Stoneridge Creek, Pleasanton's new retirement community on Staples Ranch, is expected to open the first phase of its 635 independent living condos and homes to be completed later this year, giving at least 200 seniors the opportunity to move into their new upscale homes.
About the same time, the long-awaited and much-debated extension of Stoneridge Drive as a four-lane thoroughfare to El Charro Road and Livermore also will be completed. A bridge over the arroyo is now half-built and should be finished in early summer, allowing the roadway to be ready for traffic in the early fall.
Both multi-million-dollar projects are being completed at no cost to Pleasanton taxpayers. Alameda County agreed to build the bridge when the 124-acre undeveloped Staples Ranch was annexed into Pleasanton. Continuing Life Communities of Southern California is building and will operate Stoneridge Creek.
Stoneridge Creek will be the first residential development on Staples, and Stoneridge Drive will be the first thoroughfare, long planned to provide a link to Livermore. Across El Charro, Jack London Boulevard has already been extended past the Livermore Airport to connect to Stoneridge, which will include a multi-lane, signalized intersection just south of the new Livermore Outlets at El Charro and I-580.
Troy Bourne, vice president of planning and development for CLC, steered the retirement home developer's application process through an agonizingly long seven years of public hearings, workshops and environmental-impact discussions.
He recently told the Pleasanton Rotary Club that the Pleasanton City Council's final approval was both welcome news and long overdue. In one of his many appeals before the council -- and to emphasize just how long he had been seeking an approval for Stoneridge Creek -- Bourne said that during the process his wife had given birth to three of their children. When construction started, Bourne and his family relocated from Southern California to Pleasanton. They now have five children, including several who attend Alisal Elementary School.
Many of those who had registered for homes in Stoneridge Creek donned yellow shirts and filled the City Council's chambers several times in a show of support for Stoneridge Creek during public hearings. For some, there was a sense of urgency since a requirement of being accepted into the retirement community is good health. During the years since deposits first were accepted, at least one applicant has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Even so, CLC has agreed to allow the applicant and his spouse to move in because of their deposit and the permitting delays by the city.
Interest in Stoneridge Creek has remained strong despite the recent recession and slowdown n the housing market. Already, more than 1,000 individuals have joined the Priority Reservation Program, putting down deposits to reserve their place at the retirement community.
Stoneridge Creek consists of a cluster of 635 homes ranging in size from 700-square-foot condominium apartments to single family homes in 20 different floor plans as large as 2,600 square feet. The complex also includes 60 assisted living apartments, and a nearby health center will have 90 skilled nursing beds when completed.
Employees to be hired locally will include managers, nurses and staff to handle swimming, fitness and other programs. Security guards will double as First Responders in the complex, all trained in CPR. Surrounded by parkland, other amenities at Stoneridge Creek will include bocce ball, areas for gardening, a dog park, painting, art and dance classes, and water aerobics.
Bourne said the public's image of retirement facilities range from ocean view homes and golf courses for the very rich to stainless steel halls with green linoleum where many may remember visiting as kindergartners to sing Christmas carols.
Stoneridge Creek is neither. It will look much like other upscale neighborhoods in Pleasanton, although restricted to those 55 or older. It's also pricey, though not prohibitively so for most Pleasanton homeowners. Costs range from $200,000 for the smaller condos to more than $1 million for the larger homes.
Yet unlike a typical development, Stoneridge Creek homes are not purchased or rented. No one actually buys their home, although it feels like that. The move-in costs are paid upfront much like a home purchase. No less than 75% of a "buyer's" investment will be refunded if the home occupant chooses to move out of Stoneridge Creek or, in the case of death, to the resident's estate. There's also a monthly service fee of up to $2,400 for the first occupant of a larger home, another $1,400 for a spouse.
After that, though, everything available at Stoneridge Creek is included, from the one meal a day to skilled nursing care whenever and as often as needed. Besides full long-term care, everything else a homeowner used to pay is covered, such as property taxes, home insurance, home maintenance, utility bills, landscaping and more. If a spouse needs care in the skilled nursing center, the other spouse can continue living at the couple's Stoneridge Creek home, which will be a short walk away from the health center.
Stoneridge Creek's on-site amenities include several restaurant venues ranging from casual to fine dining; a resident library; billiard and card rooms; computer lab and business center; spa and fitness center; open-air pool and steam room; performing arts theater for musical and theatrical performances; movie theater; and an art studio and woodworking shop. Residents can also enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational amenities including tennis courts, short-game golf course, dog park, walking and cycling trails, and bocce and croquet courts.
Bourne said a model home is now open for tours. The model home -- featuring a full-scale replica of one of Stoneridge Creek's most popular floor plans -- is located in the retirement community's information center at 5698 Stoneridge Drive in Pleasanton. Model tours can be scheduled by calling 1-800-850-3167.