The Vision of Saranap Village

When we look at Boulevard Way and the encompassing neighborhood, we see an area glowing with potential. Surrounded by established homes, this enviable location sits unchanged since its early development. When Boulevard Way was built in the 1950's, it was the initial leg of a major highway connecting Walnut Creek to San Leandro; instead, Highway 24 was built, eliminating the need for a regional connector. Boulevard Way now exists as an unfinished highway, where poor planning and over-sized roadways encourage speeding cars and prevent a walkable, harmonious environment for businesses and residents.

The proposed Saranap Village is intended to revitalize the area of Boulevard Way and Saranap Avenue. By inserting a purposefully designed community, this location of Saranap will benefit from infrastructure improvements, increased walkability, and local conveniences. Separate from Walnut Creek and Lafayette, Saranap will be reinforced as its own neighborhood with a unique identity.

Our goal is to enhance the spirit of Saranap by building successful connections between residents, retail, and pedestrians resulting in a thriving and livable area. With the efforts of Hall Equities Group, the revival of Saranap will help transform the Boulevard Way commercial district into a uniquely vibrant and connected community.

Updates Overview

General overview of the updates reflected in the proposed alternative design.

Our updates to the original proposed Saranap Village plan address many concerns voiced by the community. The new Saranap Village reflects a smaller scale, boutique lifestyle experience while continuing to focus on the objective to revitalize the area.

The proposed alternative design encompasses size reductions across all three sites. The whole plan has been reduced in overall mass by 22%. The residences have been decreased by 24%, retail space has been scaled back by 49%, and parking structure mass has been reduced by 15%.

Compared to the original project, the resized site plan allows for a more pedestrian friendly environment, less congestion and increased parking options. Further, we have proposed that should any revenue be generated by paid parking, all funds will be dedicated to the Saranap Village neighborhood for maintenance and improvement updates.

Hover over image to view site plan overlay


Hall Equities Group Saranap Village
View Site A Details
Hall Equities Group Saranap Village
View Site B Details
Hall Equities Group Saranap Village
View Site C Details

Design Updates

Since releasing our initial vision in May 2013, our development team has listened to the community and county staff, and carefully analyzed each aspect of our designs. We have focused on the requests of our neighbors and created a smaller Saranap Village that enhances the neighborhood while bringing in locally owned businesses to preserve the personality of Saranap. For an updated version of the RDEIR please visit the county website.
Use the slider below to view a side by side comparison of the original proposed project to the proposed alternative design.

FAQs

Why does the developer seek a change to the general plan?

On all the parcels of land purchased for the Saranap Village project, the general plan and zoning are inconsistent. The general plan only allows for standalone retailers such as fast-food restaurants, gas stations and stand-alone multi-family. For the Saranap Village project to work, it will need to be rezoned as a Planned Development to implement General Plan policies calling for infill redevelopment, smart growth, and siting people near the places they visit daily. In addition, the general plan calls out Boulevard Way as an “arterial” road and county staff has determined that it should be changed to a “collector” street status to reflect its current operation as a neighborhood road and not as a major thoroughfare bisecting the community.

What happens if the project doesn’t get approved?

If the general plan is not changed and the Saranap Village project doesn’t get approved, the scattered single use buildings allowed under the current General Plan will be developed and Boulevard Way will remain as it is currently. A change to the general plan will help create beautiful streetscapes in this area of Saranap and promote investment and enrichment of the Saranap community.

Why doesn’t this project “pencil” with less density like similar projects in Lafayette or Walnut Creek?

In order to redevelop the roadways and the intersection of Boulevard Way and Saranap Avenue we must balance public improvement costs with project value. To meet these goals and create a pedestrian-friendly community with a unique identity, the project requires a large enough site on both sides of the street to create synergies within the community. Desirable commercial space for retailers, homeowners and tenants is a critical part of balancing the high cost of transforming public infrastructure and area revitalization.

What is the total amount of new condos/apts?

The new proposed alternative design includes up to 196 units. This number has been reduced almost 20% from the original proposed design which included 235 units.

How will pedestrian and bicycle safety be impacted?

The new proposed alternative design will include crosswalks, Sharrow bike lanes, and traffic slowing elements. This new design will create a substantially safer environment for everyone on the road by accommodating cyclists, reducing the street from four lanes to two, which will help prevent speeding, and the addition of the roundabout. The addition of larger sidewalks will create a pedestrian-friendly environment and added bicycle parking spaces will encourage the use of alternate modes of transportation.

Will the public scenic vistas of Mt. Diablo be impacted?

The views of Mt. Diablo from the surrounding existing streets comprise the scenic public vistas. Because of the location of the Saranap Village site is at the lowest point in the surrounding area, and because the position of the proposed buildings is outside of, or in opposite directions from existing street scenic view corridors of Mt. Diablo, there are no substantial impacts to scenic public vistas.

Will this project create more traffic?

There will be more traffic. However, the traffic impact analysis report determined the functioning of roads and intersections will be very similar with the addition of Saranap Village. The introduction of a roundabout at the intersection of Saranap Avenue and Boulevard Way will actually improve traffic flow.

How do we support the project at these preliminary hearings?

The purpose of writing letters and/or appearing and speaking in support of the Saranap Village project during the Contra Costa County hearings is to convey to the Planning Commission and Contra Costa Board of Supervisors that you support the project, and the adequacy of the EIR. You may contact Mike Clancy, Director of Community Affairs at Mikec@hallequitiesgroup.com if you have any questions on how you can support the project.

What is the actual height of the buildings?

The largest buildings in the project, sites A & B, have both been reduced in height from the original project design. In the original project design for building “A” the tallest roof building height was approximately 75’ (as measured from lot high point) and totaled 7 stories. The new alternative’s tallest building height is approximately 62’, a reduction of 13’ and includes 5 story architecture. The tallest height of building “B” was approximately 64’ and has now been reduced to approximately 55’, a reduction of 9’ and one story. Building “C” has the original project design height of 51’.



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About

Hall Equities Group


Hall Equities Group (HEG) is a private full-service Real Estate Investment, Development, and Property Management Company. HEG has been a local, family company since it was founded in Lafayette in 1962 and is in its second generation of family ownership. Hall Equities Group is owned by Mark Hall, a 32-year veteran of the local real estate industry and a graduate of Acalanes High School, located very near the Saranap Village site. With a multi-faceted real estate portfolio, HEG represents a select base of local private investors, partners, their families, key employees, and company-sponsored group investment entities.

HEG has substantial local experience in quality redevelopment projects that transform functionally obsolete properties into productive assets that contribute to the long-term vitality of the community while reducing waste and eliminating blight. HEG is the largest local commercial property owner operating in the Walnut Creek area, measured both by number of properties as well as total square footage owned and operated. HEG remains committed to the local community and is deeply invested in the long-term success of the region.

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