Dublin growth gives local Realtors an earful | July 21, 2006 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |


Pleasanton Weekly

Real Estate - July 21, 2006

Dublin growth gives local Realtors an earful

As Pleasanton housing commercial sales slow, Dublin's soars

by Jeb Bing

Pleasanton Realtors and those in related fields sat wide-eyed and alert last week as Dublin's Economic Development Director Chris Foss talked about a series of non-stop residential, commercial and office building projects that will turn this once-sleepy start-up town into a thriving center of commerce and housing in the Bay Area.

Foss said Dublin is now among the fastest growing cities in the state with 120 different development projects currently under way. In the fiscal year that just ended last June 30, the city issued building permits for $220 million in new residential units and another $80 million in commercial permits.

"I'll be retiring in 2013, I already have that figured out, and I already have enough work to keep me busy to that point," Foss told a meeting of the Valley Marketing Association, a Tri-Valley realty group.

When fully built out, according to current projections, Dublin will have a population of 60,000, still somewhat smaller than Pleasanton's and Livermore's, and only one high school. Despite the rapid surge in population, including thousands of school-age children, the local school district will build more elementary and middle schools, but it's determined to have everyone attend Dublin High, which will be expanded to meet growing enrollment needs.

Citing projects planned or underway from west to east, Foss said the new Shaffer Ranch being built on the north side of I-580 by Discovery homes will have 303 housing units on 56 acres. Twelve of these new houses will be large, multi-million-dollar estate homes on 2-acre lots with spectacular views of the valley.

Dublin Boulevard will be extended past Valley Christian School to accommodate the new development.

In central Dublin, that area along Dublin Boulevard and north of San Ramon Valley Boulevard, new retail centers and offices are planned along with the new West Dublin-Pleasanton BART station.

"I've been working on this BART expansion ever since I came here seven years ago, and I can finally report that construction will start next month," Foss said. "The first phase will be a 713-space parking garage on a 5-acre site at the end of Golden Gate Drive, near the white Cor-O-Van building, with work on the station scheduled to start in October. It will take about two years to finish the job."

Dublin already has planned for about 500 residential units around the new BART station, with another 150,000 square feet of offices.

"Yes, offices," Foss said. "I like to brag that I'm the only economic development guy in the Tri-Valley who is actually handling a new office building."

Besides those new projects, Dublin also is negotiating with a developer for a 150-room hotel that would generate occupancy tax revenue for BART and the city.

Work is also continuing at the former Pac-N-Save site at Dublin Boulevard and Dougherty, where an underground garage is being built that will have retail stores and town homes on the top. Four other residential projects in the area that are under construction or approved will add another 1,000 apartments and town home units. Included will be 112 affordable apartment units near the freeway.

"At total build-out there, we will add 1.7 million square feet of office space and 1,800 residential units, with 70,000 square feet of new retail stores," Foss said.

Included in these developments near the existing Dublin-Pleasanton BART station, which will become the BART East station, Dublin has approved a seven-story parking garage at the freeway that will offer, in phases, a total of 2,300 parking spaces for BART commuters. The new garage will eventually replace all surface parking now on the Dublin side of the station, where BART hopes to attract office building developers.

Foss also hopes to issue permits starting early next year for the proposed 265,000-square-foot IKEA furnishings store, which will be built on Arnold Drive across from Hacienda Crossings. Even sooner, he expects work to being on a 140,000-square-foot outdoor, open air retail development, top be called the Lifestyle Center.

At the corner of Tassajara and Dublin Boulevard, Triad Partners are starting work on a 170,000-square-foot project, whose first tenants will be the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the Eden Medical Center. Foss said that with high demand in the valley for medical office space, the developer already is planning for another building nearby.

Up and down Tassajara and east to the Dublin city limits, developers are adding hundreds of new residential units, with a commercial site where a new Lowe's Home Improvement store may go. More parks, a large aquatic center and a major sports park also are planned there.

Asked about parking problems at Hacienda Crossings, Foss said the city of Dublin can't do much since the shopping center has 11 separate owners. Regal Theaters, which agreed to consider a multi-story parking garage for the area if it could add more screens, has its hands tied by Best Buy, whose joint-use agreement stipulates that nothing can be built that would cover the store's front and side signs.

