http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/08/17/changes-at-california-center


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - August 17, 2012

Changes at California Center

The new owners of the 61-acre CarrAmerica office complex -- now called California Center -- announced plans this week to add more than 300 luxury apartments and a new retail center at the site.

Catherine Minor, vice president of RREEF Real Estate, a global firm that now owns the center, said the proposed retail would occupy an 8.4-acre section of the site at the corner of Owens and Rosewood drives. It would include small stores and service centers to serve the new apartments, which would be added in phases in two, three and four-story buildings.

Speaking to a Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce group, Minor said the re-development of part of the large office complex would make better use of the landscaped areas and under-utilized parking lots along Owens while at the same time creating a more community-friendly environment for office workers.

Now 20 years old, the California Center at one time was eyed for an additional three large office buildings and a hotel. Those plans were dropped as vacancies in the center surged with less than 50% of the complex now leased. On numerous days, many of the parking spaces are empty.

Ross Stores Inc., currently a major tenant in California Center, plans to move its headquarters to Dublin next year.

The retail stores would be across Rosewood Drive from the Red Robin restaurant and major retailers that include Walmart and Kohl's. The heavily populated Archstone apartment complex is directly across Owens from California Center.

Hacienda Business Park is old and it's tired. The ability for the park to retain and capture new tenants is a challenge, particularly when you look down the freeway and see that Bishop Ranch has shovel-ready projects that they can deliver in 24-36 months.

The RREEF project is expected to go to the Pleasanton Planning Commission shortly with approvals possible before the end of the year. Construction would then start next year.

The apartment complex would contain only rental units, ranging in size from small studios to four-bedroom units in the four-story buildings, which would also have elevator service and underground parking. A community center planned as part of the development would include a swimming pool, spa, Internet cafe and a business center.

As needed, RREEF will add parking spaces that will be displaced by its retail/apartment project into a multi-story parking garage it will build on the opposite side of the office complex.

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