Leafing through the Chamber of Commerce’s newsletter in last week’s Pleasanton Weekly, I saw how many members were listed in the 40-44 years of membership recognition: Stoneridge Shopping Center, Ponderosa Homes, Callahan Property Co. and Reynolds and Brown.
Ponderosa Homes has built more than 1,500 homes in Pleasanton while headquartered here, while Joe Callahan partnered with the Prudential Insurance Company to develop the 875-acre Hacienda Business Park, the largest master-planned park in Northern California. Reynolds and Brown developed the shopping center with Home Depot as well as other buildings around it. Further down that list in the 21-24 year category is Mark Sweeney, a partner in Callahan’s development and long-time facilitator in Pleasanton for Hacienda, Ponderosa Homes as well as a commercial real estate broker.
Then Tuesday, James Paxson, general manager of the Hacienda Owners Association, spoke to the Pleasanton Men’s Club. He noted that the business park will celebrate its 40th anniversary this fall, marking the time the first parcel maps were recorded for the park.
Paxson, who has been with the association for 37 years and served as general manager for 28 of that, told club members that it was unlikely that any development of that size would be attempted today. He also said that while Hacienda was initially planned for business and retail uses only, the market has evolved so it contains a significant amount of housing—both for sale and rental—as well as a shopping center anchored by Kohl’s and Walmart. He said he was skeptical of the residential element initially, but now thinks it was the best decision the developers made—it took rezoning properties to make it happen. There are 10 residential projects totaling about 2,500 units with about two-thirds rental apartments.
Upcoming is the redevelopment of eight acres of the parking lot in Rosewood Commons, originally the home of AT&T’s Western Regional headquarters, into a 305-unit apartment complex.
As for the future of corporate offices, Paxson flatly said that if anyone claims to know where it will be in five years they’re blowing smoke. Apple has received plenty of employee pushback over its plans for three days back in the office—something other major employers are reporting as well.
One sector that will continue to grow is the life science sector that demands lab space and will have an office presence—witness the new 10x Genomics campus under construction next to Stoneridge mall.
As for why chose Hacienda, Paxson said the pitch has not changed in 40 years—intersection of two interstate highways plus BART (location), quality of life, relative affordability and great infrastructure. Callahan and Prudential and the North Pleasanton Improvement District upgraded fire safety and other unseen but important infrastructure.
He also thought that given the pandemic suburban communities have grown in favor as work-from-home employees have ventured out of the core cities.