2012: A good year for Pleasanton business with 2013 looking even betterThe good news for Pleasanton as we wrap up 2012 is that there's likely to be more of the same in the year ahead. Workday, a software company headed by Dave Duffield, has made the decision to stay in Pleasanton despite heavy courting by San Ramon business and political leaders, buying instead the cluster of five office buildings comprising Stoneridge Corporate Plaza on Stoneridge Mall Road. Workday, which Duffield founded after selling PeopleSoft (which he also started) to Oracle, has run out of room for its rapidly expanding workforce. Although San Ramon offered more space and assistance, Pleasanton leaders prevailed. Workday will gradually move its workforce, now numbering 1,000 but expected to grow to 4,000 over time, into the new corporate plaza, giving tenants there now time to find other space.
Another good news story for Pleasanton this year was the move by Clorox to move its research center and other sales and marketing units from Oakland to the spacious campus on Johnson Drive that Washington Mutual had vacated. Clorox was planning to move these operations out of state when, again, Pleasanton's City Manager Nelson Fialho and Economic Development Manager Pamela Ott, along with support from business leaders, convinced the Clorox leadership that the expansion space the company needed was here in the Bay area. By adding a sixth building, Clorox can continue offering its employees a hometown environment as a total workforce of 1,100 completes its move to the new corporate campus in 2013.
Also next year, projects that started in 2012, and a few even earlier, will be completed. Walmart now has all the permits it needs to start renovating the long-vacant Nob Hill supermarket on Santa Rita Road with a grand opening planned for its new Neighborhood Market next spring. Stoneridge Creek, which started construction this year of its retirement community on Staples Ranch, is expected to have the first of its 650 living units ready for purchasers next fall, about the same time that the extension of Stoneridge Drive to El Charro Road and Livermore will be completed. Two lanes of the roadway's four-lane bridge over the arroyo are finished; the other two lanes will be built once the rainy season ends.
Two more business centers are flourishing, including Gateway Center at Bernal and Valley avenues, with Safeway's new Lifestyle supermarket as an anchor, and the Vintage Hills Shopping Center farther east on Bernal where the New Leaf supermarket out of Santa Cruz will open within the next few months. Work on a new CVS Pharmacy, Starbuck's and a Safeway service station is under way with completion scheduled for early in 2013.
Vintage Hills is a real success story. Long nearly empty after the popular Romley's neighborhood grocery closed more than a decade ago, the center was headed for the wrecker's ball until the Pleasanton City Council said no. A new owner with marketing experience reversed the center's course and started bringing in tenants that the heavily-populated Vintage Hills and nearby communities liked. With New Leaf, the center has a new lease on life that bodes well for all commercial and retail businesses in Pleasanton.