Pastime Plaza, a Downtown Pleasanton Redevelopment Story

Sotheby’s International Realty to open Pleasanton office | October 10, 2014 | Pleasanton Weekly | |.

Have you been wondering what will replace the former Pastime Pool at 511 Main Street? Starbuck’s will be taking a portion of the ground floor retail space. This will be one of the few “Evening” concepts, serving wine, beer, and a variety of small bites after 4pm. In addition, Sabio on Main, a tapas restaurant will also be joining the line-up. Sabio’s menu will focus on small plates in addition to offering a full bar and extensive wine list.

The second floor will consist of Sotheby’s International Realty. You can read move about the developments on Pleasanton Weekly.


Sports Authority Comes to San Ramon


Have you seen the sign yet? Sports Authority has taken the former Loehmann’s space in the Crow Canyon Commons Shopping Center on Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon. Rumor has it there are a couple other new tenants coming to the shopping center that will be announced in coming months.

First Sprout’s now Sports Authority? Crow Canyon Commons has done a tremendous job of repositioning the center as relevant over the past few years.

Moraga Barn Bar Building For Sale


You might be curious why the Moraga Barn is the feature of the blog today, but I promise to keep this short and interesting. Located at 925 Country Club Drive, this adorable building has been in use since 1933 as a bar (built in 1913) which I can only surmise as a local institution. Back in 2008 the building under went a complete renovation and was completed as LEED Platinum. This historic property has been outfitted with solar roof tiles, radiant in floor heating, and underground water receptacles to collect rain water making it a lean and green power machine. There are very few buildings in the East Bay that meet LEED Platinum standards and even more impressive that a historic building has been transformed to this certification while retaining its charm.

New buildings and those that undergo major renovations on a whole do incorporate LEED energy efficiencies and this is a trend that will continue. LEED designations once thought of as hip thing ten years back has become a necessity with climate change becoming a hot button issue, especially in Washington D.C..But I digress…

The Moraga Bar is a great piece of real estate with historic charm and new world efficiencies. Having operated previously as a restaurant and bar, obtaining the permitting for a restaurant should be a viable option. At 3,325 square feet spread over two levels and a mezzanine, this is the perfect size for any small business. Given this info, I would rate this piece of property in my top five properties to open a restaurant in the Tri and Diablo Valley. Offered at $1,795,000 ($540 per square foot).

Curious of other properties on my top restaurant location list? Contact me via email or 925.737.4168

Tri-Valley Retail Market Continues to Burn

Exciting times if you work in the retail side of commercial real estate. We are seeing deals in all shapes and sizes, something we thought may never happen after the massacre of ’08… errr… I mean economic downturn. New development, old development, partially developed, the train is moving full steam ahead.

Vacancy is extremely low and prices have most certainly jumped by over 20% in most places and even closer to 30% in select pockets. Keep a finger on the mouse, more new posts to come, including some of the hot lease and sale opportunities currently on the market.

P.S. – I hope everyone has had a chance to discover Gotta Eatta Pita. They have two locations, Danville and Pleasant Hill with a location coming soon in Pleasanton near Hopyard and Owens Drive. I am in no way affiliated with the company they are just my favorite new quick serve restaurant. I promise you will not be disappointed!


City Center San Ramon Plan Unveiling

city center san ramon

So much to blog about and so little time! A few weeks back I was one of about one-hundred and fifty attendees at Dougherty Valley High School for the unveiling of the San Ramon City Center plans. It was a great presentation, topped with the perfect character telling the story of how the project has come to fruition across an ocean and on a different continent.  The main speaker was the architect on the project, Antonio Belvedere, a partner at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Genoa. He went through a very detailed story of projects that his firm has designed prior to leaping into the downtown development we know as City Center.

The entire project is built around an approximately 100′ by 400′ yard piazza, and this piazza will be the center off all shopping, dining, and entertainment. The total shop space was estimated at 350,000 square feet and will be dedicated to just retail and restaurants on two levels. There will be no office or hotel in this phase, that will come in phase two.


Phase one will begin construction in 2015, which include the demolition of a couple office buildings nearest to Whole Foods. Phase one will span from Bishop Drive east to Camino Ramon. To clarify, the raw land on Bollinger Canyon and Camino Ramon will be phase two, consisting of hotel and office space which does not have a development date set.

“The project is entirely conceived around a generous piazza surrounded by six pavilions of varying sizes,” Piano has been quoted in previous press releases. “All of the pavilions have a direct relationship to the piazza and each of them contributes to animate it.”

As you drive by the new downtown, referred to as The Plaza District, there will be direct line of sight into the piazza because the walls will be glass. A multi-level parking garage will be on the east side of the project, incorporated into the design of the center, not a separate free standing garage you may find at a BART station. Overall, the plans are amazing and true work of beauty. The amount of detail that has been dedicated to making this the crown jewel of the I-680 corridor is obvious. As more plans become available I believe the community will be pleased with the vision Sunset Development has for San Ramon’s downtown.

