Danville council looking to buy property next to Village Theatre

Nearly $6 million purchase would aim to increase public parking downtown

The Danville Town Council is set to consider spending $5.85 million Tuesday night to acquire an office building site on Front Street next to the Village Theatre and Art Gallery with the goal of adding more than 100 new public parking spots at the downtown property.

Buying 279 Front St. -- 34,848 square feet overall, including a 12,652-square-foot office building -- would give the town the chance to own four properties in a row on the west side of the downtown street, with the Village Theatre, Town Meeting Hall and Front Street Park completing the chain.

"Acquisition of this property is consistent with the town's ongoing plans and efforts to expand the supply of public parking available to serve businesses within the core downtown area," Town Manager Joe Calabrigo wrote in his staff report to the council.

The move is the first step "in a process that will include studying, designing and constructing additional parking on this site" that is expected to increase the capacity of the theater's public parking lot from 69 spots to approximately 200 spaces, Calabrigo said.

He did not specify what the town's plans are for the office building at 279 Front St., currently occupied by The Law Offices of Gagen McCoy.

Town officials learned the property would be available for purchase as a result of ongoing talks with the owners, according to Calabrigo. The council discussed the issue in closed session twice last month and authorized staff to make an offer Aug. 25.

The town's $5.8 million offer was accepted by the property owners, according to Calabrigo, who estimates another $50,000 will be required for associated inspection, escrow and closing costs. The acquisition will be paid for by the town's capital improvement program general purpose revenue fund.

The 279 Front St. property purchase is listed on the council's six-item consent agenda for Tuesday night's regular meeting, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 201 Front St. The consent agenda is a collection of items deemed routine and voted upon all at once unless pulled for separate discussion.

In other business

The council will present a proclamation to the Danville Aces -- a 13-year-old youth baseball all-star team from Danville and Tassajara Valley Little Leagues -- in recognition of their performance in the Little League Intermediate World Series this summer.

The Danville Aces went 2-2 in the international tournament played in Livermore July 31 to Aug. 7.

Dick Heron, representing the Friends of the San Ramon Creek, will update the council on the Walnut Creek watershed.

The council will also hear reports on the town's Arts Commission and Planning Commission.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


13 people like this
Posted by Danville resident
a resident of Danville
on Sep 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm

$44,274.81 a parking spot?
That the worst distribution of town money I've ever read about.
Horrible return on investment

11 people like this
Posted by Another Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2016 at 6:31 am

Ahh, but you rarely value a real asset at its cash value. If you take your $44,274.81 per additional parking spot and divide it into a conservative 20 year asset life, it becomes $2,213 per year for 20 years (for the accounting types, I didn't apply an interest rate nor did I calculate a NPV). The additional parking to support a vibrant downtown commercial/retail district probably yields more than $2,213 per space per year in economic benefit to the community. Just a different way at looking at the town's proposed investment...

9 people like this
Posted by Johnwski
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2016 at 7:26 am

$5.8 million for less than 1 acre? Owners appear to be getting a good deal.

24 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2016 at 8:38 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

$6 million bucks for less than one acre? That’s $172 a square foot. Is that what land costs in Downtown Danville nowadays?

This one’s tough for me.

As a fiscal tightwad, I hate government spending, especially commercial spending. Why should taxpayers pay for something that primarily benefits downtown businesses? Isn’t that crony capitalism? If businesses think their customers need more parking, why don’t businesses pay for it?

Why should downtown businesses get a government hand out?

Also, why does the Town Council favor downtown businesses over other Danville businesses? For example, did taxpayers pay for the parking lot at Blackhawk Plaza? Or at The Rose Garden Shopping Center?

On the other hand, I love downtown. Have you been there on a Friday or Saturday night lately? Having a downtown makes Danville a nicer place to live. It’s like having parks, trails, museums, libraries, etc. They’re expensive luxuries that improve our quality of life. They require adequate parking.

But should taxpayers pay for it?

11 people like this
Posted by Edge
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2016 at 8:59 am

As a downtown resident I can appreciate the need for more parking. My question, is this the true intent for the property? Having all that property in one parcel gives the town much flexibility. Don't think every developer isn't thinking of how to get the town to trade that land for something else. It may be they build the town facilities elsewhere, or something else. We just had section 8 housing shoved down our throat recently and I certainly didn't think I would be neighbors with that. A relative went through that experience in Natomis in Sac. Four years later she had to sell her house due to the increase in vandalism, theft, and 24/7 volume of people coming through. When you buy a nice home and four years later have police helicopters telling you to lock your doors and stay inside, things have changed.

I would like to see something that prohibits the town from taking the property and swapping it out for development of any other type. We may all get behind the use for parking, but seeing low income housing go in there, or something else is something that should be a vote of the people.

