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Upbeat year ahead for Pleasanton

Downtown, Costco, Workday, Stoneridge to lead changes

Look for changes in land-use and building height restrictions in downtown Pleasanton as the Downtown Specific Plan Update Task Force winds up its year-long-plus review this year. (Photo by Mike Sedlak)

Corporate and retail growth, along with the city's financial stability, promise to make 2019 another banner year for Pleasanton.

General fund revenues for the city of Pleasanton reached an all-time high of $122 million in the fiscal year that ended last June 30, an increase of $4.7 million over earlier projections. With expenditures $3.6 million less than anticipated, the city headed into fiscal year 2019 with a $6.7 million surplus.

This year, with corporate and retail growth continuing, major traffic improvements and multimillion-dollar investments to reduce school overcrowding, Pleasanton's 83,007 residents can expect their municipality to live up to its 124-year-old motto: City of Progress.

Here's a look at what's ahead:

Workday

Pleasanton-based Workday, Inc., a global leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, is wrapping up construction of its new headquarters building at 6110 Stoneridge Mall Road.

The new, architecturally stunning, six-story building is now Pleasanton's tallest structure and will be home to an estimated 2,200 employees when it opens this spring. It will include an amphitheater that can hold up to 1,000 employees.

"This is a transit-oriented development with accessibility to BART," Workday spokeswoman Allison Kubota said. "It will include a shared-ride passenger drop-off area for shuttles, buses and more."

The company, founded in 2005 by software visionaries Aneel Bhusri and Dave Duffield, reported total revenues of $743.2 million for its third quarter that ended last Oct. 31, an increase of 33.8% from the same period a year ago.

Workday also is funding a new joint BART-Pleasanton police service center on the ground floor of the West Dublin-Pleasanton BART garage to support law enforcement efforts on the north side of town.

As part of the development, four-way signals are being built on Stoneridge Mall Road at the new entrance to the BART garage, with a second set of signals planned at the front of Workday's headquarters. At the same time, the road will be widened to three lanes between Workday Way and Stoneridge Drive.

Stoneridge Shopping Center

With Workday nearing completion and the Sears store closing, discussions are underway for improvements at the mall. The Simon Property Group, which owns the Stoneridge Shopping Center as well as the San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore, has extended its development agreement with the city for an additional five years.

It's projected that Nordstrom will relocate into the old Sears building, with Simon planning for apartments, condos, office complexes and new entertainment centers extending from the Nordstrom end of the mall toward the new Workday headquarters.

Simon also would build a parking garage to offset parking spaces that would be lost with these new developments.

"This is good news for us because that signals that the mall is going to get some significant reinvestment from Simon Properties," Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho said.

Fialho added that the city expects to receive an application from Simon as early as this month that will outline a redevelopment plan.

Costco

The long-awaited Costco store planned for Johnson Drive between Stoneridge Drive and the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is expected to be approved for construction this year and opened by 2022.

Both the Planning Commission and City Council will consider a revised environmental impact report (EIR) in the coming weeks, a final step before clearing the way for Costco and two hotels to build on the 40-acre site.

The project has been delayed by complaints from a group called Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth that an earlier EIR had an incomplete air quality analysis.

Downtown

The first draft of the Downtown Specific Plan Update is available for public review at www.ptowndtown.org.

The plan, to be approved this year, includes new land use designations, creates new policies for ground floor retail uses and includes a concept plan for building a new library and Civic Center on the Bernal Park property.

Downtown Specific Plan Update Task Force meetings are set to continue this winter before a final draft plan is prepared for consideration in public hearings in the spring.

Downtown Pleasanton is already set to see growth in 2019 as more residential units are built. These projects include:

* 273 Spring St. -- Ground-floor retail shops plus two- and three-story, multi-family residential units.

* 377 Saint Mary St. -- Three 2,400-square-foot, three-story, single-family residences.

* 536/550 St. John St. -- Ten two-story townhomes, with existing historic single-family home to remain.

* 4791 Augustine St. -- Construction starts this year on a trio of three-story, single-family homes, and one three-story mixed-use building with apartments/office/retail space.

Restaurants

Some 15 new restaurants are now open or soon will be in Pleasanton, most of them in the downtown district. Recently opened are:

* The Clubhouse, a casual restaurant and bar, recently opened in the Pleasanton Hotel, 855 Main St. The white-cloth-table Lily's Spirited is set to open in the hotel later this month.

* Salt Craft, a casual American-cuisine restaurant, in a 1930s Spanish colonial-style house at 377 Saint Mary St.

* SideTrack in the former Panda's Restaurant site at 30 W. Angela St. It offers hand-crafted burgers, seasonal dishes and a full bar.

* Shanghai Dumpling House, 201 Main St., is a traditional style Chinese restaurant.

* Uptown Burger Bar, 724 Main St., known for its tater tots, peanut butter and jelly hamburgers and $4.95 "Old Thyme" milk shakes.

* Wild One Cal Mex Grill, now in the former site of High-Tech Burrito at 349 Main St.

Opening soon will be:

* Zachary's Chicago Pizza, taking over half of the current Bank of America building at 337 Main St. The bank will continue operating in the remaining area.

* Patio Café will take over the former Stacey's Cafe space at 310-A Main St. The opening date has not yet been announced.

Currently under construction for opening in the coming weeks is Ramen 101 at 444 Main St. Its Dublin restaurant is getting rave reviews for its Asian food.

Beso, a Mexican restaurant, will open later this year on the second floor of the new building at 725 Main St., where Union Jack Pub was once located. The first floor, which could also be a restaurant, has yet to be leased.

Several prospective tenants have shown interest in the former Dean's Café at 620 Main St., a downtown restaurant for the last 60 years that was closed last year for health-code violations.

Laura Olson, executive director of the Pleasanton Downtown Association, said a new restaurant should be open at the Dean's location this year.

A new eatery for the now-empty Café Main at 401 Main St. has backed out. "We anticipate that someone new will lease the space in the first part of 2019," Olson said.

Near Home Depot, diners and drive-thru customers fill the parking lots at In-N-Out Burger and the recently-opened Chick-fil-A.

More crowds are expected this summer when the Peninsula's popular Cook's Seafood and Fish Market opens in Bernal Plaza across from the Alameda County Fairgrounds at Bernal and Valley avenues. It will be only the second restaurant opened by the Crumrine family since they started the business in Menlo Park 90 years ago.

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