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Council signs off on city acquiring downtown property for $2 million-plus

Library office renovations, new Hansen Park playground also OK'd at Olson's final full council meeting

The Pleasanton City Council gave its approval to the city purchasing the commercial property at 4363 and 4377 First St., which includes these two buildings. Tenants would be offered relocation compensation. (Photo by Jeremy Walsh)

The Pleasanton City Council on Tuesday approved terms for the city to acquire a commercial parcel on First Street for up to $2.34 million.

Though how the city would use the property next to Lions Wayside Park and the Firehouse Arts Center in the future would be subject to more public deliberations, plans would almost certainly include razing the two buildings once the tenants relocate and offering more public parking downtown, according to city leaders.

The acquisition was approved with little fanfare and no opposition Tuesday night, a unanimous vote with no discussion as part of the council's consent calendar.

The owners of the 18,200-square-foot parcel at 4363 and 4377 First St. (Ianson Holdings, LLC and Malakoff & McIntyre, Inc.) have been aiming to sell their property, with the goal of closing escrow by the end of the year, assistant city manager Brian Dolan wrote in his staff report to the council.

Accordingly, the council talked in closed-session with city staff in August and again Election Night and supported City Manager Nelson Fialho entering into a contingent agreement with the property owners so escrow could close by Dec. 31, Dolan said. One of the terms was that the council consider the final agreement in a public meeting.

The positive aspects of the property include its proximity to the Firehouse parking lot, direct pedestrian access to Lions Wayside, the potential to create a connection between First Street and the Firehouse lot and increase public parking downtown, and the chance to improve the appearance of a highly visible property downtown, according to Dolan.

Another term of the deal was that each of the six tenants currently under lease at the property must enter into relocation agreements with the city to free up the two buildings.

Those tenants are Express Liquor, Yan's Massage, Roots of Eastern Medicine (acupuncture), Team EdServe (marriage and family counseling), Urban Realty Services and a leased storage unit. Each could be eligible for financial help from the city to help with relocation costs.

"Based on the terms of the leases with the existing tenants and requirements of state law, it is anticipated that the tenants generally will vacate as leases expire or are not renewed, and the buildings will eventually be removed," Dolan said in his staff report.

The acquisition costs would include $2 million for the property purchase, $2,650 for environmental review, $32,500 to hire a relocation consultant and relocation expenses for the tenants that could total between $92,500 and $310,000, according to Dolan. Building removal and interim site maintenance would cost another estimated $70,000.

The costs would be paid from the city's Lions Wayside Park renovation project budget, which has about $4.5 million in funding in the city's capital improvement program. The Lions Wayside project would then be reimbursed in the 2019-20 budget year.

City officials expect the purchase to close escrow by the end of the year, provided all contingencies are met, including relocation agreements with the tenants.

In other business

* The 13-item consent calendar consisted of several other municipal projects around Pleasanton, including the council approving $120,500 for Jeff Katz Architecture to design the library office renovations and assist with overseeing construction of the project.

City officials propose to relocate Community Services Division staff from an aging modular building at the Civic Center at 200 Old Bernal Ave. to redesigned office space in the Pleasanton Public Library at 400 Old Bernal Ave.

More than $1.25 million had been set aside to remodel the Senior Center on Sunol Boulevard to house the division staff, but plans changed after the city opted to merge two divisions to create the new Library and Recreation Department.

The project will focus on rearranging current library space to create office areas for all library staff and 12 recreation staff members. The remodel will impact some library storage space -- mostly seasonal -- so a new storage unit will be added outside the building near the trash enclosure, according to city staff.

Officials hope to have the design finished by next June so construction could begin after Labor Day. Work is estimated to take five to six months, during which the library will remain open with normal hours.

* The council approved a nearly $160,000 contract with Specified Play Equipment Company to renovate a playground at Hansen Park, a neighborhood park on Black Avenue west of Hopyard Road. The project, which is part of routine park maintenance around the city, is expected to be constructed in the spring.

* Council members endorsed another $57,000 in spending to complete the Ken Mercer Sports Park recycled water booster station project, which is being paid for by Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan and grant funding.

* They signed off on work completed under the biannual project to replace 19 fire hydrant laterals, 15 blow-offs, the Stoneridge and Tassajara bridge crossing and various other valve replacements and water line abandonments. They also authorized another $19,984 to close out the nearly $998,000 project.

* Tuesday marked the final full meeting for Arne Olson on the City Council. Olson, who opted not to seek re-election this fall, will officially step down when Councilwoman-elect Julie Testa takes the oath of office during a special meeting Dec. 11.

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Comments

4 people like this
Posted by Thank you
a resident of Danbury Park
on Dec 6, 2018 at 10:25 am

The new downtown parking deal was an unexpected surprise. Well done- a win win! Appreciate the Council investing in more downtown parking to help our downtown businesses survive and make it easier for our residents to support the businesses.


Like this comment
Posted by Fifty Years Here
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 8, 2018 at 9:08 am

Fifty Years Here is a registered user.

We are on the right track when the city is a Buyer of Downtown property instead of a Seller!


1 person likes this
Posted by ACE Rider
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 10, 2018 at 11:12 am

I'm not holding out hope the city will also do the right thing and purchase the property across from the library to build a parking garage for more downtown and ACE train parking.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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