By Tim Hunt
Sunset accelerates Bishop Ranch's transition to a mixed-use communityUploaded: Jul 13, 2021
Sunset Development Co, developers and owners of much of Bishop Ranch Business Park, has continued its major shifting of the 585-acre park into a true mixed-use, walkable community.
The San Ramon City Council has approved Sunset’s plans to redevelop surface parking lots into 4,500 high-density units. Those, coupled with the City Center retail/entertainment center, changes what has been a pure business center into one where people potentially can live, work and play.
The news last week that Sunset is selling 31 acres with 576,000 square feet of office space to SummerHill Homes of San Ramon emphasized their intentions. SummerHill has submitted plans to the city that request changing the underlying residential zoning from 20 units to the acres to 14 to 30 units per acre.
Redeveloping the space is what Sunset did to create the space for City Center. Clearly the company leadership believes the office space has fulfilled most of its useful life and a huge infusion of cash plus accelerating the transition to housing will move the entire business park forward. Sunset sought bids for the parcel last year, according to the San Francisco Business Times. A SummerHill representative told the Times that they plan to have homes on the market in late 2023.
The plan for City Village calls for 114 townhomes and 290 detached homes. Units will range from 1,700 to 3,000 square-feet with market rate prices ranging from $900,000 to $1.5 million. There is a 25% affordable housing requirement in the general plan.
Moving south on Interstate 680, 860-acre Hacienda Business Park has had a mixed-use element since the 1990s. Two recent projects redeveloped office buildings into high-density housing. The Andares project on West Las Positas replaced a commercial office building, while the Anton Hacienda development removed an out-building for the former Hewlett Packard Sales Division office that now is owned by Stanford-ValleyCare.
Hacienda has eight other residential projects on sites that were originally zoned for office, but later were rezoned for residential, according to James Paxson, general manager of the park. Buildings in Hacienda are owned by many different entities, in contrast to Bishop Ranch’s dominant ownership by Sunset.
It will be interesting to see how Bishop Ranch evolves over the next decade (Sunset’s City Walk project could stretch over 20-30 years to buildout.
And then we can also watch and see how the Simon Co. utilizes the expansive parking lots surrounding what’s become a dated shopping mall at Stoneridge. There’s already zoning for residential in one of the parking lots—the question will be whether it will pencil for a developer.