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.