Kaiser Permanente has purchased 68 acres south of Dublin Boulevard between Dublin and the freeway and just east of Tassajara Road, but officials at the medial institution say they have no plans for the property at this time. Kaiser also bought the large Albertson's distribution center located just west of I-880 in San Leandro, but has the same ambiguous response when asked about its plans there, Foss said.

Foss also talked about Camp Parks, where the federal government has put 1,285 acres of land on the market.

"That site could hold about 1,600 residential units, 250,000- square feet of office, another 250,000 square feet of retail and a 46-acre park," Foss said. "We expect Camp Parks to select a developer for the property before the end of the year."

Realtors asked Foss about traffic congestion that all of the Dublin development projects could bring to the area.

He said the mixed-use developments underway or planned will give people an opportunity to live, work and shop in their own hometown, and not have to get on freeways to reach their destinations.

"Besides, look east to the Altamont and beyond, to Mountain House where 20,000 homes are being built, and then on to other cities and developments," Foss said. "All of the projects planned or being built in Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore and even San Ramon together don't reach those levels."


Posted by Ed B., a resident of Dublin
on Mar 10, 2008 at 9:17 am

Foss, you have ruined what was once a nice place to live.

Posted by Aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Mar 10, 2008 at 10:39 am

agree with ED, how many people are they trying to cram in those "apartment homes"? too many I'd say!

Posted by Mike, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 10, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Population of 60,000 and only one high school!!!???

That is insane!

Posted by *LMAO*, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Foss? What about Houston! He was the biggest pusher of growth for Dublin -- all of which has impacted the quality of life for all Tri-Valley residents.

Best message any of us Pleasanton folks can send? DO NOT SHOP within Dublin City Limits. I would rather die than take my sales tax dollars to a city that has completely ruined the valley.

Posted by ME, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Mar 11, 2008 at 10:34 am

I am sickened with the growth Dublin thinks is great! All of those apartments that you see from 580 look like bird houses. Dublin is making its landscape look like a big city...apartments everywhere! When is the skyscraper going to be built? I hate what Dublin has done to this quite valley. Pleasanton has at least tried to preserve small town qualities. Dublin has destroyed it. Thank you for the ill planned Hacienda Crossings parking sitiuation. Thank you for the added traffic you will create with IKEA and other buildings. Whoever planned Dublin didn't think about it long enough. There is no centrality to Dublin. Seriously, the city looks like a bunch of "things" put here and there.
Thank you for reminding me to appreciate Pleasanton.

Posted by RED, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 11, 2008 at 10:40 am

Dublin=Yuck! I dont care for Dublin and never have in the past 30 years I've lived here. Its sad but true...the city has no heart, no central place. When people say they live in Dublin, I have to ask which one...New Dublin or Old Dublin? When people ask where I live...I simply say Pleasanton.

Unfortunately for Pleasanton, as much as they build...its right at our front door. We will suffer.

Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 11, 2008 at 10:45 pm

I didn't even need to read the full story- my opinion was formed many months ago when the building began. And I totally agree with pretty much whatever else has put- Dublin is being ruined. I drove all around Dublin today while running errands and was sickend to see all the stacked apartments being built. It's starting to look like so cal- the towns will eventually bleed together and one can point out that majority of the buildings were drawn up by one major coorporation. Disgusting. What's even more sick is the "SOLD" signs in all the windows (the one's in the old Pak N' Save lot). I sure hope that Pleasanton doesn't end up looking like that.

Does anybody know if that larger Safeway by 680 is going to built? I remember reading about and seeing a drawn up map, but don't remember if that's a for-sure-go.

ME: I don't think Ikea is going to be built. For some reason I want to say that Ikea backed out or the city did. Either way, I'm sure Dublin just looked at it as "let's build more birdhouses". ACK!!!

Posted by Me, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Mar 12, 2008 at 10:44 am


I got this from an article in the Pleasanton Weekly a couple of weeks ago:

With Whole Foods just announcing its plans to open a 50,000-square-foot store in Dublin, across from Hacienda Crossings, Safeway's planned store across Valley Avenue from Jack-in-the-Box will be larger and more competitive.

The plans, which were submitted to the city's planning department last summer, also include a gas station. The state's new interchange at Bernal and the freeway also will make it more accessible for both commuters and Pleasanton residents and with less traffic congestion than Whole Foods.

