Pleasanton's economy gaining in 2011 | February 4, 2011 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - February 4, 2011

Pleasanton's economy gaining in 2011

We're not saying the recession is over, but from Pleasanton's perspective, 2011 is shaping up to be a better year than we've seen in quite a while. Last month, the county's Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), where Mayor Jennifer Hosterman is a board member, voted to annex the undeveloped 124-acre parcel southwest of I-580 and El Charro Road into Pleasanton, paving the way for millions of dollars in new business and residential development. Next Thursday, Safeway will break ground on a new "Lifestyle" supermarket at Bernal and Valley avenues next to I-680, another multi-million-dollar project. On Feb. 18, BART will open its new Pleasanton/Dublin West station near Foothill Road. This spring, Clorox will start moving 1,100 managers, researchers and other employees into the office complex it has acquired at Hopyard Road and Johnson Drive. Add to all this a report by the city Finance Director Emily Wagner on Tuesday night that sales tax revenue is inching up this fiscal year from last year's 10-year low of $15 million. 2011 does look promising for Pleasanton.

Staples Ranch: Now part of Pleasanton, this 124-acre site will soon see:

* Stoneridge Creek Pleasanton, a 45-acre senior continuing care community to be developed by Continuing Life Communities (CLC), with up to 800 units for assisted living, skilled nursing and independent living homes and apartments. Construction could begin later this year with the first home buyers moving in 2012.

* Hendrick Automotive Group will build a new auto mall on its 37-acre portion of Staples, next to the junction of I-580 and El Charro Road.

* A 5-acre park that will include tennis courts and a landscaped area.

* Stoneridge Drive extended to El Charro Road and connected to Jack London Road on the Livermore side as soon as a development agreement for a nearby outlet mall is completed.

Safeway: A groundbreaking ceremony for a new super-large 58,000-square-foot Lifestyle supermarket is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. next Thursday at the store site, 6750 Bernal Ave., across from the Koll Center retail stores. This new store, here in Pleasanton where Safeway has its corporate headquarters, will offer the latest in marketing innovations and products, often before they are rolled out across the company's national market. Because of its larger size and product offerings, including large organic foods and fresh vegetables sections, the Lifestyle store also is expected to attract shoppers from other cities who now go to Whole Foods in San Ramon. A Whole Foods store once planned for Dublin is now on hold, perhaps for good. Finance Director Wagner said the fiscal impact to Pleasanton will add $123,000 to the city's general fund in the store's first year of operation and $285,000 a year after that. Safeway plans to have the store open by Thanksgiving, along with an array of restaurants, small retail shops and other services in its 12-1/2 acre complex.

BART West: The West Pleasanton/Dublin BART station grand opening and ribbon cutting is set for 10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 18. The station, the second in Pleasanton, will include 1,200 parking spaces and eventually 210 housing units, office space and a hotel. BART is selling a limited number of the $63 monthly permits for use in reserved parking areas in two new garages, a 722-space structure on the Dublin side of I-580 and a 468-space garage on the Pleasanton side off Stoneridge Mall Road. Besides the new developments planned in conjunction with the station, it is expected to attract more commuters from cities on I-680 who will have easier access to BART, and then may spend more time (and money) at Pleasanton restaurants and stores.

Clorox: Although not a new business in Pleasanton, this Oakland-based, internationally known company is moving 700 more employees from Oakland and the 400 from its older Johnson Drive research center to a corporate campus at 4900-5040 Johnson Drive and adjacent to Thoratec, Hitachi, other research and development companies. At one time, more than 3,000 employees worked on the site when it was used by former owner Providian as a credit card call center. In addition to its five-building campus, Clorox is now adding a sixth building on the site, a 65,000-square-foot, two-story research and laboratory center, another major business development that will add to Pleasanton's economic growth this year.


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