http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/07/26/major-apartment-project-for-bernal-stanley-goes-to-city-council-on-aug-6


Pleasanton Weekly

News - July 26, 2013

Major apartment project for Bernal-Stanley goes to City Council on Aug. 6

L.A. developer planning retail center, 345 upscale units in multi-story buildings

by Jeb Bing

The Pleasanton City Council will hold a public hearing Aug. 6 to consider a developer's bid to build a 345-apartment unit complex on a vacant 16-acre site at Bernal Avenue and Stanley Boulevard, across from McDonald's.

The project, to be built and owned by E&S Ring Management Corp. of Los Angeles, will include two-, three- and four-story apartment buildings and four separate buildings of retail stores.

The 50-year-old family-owned business has built a number of upscale apartment-home communities in California, Oregon, Nevada and Washington state.

After Ring's plan received unanimous approval by the city's Planning Commission with no public opposition July 10, the council decided to fast-track its final consideration of the plan so that Ring can proceed with design work and permit applications to start construction next year.

The project would be the fourth high density apartment project to gain approvals from the council in recent months.

BRE, a national affordable housing developer, won permits last year to build a total of 18 three- and four-story buildings on two separate sites in Hacienda Business Park that will have 500 rental units ranging in size from studio apartments to three-bedroom units. Work on the multi-million-dollar housing project is expected to start later this year.

Last April, the council approved the construction of new multi-story, high density apartment buildings and an adjoining retail center on a portion of the office building site at Rosewood Drive and Owens drives, called California Center. That development will contain 305 apartments ranging in size from studios to three bedrooms.

Last month, the council agreed to a plan by St. Anton Partners to build a 168-unit apartment complex at 5729 W. Las Positas Blvd.

And, next month the Planning Commission is scheduled to consider an application by South Bay developer Scott Trobbe to build apartment buildings with 210 units and 97 single family homes along Valley Avenue south of the Pleasanton Gateway shopping center complex at Valley and Bernal avenues.

These projects, including the E&S Ring development, are among a number of properties rezoned for high density housing as part of an agreement last year between the city of Pleasanton and state housing authorities and a court-ordered settlement to provide more affordable housing in the city.

If the council approves the E&S Ring Management Corp. development request Aug. 6, as it is expected to do, years of efforts by co-owners Frank Auf der Maur and Konrad Rickenbach will finally end.

The property, with a large PG&E transmission station on its northern border and Congregation Beth Emek to the south, has seen suggested developments by Home Depot and other commercial parties generate opposition from homeowners along Valley Avenue who feared heavy truck traffic.

Although E&S Ring's plan for 345 upscale, all rental apartment units also will generate traffic, city traffic engineers say most of it will be from those leaving for work or returning home on weekdays and spread more lightly at other times.

In its early proposals, E&S Ring had planned a retail center at the corner of Bernal and Stanley, including a small grocery similar to what Bonjour Stores operates. But with New Leaf Community Market opened this summer at the nearby Vintage Hills Center and the new Walmart Neighborhood Market supermarket opened this month, the developer agreed with city planners that the area did not need a third grocery store.

Instead, the E&S Ring complex, to be called Vintage Village, will feature a gateway monument sign at the corner with four separate retail/commercial buildings clustered along a main driveway leading into the development off Bernal opposite Utah Street.

The public hearing will start shortly after the City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. Aug. 6 in the Pleasanton Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave.

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