In her recent report to a Tri-Valley Realtors group, Pleasanton's Economic Development Director Pamela Ott said the city weathered the recent economic downturn without layoffs and operating cutbacks and is now emerging at a fast clip with strong business growth, a residential building boom not seen here in years and new municipal projects.
All this bodes well for the city's real estate market, she said, where home prices and sales are climbing once again as Pleasanton keeps its top position as an appealing place for sellers, buyers and the Realtors who serve them.
Along with city revenue increases, Pleasanton's business community has also regained post-recession momentum, Ott said. Not counting the half-empty California (formerly CarrAmerica) Center, vacancies in the city's 12.5-million-square-feet of office parks is now "a pretty amazing" 5%.
Vacancies are also low in downtown Pleasanton where new business are replacing empty store fronts. The Corner Creperies just opened at 399 Main St., and lines of customers have been standing outside the new Tara's organic ice cream store ever since it opened last month, filling the Tully's corner shop once occupied by Cold Stone.
Also downtown, prospects are looking to buy and rebuild Past Time Pool and the owner of the long-gone Union Jack Pub are hoping to fill that empty space with a two-story structure shortly. Workbench Hardware will open its fourth store (the second one in Pleasanton) later this month on Main Street in the spacious retail center that Domus vacated earlier this year.
Also good news for those in the real estate and allied professions are the major high density apartment projects already approved by the City Council with more to come. These will bring several thousand renters to town, giving Realtors a captive audience for future home sales.
Pleasanton Partners will build two-, three- and four-story buildings on part of the California Center's land with 305 apartments and two retail centers totaling 7,520 square feet at the Owens-Rosewood intersection. St. Anton Partners has approval to build a 168-unit, three- and four-story complex on West Las Positas Boulevard near Stoneridge Drive. BRE is expected to start construction of a series of four-story buildings with 600 apartments early next year in the Hacienda Business Park. Tomorrow, E.S. Ring will take its bid to build an upscale, all-rental apartment complex at Bernal Avenue and Stanley Boulevard to the City Council, where it is expected to be approved. That project also will include a retail center.
Ott also pointed out that the first families are now moving into the new Stoneridge Creek retirement community on Staples Ranch at the junction of El Charro Road and I-580, where several automobile dealers are looking at acreage there that is already zoned for car sales.
An extension of Stoneridge Drive, which slices through Staples, will open in early October, providing easier access between Livermore and Pleasanton, including to Stoneridge Shopping Center and the Livermore Outlets, both owned by Simon Corp. Simon, Ott reported, just gained an extension from Pleasanton's City Council for a 340,000-square-foot expansion of its mall.
New homes, apartments, stores and commercial buildings are also part of plans being considered by the East Pleasanton Specific Plan Task Force that will bring more opportunities for Realtors.