In last week’s edition of the San Francisco Business Times, Sunset Development Co, owners of the business park, ran an advertisement touting “San RaMOST.” It reflected the company’s aggressive move to transform the business park into a mixed-used walkable community anchored by its showcase City Center shopping and entertainment center. Plans call for 4,500 residential units in buildings as tall as seven stories.
Quite a change in 40 years.
Until recent years, Sunset focused on building and operating a business park. From its modest two-story tilt-up buildings, it advanced to four and six story Class A office buildings and attracted many Fortune 500 companies. A key move came a few years ago when Sunset and a partner bought the sprawling AT&T office building at 2600 Camino Ramon from the communications company. It redesigned the lobby and auditorium into an event center, added a food court and started touting using the onsite lake. Among the events it has hosted the San Francisco Business Times’ spotlight on the Tri-Valley for the last few years.
Some of the parking lots around the 2600 Camino Ramon structure will become housing. The other key was tearing down original two-story office buildings at Bollinger and Camino Ramon and replacing them with the showcase City Center. That provides the focus for the mixed used community, although residents will need a grocery store onsite unless delivery continues to soar and most people are comfortable with delivery.
Another key change is a huge investment in solar. Earlier this year, Sunset announced plans to be 85% solar-powered by 2023. Plans call for installation of 17 megawatts of solar panels and 7 megawatts of storage at Bishop Ranch using Tesla powerwalls. That will appeal to the folks seeking greener living and will help because most, if not all, of the 4,500 dwelling units are likely to be 100% electric.
In a San Francisco Business Times report, it was noted that the panels will generate about 25 million megawatts annually that would power about 2,347 homes. That will cover more than half of the new units and do nothing to dent electrical use elsewhere in the park. Covering parking lots with solar panels is smart dual use, but this points out just how much real estate it takes for solar panels.