, and moved here in 1961). This probably reflects its history as a commuter school, and surely many if not most students and staff do arrive by car, given its location and design. This is in clear contrast with UC Berkeley, which has very little parking available, and most students (who live on or near campus) walk, bike, or take transit.