Crews started demolition work earlier this month at the site of the planned City Center Bishop Ranch, a retail project that developers, local officials and other supporters hope will give San Ramon a true downtown.
The design for the new complex calls for 300,000 square feet of retail space consisting of about 75 stores, several restaurants and a 10-screen movie theater around a one-acre piazza, replacing the office buildings that made up Bishop Ranch 2 at the central San Ramon business park.
"We're thrilled to begin creating the long-anticipated City Center Bishop Ranch, starting with the demolition of BR2," said Alexander Mehran, Jr., president and COO of Sunset Development Co., which owns Bishop Ranch.
"We look forward to creating a beautiful and vibrant live, work, play environment for the employees and residents of Bishop Ranch, San Ramon and the entire East Bay community," he added in a statement.
Sunset officials said they estimate demolition work could last another couple weeks and they hope the City Center retail complex will be completed by May 2018.
They see the project's design concept, by award-winning architectural firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop, as "a reinvention of the American suburban shopping center," according to a company statement.
Located toward the south end of the Bishop Ranch along Bollinger Canyon Road, the City Center project also includes a planned second phase consisting of 487 apartment units, a 169-room hotel and another 50,000 square feet of retail space, plus another piazza facing the first-phase complex. The latter project would follow 18 months later, according to Sunset officials.