9 people like this
Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2016 at 9:04 am

There is more and more commerical retail building going on in Danville and there are more and more empty retail spaces! Just take a look sometime. There are at least two empty spaces in the building next to Lunardi's and now they are building that large monstrosity across the street! No parking of course, just all building. How do these developers get away with that? Now town wants to buy a perfectly good commerical building for more parking. Why don't they build a 2nd story on the parking lot in the Clock Tower? It will continue to get more and more crowded. Try to park at Trader Joe's during the day. They are packed and it is because of allowing new buildings without parking on site like where Sideboard is and the new one next door. Wait until the Brewery is open. Parking lot across street will be packed full.

7 people like this
Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2016 at 9:40 am

I agree with the previous posts. There has to be a balance between additional retail development and parking places.
At some point saturation is reached of one or the other. Intelligent planning is required to attain the proper balance.

2 people like this
Posted by guynextdoor
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm

As a resident, homeowner and taxpayer how will I benefit from further development in Danville? For discussion's sake, if anyone, who will benefit?

8 people like this
Posted by Edge
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2016 at 4:22 pm


As to who will benefit, we all hopefully benefit in many ways, but not everyone agrees with the right way to do it. As Danville becomes more sought after property values go up meaning the investment in your home is well protected and hopefully growing. It's proximity to a thriving downtown area that is an element other towns can't offer much of. Tax revenues increase allowing for more work projects and benefits to who lives here.

On the low income housing, some may claim there's benefit in tax revenue, I was disagree. Very little extra income to spread around town. I'm sure it sounds nice in some people's fairytale that everyone lives next door and all get along. Going back, people have worked hard to EARN the right to live in nicer communities that they chose. They wanted to live where there is a lower crime element, better schools, and someplace where they could feel comfortable letting their kids play outside. Now the federal government is incentivizing local governments to change the model. It's as though everyone feels entitled. That it's unfair that some can afford to live here and some can't and therefore the government needs to step in and level the playing field. Well there's a Darwinian aspect to this. Those who work hard and achieve, will have that ability to live here. Those who don't, might not. How is that possibly wrong? It's only wrong if you have a victim mentality and believe that those who work less and contribute less deserve the same quality of life as those who are working hard.

Like this comment
Posted by guynextdoor
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2016 at 4:35 pm


Thanks. My question was concerning the high density housing developments and the recent controversial infill projects. The answer should come from the Town Council.

Like this comment
Posted by dbrower
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 20, 2016 at 5:37 pm

Seems expensive, but it's closer to downtown than some other locations that have been discussed. To make a real dent in demand, it should probably be double-decked.

It'd be real useful to have some "value" numbers available for the discussion.

2 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Danville
on Sep 21, 2016 at 8:45 am

Leaving this town soon

Like this comment
Posted by jojo
a resident of Danville
on Sep 21, 2016 at 3:33 pm

And another reason for them not to upgrade streets to code and add sidewalks to make the town safer and enjoy for the people who live on the westside.. Such as West El Pintado which was promised 10 years ago and still waiting..

Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Sep 21, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Not to worry Jojo. We'll get our sidewalks when the high density townhouse project next to 400 El Cerro goes in. In the meantime the speed bump will keep you safe.

Like this comment
Posted by Commercial property owner
a resident of Danville
on Sep 23, 2016 at 8:56 am

To Mr. Glates and those who like his comments, please be aware that in most cases, developers of properties in downtown PAY THE TOWN for parking spaces they do not provide on site. These developer funds go into a pool that the Town then uses to purchase properties. Hence the funds spent by the town to purchase parking come in part from developers. And in many cases those same private interests, the commercial property owners, provide parking to visitors at the property owner's expense while those customers visit restaurants, etc, who have not onsite parking.

Louise, the attempt by the town to build a parking structure in the clocktower lot was overturned about a decade ago by a property owner bordering that lot who collected enough signatures to get the town to change their plans.

As for the question of how do property developers get away with providing no parking, it is entirely determined by what their negotiations with the town produce. The town must approve or deny what the developer does.

If you have not seen it, the town is conducting a survey and seeks input from everyone about their shopping experiences and desires. See It is a good place to make your views heard. Of course you can also call the town to ask their rationale for what they are allowing to happen downtown, or better, attend a council meeting and stand up and ask your questions. There is always an open period for the public to bring up questions and concerns.

2 people like this
Posted by If only...
a resident of Danville
on Sep 24, 2016 at 1:42 pm

If only there were a way for you all to go express your concerns. Like, at, say, the Town Council meeting identified in the article...

Like this comment
Posted by Beverly
a resident of Danville
on Sep 26, 2016 at 8:18 am

For years there was a mortuary at 279 Front Street. The law offices left the driveway on the side next to the Village Theatre.
And the Danville Grammar School was also to the rear of this property.
What will the Town do to remember these important community buildings?

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Danville

on Sep 26, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Like this comment
Posted by Joey B
a resident of Danville
on Oct 11, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Anymore news on this?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Differentiating Grief from Clinical Depression
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,630 views

Jammed BART trains demand innovative thinking moving forward
By | 9 comments | 1,081 views