For perspective, I asked Pamela Ott, the economic development director for the city, to track building permits over the past 10 years. Thanks to Pamela and the folks in the building department for the information.
Of note, the city has not approved for occupancy a significant rental apartment complex since the apartments on the Bernal property opened in 2002. Prior to that was the major Archstone complex in Hacienda Business Park. That’s more than a decade without additional rental housing.
Jobs in the city show an interesting trend. The high point for jobs was 2006 at 58,874. When the recession started to take hold that number dropped by 5,001 in 2007 and went down for two more years to a low of 51,374 before starting to climb back up.
The number for 2014 (the last complete year) was 55,074, still 3,500 jobs below the peak in 2006. Given the tightened commercial real estate market, next year the job numbers may surpass the 2006 peak.
The number of “finaled” building permits (meaning a building was ready for occupancy) peaked in 2006 at 508 and then plummeted to 52, 122, 55, 40, 48, 81, 33, respectively over the next several years. The minimal numbers in the last four years took place as jobs were growing.
This year, through October, there have been 408 units readied for occupancy. The majority of those (346) were senior apartments. It was dribble drabs for others—25 in large-lot single-family and 26 in small-lot, single-family.
The surprisingly bottom line is despite minimal new housing (this will change over the next two years as the new rental complexes come online), the jobs/housing balance did not change appreciably over the last 10 years.
Of course, the demand for housing did, driven by the rapid job growth in the Silicon Valley, on the peninsula and in San Francisco. It’s not likely that many San Francisco tech workers would want to live in the valley, but Pleasanton, Dublin and San Ramon are excellent communities for families looking for quality education and a suburban lifestyle.
As tough as the traffic is on Interstate 680, it’s a drive many people will make to enjoy a Tri-Valley lifestyle.