City Manager Nelson Fialho has said that the city expects the Safeway plans to be formally considered and processed in public hearings early this year. Both stores could be open by 2010.

Posted by Chris, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2008 at 3:33 pm

I have a view of the beauitful hills and Mt Diablo in Pleasanton, and it is sickening to see all the "box" apartments going up.....To ruin the landscape for unaffordable housing is sickening...and no one to the rescue! !

Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2008 at 11:15 pm

So many grocery stores! I bet Nob Hill or Raleys will go out of business a year or two after the new ones are up and running.

Posted by Frank D, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2008 at 10:53 am

This is an area that has been destroyed by the Lin family and Charter Properties (property that is now Dublin Ranch). These same developers recently proposed a 21-story building in Dublin. That will be an even worse eye-sore for Pleasanton than the sea of apartments/condos they built.

Don't forget these are the same developers who have Oak Grove in Pleasanton so when they talk about how well the houses will fit into to the environment, you only need to look at Dublin to see an example on how it will really look.

Posted by The Hammer, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 18, 2008 at 10:14 am

I agree with all, the landscape looks like Bakersfield. The city planners (and rest of the city govt) are all about greed, in cahoots with builders and others lining their pockets for a quick approval and first dibs on on something that they can invest in. Joe public? short end of the stick, the part thats stuck in the dung. Dublin needs to focus on a downtown, and make the city cycling friendly. There are too many long roads without the safety of a bike lane. How can you commute, or ride anywhere for fun without being inches from some idiot on a celphone ready to drive over you. Well, this mtg and economy bust will make everyone think twice about what they will do next.(hopefully). But then again, greed will prevail, unless we speak up.

Posted by The hamemr, a resident of Dublin
on Mar 18, 2008 at 10:20 am

With the exorbitant tax rates we are charged both, at the sales tax level, and annual real estate taxes we pay, you would think that the city govt would do a much better job of spending it. Speak up people, or we'll continue to gripe about the city nincapoops and their poor decision making.

Posted by *LMAO*,, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2008 at 10:37 am

Question -- isn't a lot of what is being built on old Camp Parks and Camp Shoemaker property? Does the builder need to disclose that this was a military base location and have they performed an environmental assessment?

If I have to disclose suspected asbestos in my late 60's/early 70's home, I would think this builder would be required to disclose prior land use.

Posted by DublinGuy, a resident of Dublin
on May 19, 2008 at 5:31 pm

From all the Dublin bashing I read here, I sense that there must be some jealousy going on. Jealousy over the large open spaces, wide new streets, relative safety compared to Pleasanton. I mean come on people, you live in Pleasanton, not Dublin. Mind your own business. Don't make us invade you!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 19, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Large open spaces? Is that a joke?

Posted by Pam, a resident of Birdland
on May 19, 2008 at 8:50 pm

There must be some jealousy?? Is that a joke???

Posted by Drexl, a resident of Ironwood
on May 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm

DublinGuy- It's not Jealousy; it is just about responsible growth. I don't remember exactly the details of the new bart station and homes there, but basically there will be parking for less than 1/3 of new units bulid there!! According to Foss again, stated that people that will live there will not need cars?! This guy has a ton of assumptions; I would hate to see some of them come short or over. My guess is he wants to "sell" while the market is still good; and not worry about what will happen later on. Traffic will be a nightmare; I already avoid dougherty/dublin blvd...I avoid with all cost, when coming from pleasanton, I stay on freeway until foothil; or take stoneridge just to go to a couple of places by target. I am not going to get into about the landscape; already ill; used to be nice to know you are leaving town and coming up on another, now...becoming like southern ca. sick.

Posted by SAV, a resident of Dublin
on Jul 19, 2008 at 1:42 pm

People remember we are living in a different time. Traditional suburbs are a thing of the past. With these high gas prices we need to come up with new ways of building to attract other modes of transportation. The one thing Dublin does need to come up is making it more Pedestrian friendly. The reason most of you come to Dublin to shop is because your city does not offer many of the retailers and entertainment in your community. So if you don't like it drive further out for your needs. Dublin at least is making it more convenient to shop in town for its residents and I love it. If you don't like it then don't come here.