San Ramon Getting Closer to New Downtown Development

As reported in the Sf Business Times, architect Renzo Piano will be part of the creative team designing Sunset Developments mixed-use retail project that will be the epicenter of San Ramon. The downtown project is being called City Center.

Sunset Development is a visionary, their plans to create a downtown destination with top-notch shopping, dining, and entertainment has been in the works for over a decade. When the economy took a hit the plans went on hold but were never shelved. It is no surprise the project is full steam ahead given the success new developments such as Fallon Gateway in Dublin (Phase I sold out and phase II well on its way to selling out). Not to mention, San Ramon grew by leaps and bounds pre-recession, with very little supporting retail. San Ramon stands as the first community within the Tri-Valley to see vacancy rates of the office park drop to single digits. Pleasanton’s Hacienda Business Park is still working to achieve these types of numbers.

“Plans for City Center call for retail, housing and hotel. Piano will design the first phase comprised of 350,000 square feet of retail including a movie theater, restaurants, and shops.” SF Biz Times, Blanca Torres.

Renzo Piano is known world wide for his excellence in design. He was the force behind the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. City Center goes before Planning Commission in mid-June with a first phase expected opening date in 2016.

Click here for Biz Times article

Church/ Religious Facility for Sale in Livermore

N livermore

Even at the bottom of the market, we saw very few bank owned or foreclosure properties come to market in our area. The hardest hit was the office market with a couple troubled office buildings trading hands between ’10-’12. The majority of troubled assets were able to workout or restructure loans rather than go into foreclosure.

The commercial market generally runs about two years behind the residential market. This means we are just now seeing the market get really hot with multiple offers in both sale and lease transactions along with extremely low inventory. Despite this, we have seen a sudden surge of bank owned and foreclosure properties, including a large religious facility in Livermore.

Built in 2009, the facility is 23,000 square feet situated on a lot just under two acres. The location is ideal on North Livermore Avenue with more than adequate parking. This is a turn-key facility complete with fixtures, furniture, and equipment ready for a new congregation. The price has been dropped by a million dollars, now asking $5.2 million.

In addition to this facility, there is also a smaller (about half the size) religious facility for lease in the east side of town. It is not often we see these types of facilities come to market and to have two at one time is even more of a rarity.

Included in this surge of distressed properties we have seen multiple newer industrial condos and few free-standing buildings go to foreclosure auction in the area.

If you are looking for distressed assets, foreclosures, or religions facilities please contact me!


Preschool/Childcare Facility For Lease in Pleasanton


Those in the preschool, childcare, and daycare business are fully aware of the cost savings involved with taking over a space that has already been occupied by a similar facility. To start a new facility is almost impossible. To give those not in the business an idea of the hurdles involved it goes far beyond “hard” construction costs. Due to our limited land and tight zoning, there are very few commercial buildings able to accommodate a large amount of children and still have an outdoor area large enough to meet the requirements. For each child there is a certain amount of outdoor play area and without that outdoor area a facility cannot get licensed. Thus, a second generation preschool, childcare, or daycare is one of the most expensive facilities to lease in commercial real estate (next to restaurants and medical space).

Today I will highlight a space that has just come on to the market in Pleasanton. The 7,000 square foot building with an extensive outdoor play area has an asking rent of $2.65 per square foot, plus the triple net expenses. This no doubt would be a high-water mark for a fully equipped as a preschool, childcare, or daycare facility.

You might remember Prim Rose took over the facility Koll Center Parkway late 2012. The building had multiple offers and was rumored to go above asking rate which was $2.25 per square foot, plus the triple net expenses of just $0.25 per square foot. In terms of size, location, and quality the facilities are very similar.

Want more info or looking for a facility to house preschool? Contact Jessica or 925.737.4168

Medical/Dental Building For Sale in Livermore

For those practicing in the medical and dental fields, you know how challenging finding space can be. Staying within the confines of zoning districts, water/sewer fees, extensive and expensive construction costs of building the space… it can be a mess. Very rarely does a second generation building medical or dental space come available for lease, let alone for sale. Today I would like to highlight one of those coveted buildings located near downtown Livermore.

Our subject building is not the most aesthetically pleasing in the world but it does offer great amenities including location, parking, and renovations. At 2,200 square feet it is well appointed for one or two practitioners. Having been remodeled back in 2006 it has two separate suites with newer roof, updated restrooms, raised floors, and newer HVAC. The location on East Avenue near N. Livermore Avenue and 4th Street makes for great visibility.

2415 east ave

The Stats:

2412 East Avenue

FOR SALE @ $1,092,500 ($496 per square foot)

Size: 2,202 square feet

Comments: Great free-standing building, hard to find medical/dental buildout. Price per foot is steep but the savings in dental infrastructure counter balances the cost. Potential income producer, occupy one suite and lease out the other.

