One of Pleasanton's busiest intersections -- Stanley Boulevard where Valley and Bernal avenues connect -- is about to get more traffic, a lot more.
Large earth-movers are now preparing the fenced-in 16-acre site along Bernal across from McDonald's for construction of a 345-unit multi-story apartment complex and retail center that will be one of the largest ever in that part of Pleasanton.
When completed, it will be home to up to 1,000 tenants in upscale one, two and three-bedroom apartments in a number of all-rental buildings.
The complex, to be called Vintage Village, will feature a gateway monument sign at the corner of Bernal and Stanley, elevated slightly to camouflage the parking area along both streets for the retail stores at the corner of the development. The project will include two-, three- and four-story apartment buildings on what is now on the barren acreage just north of Congregation Beth Emek.
Although approved for construction by the City Council as part of its court-ordered and state-mandated agreement to provide more high density, affordable housing, this development by Carmel Partners is hardly "affordable" in the sense of serving those with low or moderate incomes.
It will have some of the highest rents in Pleasanton, starting at $1,900 a month for a studio/one bedroom, going to $2,262 for a regular one bedroom, $2,803 for two bedrooms and $3,427 a month for three-bedroom units.
At the developer's request, the council waived the requirement to make at least 15%, or some 52 apartments, available as below-market-rate units. Instead, Carmel Partners paid the city $4.5 million when it took out its building permits so that it could offer all 345 units at upscale rents.
Those units, which would have remained affordable at low-income rates in perpetuity, likely would have cost the developer much more over the long term.
The option was seen as a win-win offer. The city deposited $1,041,421 of the in-lieu fee to its Lower Income Housing Fund for future affordable housing purposes. The rest -- $3,458,579 -- was placed in a special fund for a one-time operating program or capital project, which could also include an affordable housing project.
In favoring the waiver, the council determined that Carmel's payment will provide the city with the flexibility to consider either an affordable housing project in the future, or a one-time operating program or capital project that would be determined through the city's annual priority setting, budget and capital improvement program process.
Across town, work is underway nearing completion on other apartment complexes that also were part of the settlement agreement between Pleasanton and Urban Habitat, an Oakland-based affordable housing coalition that successfully sued the city over its 1996 housing cap and lack of adequate affordable, workforce housing.
A 168-unit, three- and four-story apartment complex at 5729 West Las Positas Boulevard near Stoneridge Drive in the Hacienda Business Park, is nearing completion. Being built by St. Anton Partners, a California-based multifamily development company, it is located on a 5.6 acre site next to ValleyCare's outpatient medical office building.
Also part of of nine sites on 73 acres rezoned for high density housing is the project just recently started by Essex Property Trust, consisting of high-density apartment buildings with 498 units in three-and-four-story buildings in Hacienda Business Park.
That development on two building sites includes mixed-use, high density residential and commercial units with "live/work" apartments and ground-level retail space at the southeast corner of Owens Drive and Willow Road and at the northern corner of Gibraltar and Hacienda drives. More than 70 units that will be available to lower income households.
Yet to come are two other high density housing projects already approved by the City Council. They include:
- A 177-unit apartment complex in buildings as high as four stories on a 6-acre site at 5850 W. Las Positas Blvd., across from Hart Middle School, being built by SummerHill Apartment Communities. A vacant one-story building now on the site that was built in 1984 and most recently occupied by clinical laboratories for SmithKline Beecham, will be torn down.
- A two-, three- and four-story apartment complex in the California Center at Rosewood Drive and Owens drives buildings to be built by Pleasanton Partners. It will have 305 studio and one-two-and-three bedroom apartments and a retail center at the corner.