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Funeral services set for Bishop Ranch founder

San Ramon Mayor: Masud Mehran 'one of one or two of the most prominent city fathers'

Funeral services will be held this Friday for the man responsible for much of how the Tri-Valley looks.

Masud Mehran died Nov. 26 at his home in Atherton after a short illness. He was 93.

"Masud Mehran was one of one or two of the most prominent city fathers," said San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson. "His purchase of Bishop Ranch and the subsequent development of the business park have had a huge influence on the direction of San Ramon and the quality of life of San Ramon."

Originally from Tehran, Mehran was one of the first large-scale developers in the area. In the early 1950s, he founded Sunset Development and originally built homes in Livermore.

He then embarked on a larger project in Livermore, SunsetTown -- a community of 4,000 homes, 500 apartments and more than 120,000 feet of office space, along with retail stores, schools and churches. That provided homes for the thousands of young workers at Lawrence Livermore and Sandia Labs.

By the 1970s, Sunset Development had become one of the largest home-builders in California.

But it is for the work following that he may be most remembered. In 1978, Mehran bought nearly 600 acres in what at the time was an orchard in a rural area and began to develop what was one of the largest business parks of its day -- Bishop Ranch.

In the following 35 years, Mehran built Bishop Ranch into a world-class office complex, attracting Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike.

Today, Bishop Ranch is 10 million feet of office space housing companies that employ more than 35,000 people. Among the major tenants are Chevron, AT&T and General Electric, to name a few, and Sunset Development remains a private, family-run enterprise.

Bishop Ranch is currently being run by his son, Alex, and his grandson, Alexander Jr.

Services will be held at 4 p.m. Dec. 6, at Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St, San Francisco.

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