By Tim Hunt
Good land use with new apartments in Hacienda Business ParkUploaded: May 2, 2013
It's a continuing testament to how land values have increased when developers are willing to pay for converting surface parking lots into usable buildings and building parking structures to accommodate commuters vehicles.
We saw it when PeopleSoft built its headquarters (now Oracle and a Kaiser Permanente technology complex) on Owens Drive and that's the plan at California Center at the corner of Rosewood and Owens drives in Hacienda Business Park. Parking lots will be converted to an apartment complex with a total of 489 units.
The City Council has approved using about 8 ½ acres of the 61-acre site by converting existing parking lots and very under-utilized grassy areas, which has been watered and mowed for years since AT&T opened what was then its Western Regional Headquarters back in the 1990s. Governor Pete Wilson was among the attendees for its grand opening. It didn't remain a huge AT&T facility long as the company re-organized and eventually the center was sold to Carr America, which then sold it to Jones LaSalle. The site has 855,000 square-feet of office and conference space in buildings that range from 1-story to 6 stories.
The site is one that the city rezoned to accommodate multiple units after losing a protracted legal battle over the cap on the number of housing units in its general plan.
The project, which is located across the street from one apartment complex and near another set of apartments on Owens Drive, is ideally located to serve people lucky enough to live and work in Hacienda Business Park as well as commuters looking for rental space near BART. It includes two-, three- and four-story buildings stepped back up to the six-story office buildings.
The parking structure will be constructed closer to Interstate 580 using some of the expansive grass and will include 1,459 spaces.
Hacienda Business Park has some areas that have been residential for many years, but the California Center project is the third of the new round of high density projects that followed the rezoning driven by the legal action.
BRE has two projects that total 506 units in the quadrant bounded by Gibraltar, Willow and Owens Drive. The parcel on Owens it directly across the street from the BART station and thus should be highly desirable to commuters just as are the apartment buildings across I-580 in Dublin.