Published May 21, 2013
Volume 21, Number 5

Residences at California Center Will Add to Pedestrian-Friendly Housing
New Hacienda Development to Total 305 Units Plus 7,500 Square Feet of Retail

The Residences at California Center development has been designed
as a transit-oriented community, with an added emphasis on being
pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Two years of planning came to fruition on April 16 when the Pleasanton City Council approved The Residences at California Center, a sustainably designed apartment community that will occupy 8.4 acres in Hacienda in a few years.

In all, 305 units will be spread out among a total of five residential buildings, which will be two, three, and four stories tall. The project includes 7,500 square feet of retail encompassed within two buildings and an adjacent retail plaza for outdoor dining and gathering. This portion of the project will be sited at the prominent intersection of Owens and Rosewood drives.
Placement of the residential buildings has been carefully designed to integrate into the surrounding office environment. The massing of the structures gradually increases as one gets farther away from the intersection.

“We wanted to create a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly community,” explains Brett Leon, Development Project Manager at Sares Regis Group of Northern California, LLC,  the San Mateo-based commercial real estate investment firm that is managing the development for owner Pleasant Partners, which acquired the 61-acre California Center complex (formerly known as Carr America) in 2007. “We have designed the project as a transit-oriented community. There are eight bus stops within a quarter mile, and the BART station is an approximate 12-minute walk. Residents will get free bus passes through the Hacienda program, further aligning with the pedestrian friendly concept.”

The site plan encourages walkability, a high priority for the development team, which includes Hacienda architect Dahlin Group. In addition to transit proximity, the layout achieves the pedestrian-friendly goal by “bringing activity to streets, instead of hiding it inside a field of parking,” says Leon. “It was important to make the project feel residential and yet respect the surrounding office, retail, and multifamily environment. The design incorporates concepts and materials that pay homage to the surrounding uses yet feel residential and warm.”

Richly landscaped pedestrian pathways enable office occupants to navigate through the site to the retail shops and plaza. Tenants and residents can stop and get a coffee on the way to work, sit outside and enjoy a sandwich at lunch, or pick up their dry cleaning on the way home. The retail space can accommodate up to six separate businesses or as few as two, should, for example, a restaurant need a larger space.

With a LEED Silver certification target, the project incorporates sustainable construction features such as low-flow plumbing fixtures, water-efficient landscaping, natural stormwater treatment, and electric car-changing stations.  “We exceeded the City’s Green Point mandate, almost doubling the required rating of 50 points. It’s a good example of smart growth, bringing homes near jobs, so people can walk or bike to work, services, and transit,” Leon reports.

Outdoor features for apartment dwellers include gathering plazas, a dog wash station, a recreation trail, pool, barbeque area, bocce ball court, and children’s play area. Indoor amenities include a fitness center and yoga room, “country-club” style community room, bicycle repair shop, business center, and a common room for events.
Groundbreaking could potentially occur within a year, with completion and first occupancy expected roughly 18 to 24 months later, Leon indicates. “We’re extremely happy to have received our approvals and look forward to moving the project forward. There was strong collaboration with the City, Hacienda, and other stakeholders, and we feel great about bringing high-quality apartment homes to Pleasanton,” he concludes.

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