Restaurant Closures in the East Bay

mama rosa

January always lends to a couple of restaurant closures. Operators of struggling establishments will get through December, traditionally a great money making month, and close in January, just before the slow season begins. This year was no exception.

The two largest closures include Max’s Diner in San Ramon and Mama Rosa Pizza and Pasta in Pleasanton. Both high traffic locations with great visibility. A third closure was The Cove, a newer restaurant located in the Bernal Plaza just across from the street from the new Safeway Center on Bernal and Valley Avenue. You might remember this used to be Rage Burger previously.

According to an article written by the local, the operator of Max’s in San Ramon blamed the high rent for the closure. The space is large by typical restaurant standards at 6,500 square feet. The space is being marketed for lease at the moment with a number of suitors showing interest but no deal on the table as of yet. The asking rent, a staggering $31,000 per month when you add the base rent and triple net expenses.

Magnolia aerial

The space located at Bernal Plaza in Pleasanton has already been leased. The quick turn around is due in part to both a smaller size space (2,900 square feet) and lower lease rate because of the class “B” location. Look for a new sushi restaurant to open in this location.

bernal plaza

Commercial rents are no doubt on the rise. Supporting comparable deals in the market include the recently completed lease in the former Macaroni Grill at Dublin Hacienda. With over seven offers on the building  competition is steep for prime locations with restaurant infrastructure.

Hobby Lobby Opening Dublin Store

Expo Design

According to Hilbers Contractors and Engineers, Hobby Lobby will be opening a new store in Dublin. The contracting firm released a statement on their website on January 16th naming them as the general contractor for the construction of the leasehold improvements of the new store.

Hobby Lobby will be taking over the former Home Expo Design Center, the 90,000 square foot box between Target and Toys R Us on Amador Plaza Road. The space has been vacant for about five years with the exception of Halloween when the Spirit Store uses the space as a temporary location. Hobby Lobby will be taking a portion of the exceptionally large space, about 60,000 square feet.

Read the entire press release here

Goodbye Toll House, Hello C.R.E.A.M Cookies and Ice Cream!

livermore theater


Are you one of the hundreds of people that crave ice cream sandwiches from Cream every day? Tired of driving to Berkeley or Walnut Creek to get your fix? You’re in luck! Cream has officially signed a lease in downtown Livermore!

Cream, which stands as “Cookies Rule Everything Around Me” is Bay Area concept that has caught fire. They specialize in all natural gourmet ice cream sandwiches and best yet, they are affordable at around $3 each.

The new location will be next to the 13-screen movie theater and Bankhead Performing Arts Theatre at 2375 Railroad Avenue in the Livermore Valley Plaza. The location is ideal, just across from the free city parking garage and on the way to all the major attractions. Cream is anticipating a February opening date.

Nestle Toll House Cafe closed at the end of October leaving behind 1,800 square feet of prime real estate on First Street. That space is now for lease. Contact Jessica for more information or 925.737.4168.


Until recently Livermore Valley Plaza lacked excitement and had many vacant spaces. Over the past 18 months we have seen the center become near completely full and the epicenter of downtown shifted to this area. Establishments such as Sauced BBQ & Spirits, Patxi’s Pizza, and The Last Word (coming soon) are among the new line-up.



Sideboard Restaurant In Danville Plans For Relocation


The Danville Hotel has long been slated for redevelopment, thus the various businesses located within the project have slowly made their way to new locations. The final business to leave will be Sideboard Restaurant who is rumored to have signed a lease after months of searching.

Sideboard’s is said to have signed a lease at 90 Railroad Avenue, just across the street from the Trader Joe’s shopping center. You might remember this little grey building used to be an old house and was recently redeveloped into a two building project. I have heard the new digs includes a nice big patio area.

Congrats to Sideboard and let the construction begin at Danville Hotel!

Danville hotel


Livermore Downtown Retail/Office Space For Lease


An adorable little space on 3rd Street near South L Street has just come to market for lease. The space has a great glass line and retail frontage but would make for a nice professional office, personal service use (salon), or medical office. Because it is located on 3rd Street the zoning allows for many uses that cannot be accommodated on First Street.

The space is 1,775 square feet and the asking rent is $1.50 per square foot. Very reasonable rent, especially given the attractive retail frontage!

Call Jessica for more information on this property and other availabilities in the downtown area: or 925.737.4168

Danville Small Retail Space Available

Crossroads danville

If you are looking for small retail space in Danville then you know it is a challenge. Now that most all the tenants have moved from the old Hotel pretty much every crevice is full, even the spots you thought would never lease.

600 square foot retail space coming available near the core of downtown at Danville Crossroads. The space IS NOT on Hartz Avenue but it is a great option for someone looking to be near downtown but not ready to stomach the prices of prime real estate.

Contact Jessica for more info: or 925.737.4168