Representatives of IKEA will hold a community meeting starting at 7 p.m. tonight to provide details of a two-story, 377,000-square-foot furnishings store it plans to build on a vacant 27-acre site at Hacienda Drive and I-580 in Dublin, directly across from the Walmart center, Oracle and Kaiser Permanente in Pleasanton.
The meeting will be held at the Dublin Ranch Golf Course, 5900 Signal Hill Drive in Dublin.
The meeting comes as citizens' coalitions in Pleasanton and Dublin are seeking public support to block big box stores from locating here -- IKEA in Dublin and Costco in Pleasanton.
Citizens for Planned Growth, led by Bill Wheeler, owner of Black Tie Transportation, has just collected 7,000 signatures from registered voters in Pleasanton, more than needed to place an initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot that would effectively ban a Costco store.
A petition launched by Tom Cignarella of Dublin and supported by other residents hopes to squash IKEA's proposal. Cignarella's group organized through Change.org, much like Wheeler's, plans to go to voters if Dublin officials approve the IKEA plan.
Even so, Dublin appears to be moving ahead in the approval process on an application and environmental review for the IKEA store. Slightly larger than IKEA's only other Bay Area stores in Emeryville and East Palo Alto, it will be located across Hacienda Drive from the Hacienda Crossings retail center and next to the recently opened Persimmon Place retail center on Martinelli Way.
IKEA would like to start construction next year and open in mid-2018.
Dublin planners earlier held the first of three well-promoted community meetings, fielding questions from about 30 residents who attended. They also distributed "Feedback" forms and asked those at the meeting to list their email addresses for future communications.
There was no opposition to building the IKEA store at the June 13 meeting. Attendees expressed a range of thoughts on the proposal. Traffic was mentioned by several residents as a concern.
Questions were also raised about the status of the project review process as well as future opportunities for public participation.
City representatives said that in addition to IKEA, there are also conceptual plans to add a 75-room, 32,000-square-foot, two-story hotel on the Hacienda Drive edge of the site along with two 8,000-square-foot restaurants or retail stores and a third with 3,600 square feet of floor space. Staff expects the site plan and application to be modified before the environmental review begins.
The conceptual site plan includes parking for more than 1,300 cars, but unlike IKEA's two other Bay Area stores, parking for the Dublin store will be at ground level, not in multi-story parking structures.
The IKEA site was part of the Eastern Dublin Specific Plan that was approved in 1994 when land east of the Iron Horse Trail was annexed into Dublin. In February 2001, the Dublin City Council approved a four-building office complex called Commerce One for the site, but Commerce One dropped development plans seven months later.
In March 2004, IKEA bought the property with plans to build one of its stores on half the site, with the other half to be used for a lifestyle retail center operated by Blake Hunt Ventures. IKEA backed out two years later, selling its share of the site to Blake Hunt, who later sought to turn the site into a retail and residential mixed-use project with at least a maximum of 400 housing units.
The City Council rejected the project proposal last year, and this past March, IKEA returned, purchased the entire 27 acres and filed a development application, which is now the current proposal.
In addition to the IKEA public meetings next week, Dublin will continue gathering public feedback and then hold more meetings before the proposal eventually heads to the city Planning Commission and then the City Council for final consideration.