Booming Pleasanton is good news for Realtors | August 2, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Column - August 2, 2013

Booming Pleasanton is good news for Realtors

by Jeb Bing

In her recent report to a Tri-Valley Realtors group, Pleasanton's Economic Development Director Pamela Ott said the city weathered the recent economic downturn without layoffs and operating cutbacks and is now emerging at a fast clip with strong business growth, a residential building boom not seen here in years and new municipal projects. All this bodes well for the city's real estate market, where home prices and sales are climbing once again as Pleasanton keeps its top position as an appealing place for sellers, buyers and the Realtors who serve them.

Along with city revenue increases, Pleasanton's business community has also regained post-recession momentum, Ott said. Not counting the half-empty California (formerly CarrAmerica) Center, vacancies in the city's 12.5-million-square-feet of office parks is now "a pretty amazing" 5%. Vacancies are also low in downtown Pleasanton where new business are replacing empty store fronts. The Corner Creperies just opened at 399 Main St., and lines of customers have been standing outside the new Tara's organic ice cream store ever since it opened last month, filling the Tully's corner shop once occupied by Cold Stone. Also downtown, prospects are looking to buy and rebuild Past Time Pool and the owner of the long-gone Union Jack Pub are hoping to fill that empty space with a two-story structure shortly. Workbench Hardware will open its fourth store (the second one in Pleasanton) later this month on Main Street in the spacious retail center that Domus vacated earlier this year.

Also good news for those in the real estate and allied professions are the major high density apartment projects already approved by the City Council with more to come. These will bring several thousand renters to town, giving Realtors a captive audience for future home sales. Pleasanton Partners will build two-, three- and four-story buildings on part of the California Center's land with 305 apartments and two retail centers totaling 7,520 square feet at the Owens-Rosewood intersection. St. Anton Partners has approval to build a 168-unit, three- and four-story complex on West Las Positas Boulevard near Stoneridge Drive. BRE is expected to start construction of a series of four-story buildings with 600 apartments early next year in the Hacienda Business Park. Next Tuesday, E.S. Ring will take its bid to build an upscale, all-rental apartment complex at Bernal Avenue and Stanley Boulevard to the City Council, where it is expected to be approved. That project also will include a retail center.

Ott also pointed out that the first families are now moving into the new Stoneridge Creek retirement community on Staples Ranch at the junction of El Charro Road and I-580, where several automobile dealers are looking at acreage there that is already zoned for car sales. An extension of Stoneridge Drive, which slices through Staples, will open in early October, providing easier access between Livermore and Pleasanton, including to Stoneridge Shopping Center and the Livermore Outlets, both owned by Simon Corp. Simon, Ott reported, just gained an extension from Pleasanton's City Council for a 340,000-square-foot expansion of its mall. New homes, apartments, stores and commercial buildings are also part of plans being considered by the East Pleasanton Specific Plan Task Force that will bring more opportunities for Realtors.

When Realtors asked how they can stay informed and also contribute to Pleasanton's growth and planning processes, Ott encouraged them to sign up to serve on some of the multitude of committees, task forces and commissions that are involved in the planning process. Openings currently exist for service on the city's Committee on Energy & the Environment and the Economic Vitality Committee, which Ott heads. Those interested can contact City Clerk Karen Diaz at


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Aug 2, 2013 at 7:57 am

"They are able to do this through their monopolistic-like market practices, including the MLS, biased selling processes and trade organizations spewing propaganda that consumers actually believe."

The "cartel" or "monopoly" isn't what it used to be. They no longer have tight exclusive control of the MLS, which is why you can browse MLS listings on the Internet now. As for the standard 6% commission that, too, is now flexible and negotiable. Companies like (who we used) give back a portion of their commission to the buyer as a rebate. I believe that they have a discounted commission program for sellers of houses, too.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 2, 2013 at 9:46 am

What one believes and what knows to be a fact are not the same thing.

What is it?

Posted by Sell it yourself, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2013 at 10:41 am

Or negotiate a fair deal, not necessarily a commission.
In this market you will have lots of buyers, and likely many bids over your price. With or without the MLS. Just use Craigslist, a sign, and/or the newspaper- remember them?
Hire a real estate agent by the job or by the hour with a cap, or use an attorney - the money you save will be your own!