http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/08/09/council-oks-high-density-apartment-complex-on-bernal-at-stanley


Pleasanton Weekly

News - August 9, 2013

Council OKs high density apartment complex on Bernal at Stanley

345-upscale rental unit project to include drug store, other retailers

by Jeb Bing

With only one objector at a two-hour public hearing, the Pleasanton City Council on Tuesday approved construction of a 345-unit upscale apartment complex on Bernal Avenue at Stanley Boulevard that will include a three-building retail center with a drug store and drive-through pharmacy.

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 on what is now a barren 16-acre site across Bernal from McDonald's and an AM/PM gas station. Nevada Court, a cul de sac that serves Congregation Beth Emek, is at the southern edge of the site, and Stanley Boulevard is on the north.

The complex, to be called Vintage Village, will feature a gateway monument sign at the corner of Bernal and Stanley, elevated slightly to camouflage the parking area along both streets for the retail stores.

Brian Dolan, director of Community Development, said the main retail building, measuring nearly 15,000 square feet, will house a drug store with a drive-through pharmacy, although E&S Ring's John Pringle did not identify the tenant. It's known that Walgreens has been searching for a site in Pleasanton for some time and recently built a new store on First Street in Livermore.

The project is the fourth high density apartment project to gain approvals from the council in recent months. A fifth one, proposed for a 26-acre undeveloped site just south of the new Safeway and Pleasanton Gateway shopping center at Bernal and Valley avenues near I-680, goes before the city's Planning Commission next Wednesday. The developer, Scott Trobbe, is seeking approval to build 210 apartment units and 97 single family homes between Valley and the freeway where office buildings were once planned.

Trobbe's and the E&S Ring development are part of a number of properties rezoned for high density housing as part of an agreement between the city of Pleasanton and state housing authorities after a court order for the city to provide more affordable housing.

In the Ring development, however, the builder is expected to opt for making a $4.5 million payment into the city's affordable housing fund instead of dedicating affordable apartment units in perpetuity to low income tenants. In fact, this complex could have some of the priciest rental units in Pleasanton, including spacious two- and three-bedroom units with garages. The complex also will have a large swimming pool, athletic workout facilities, tot lots and grassy areas for barbecues and family get-togethers.

Pringle did commit, however, to providing at least three apartments designed for tenants in wheelchairs, with larger doorways and lower sinks and counters.

Traffic was the main concern of council members, although Traffic Engineer Mike Tassano said the adjacent roadways could handle more motorists. He estimated that there would be 191 trips in and out of Vintage Village during peak morning commute hours and 285 during the evening commute. They would blend in with the 3,819 trips a day in and around the complex that he projects.

Interior roadways in the apartment complex would serve the three clusters of apartment buildings and the retail center. The main entrance will be off Bernal across from Utah Street, where the AM/PM station is located. A traffic light will control that intersection. Two other driveways on Stanley also will allow access to the complex.

Frank Auf der Maur and Konrad Rickenbach, co-owners of the 16-acre site that E&S Ring will acquire, started the process of developing it more than 10 years ago. At one time, Home Depot sought approval to build a second Pleasanton store there, but never pursued final approval after members of the City Council at the time indicated they would not approve the plan.

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