Town Square

Post a New Topic

San Ramon: City Center Bishop Ranch is open for business

Original post made on Nov 10, 2018

After decades of planning and about 18 months of construction, San Ramon finally has a central community gathering place as the long-anticipated City Center in Bishop Ranch is officially open for business.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 9, 2018, 12:18 PM

Comments (31)

Posted by Huh?
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 10, 2018 at 6:38 am

Maybe it's me but driving by it looks like a big box that could have been a Walmart. Once inside you are literally inside and isolated from the view of the hills and surrounding beauty of the valley and Mt Diablo.
Oh, and have have fun getting there by anything other than your car. With the now affordable e-bike option to get around the San Ramon hills what a great opportunity missed to install safe and effective bike lanes to get you to the City Center.

Posted by Dissapointed
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 10, 2018 at 8:04 am

While I'm excited about a few of the businesses,I'm rather dissapointed by the City Center as a whole. The industrial look does not fit in this community. I'm most dissapointed with the "grand piazza" reminicent of Italy that was promised, where large gatherings of the community can enjoy performances etc. The plaza immediately reminds me of a high school courtyard with about enough room for a kids birthday party, not communtity gatherings such as concerts in the park. I will frequent City Center but a downtown in San Ramon this is not, outdoor shopping mall is an appropriate description. Any new restaurants and entertainment in San Ramon is exciting though.

Posted by Peacer
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 10, 2018 at 1:44 pm

It's a shopping center. You don't just choose a spot to throw down a bunch of stores and restaurants, and call it downtown. Despite 20 years of hype and promises, we have a shopping center. Congratulations.

Posted by rb
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 10, 2018 at 1:51 pm

While I live walking distance from this new mall, I'm astounded the City of San Ramon did nothing to make this accessible and friendly to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. With all the construction and development, they couldn't have put nice sidewalks or bike lanes on Bollinger Canyon? This is the 21st Century and this is the best they can do? With the Iron Horse trail so close, it's staggering there isn't an easy way to walk or bike to the City Center. Major fail.

Posted by Tin can
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 10, 2018 at 2:54 pm

Looks like a tin can. Very ugly, looks like a prison. Bad time to open with very few stores and no place to eat. Someone said it's pretty at night...too bad they didn't put any effort into what it looks like during the day.

Posted by SR resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm

As a San Ramon resident, I am happy to have this place. Surrounding landscape is magnificent. But it structure could have been better. I don’t want luxury this and luxury that. Small and clean cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants should have been the main idea.

Posted by SR resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 11, 2018 at 3:11 pm

Went to the city center today and was very disappointed. All high end stores most of which I've never heard of. Most stores opening in 2019. Looks like the opening was rushed for the holidays and other than the beer spot everything else was dead. More of a shopping mall than a downtown. The look is very industrial with a lot of empty space.

Posted by SR-Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 12, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Visited this weekend and was very underwhelmed. The shops that are open are high-end boutiques with very little merchandise and very large price tags. I predict that in less than a year, they will all close and be replaced. Did anyone survey San Ramon residents to see what stores we would want? Are we really in need of shops that sell $1,500 jackets? The crowd of residents that were there yesterday did NOT look like the buyers that would be shopping in such stores. I would have suggested a Trader Joe's and Barnes and Noble as anchors, and then a Yoga studio, and a coffee shop with game boards for people to gather and play Scrabble, chess, etc. What about a shop where cooking lessons are featured? And a cinema that plays more artsy films (ala The Vine in Livermore)? What about a news stand where people can purchase newspapers from around the world and connect with others who are like-minded? What about an art gallery with exhibits that change out monthly? There are so many unique and community bonding possibilities. They are all overlooked. I feel like I've been there, seen it, and have no need to go back. I would recommend taking a few steps back and re-assessing the plans.

Posted by Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 13, 2018 at 3:22 pm

Underwhelming architecture. It looks like the offspring from the mating of an old Boeing aircraft assembly building and a 1948 Wurlitzer jukebox. But what can you expect from an "architect" named Piano-----anybody ever read the script from the Music Man?, a slick talker waltzes into town & sells a town full of rubes on his grandiose idea.

None of the over priced stores have the kind of things I would buy. One furniture store even had a "log end table" for $300-, that was nothing more than a chain saw cut section of an old log sprayed with varnish. The central plaza is stark & Spartan, not a place to spend time in.

Posted by Kerri
a resident of Danville
on Nov 13, 2018 at 10:18 pm

Gorgeous! Such a great center. Thank you for giving us more options locally.

Posted by Live here
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 15, 2018 at 7:07 am

Why can’t people give this place a chance to be successful?
It is brand new . Not totally open.
It is not just for San Ramon area resudents.
Located off freeway 680,, it’s access is for everyone.
Don’t like it.?.Go to discount stores. They are all around.

Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Danville
on Nov 15, 2018 at 7:24 am

Rather than a San Ramon City Center this appears to be Sunset Development, Bishop Ranch shopping complex. I hope the appearance improves in time, but for now the outside looks like a big box and the interior looks like a prison yard. I wonder if the City will get any share of the rent revenue or just the sales tax dollars. Maybe San Ramon should be renamed the “City of Bishop Ranch”!

Posted by Local Dude >30 years in SR
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 15, 2018 at 10:52 am

Agreed...very underwhelmed. I have been to Italy, I know what a piazza looks and feels like and this big box with overpriced retail does not have it. Wait to comment until it is fully open...what will change? And for the record I thought it was going to be the San Ramon City Center. When did Bishop Ranch get added to the name. Oh that's right it is Mehran's shopping mall not the city of San Ramon's. What a waste of money what an eye sore. Missed this one by a country mile.

Posted by Nelly
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 16, 2018 at 11:17 am

I personally applaud the total and complete Orange County-ization of the valley. Thanks to the hard-working bloodthirsty developers you've all breathlessly forked over tax breaks and incentives to, you fine folks now have the traffic, the noise, the tract homes, and the tacky rich people malls our neighbors to the south have been wallowing in for decades. Hip hip, hooray!

Posted by Stores too highend
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 17, 2018 at 1:57 pm

I think the only store I can afford in City Center is Starbucks. I can't believe movie tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for kids. Thank goodness we have Regal Crow Canyon. I went into one of the women's clothing stores and couldn't believe the sweaters there cost $300. While I live in San Ramon, I will never pay Blackhawk prices.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Nov 19, 2018 at 8:01 am

Who is making decisions in San Ramon? When I moved here San Ramon looked like a beautiful little town, now it looks like a wannabe city!

Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Nov 19, 2018 at 9:51 am

It’s cold, uninviting, pretentious and presumptuous. I love it.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Nov 19, 2018 at 10:56 am

What is the parking like? I’m guessing it’s only going to make the parking lot near whole foods in target even worse!

Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Nov 19, 2018 at 1:19 pm

We went last night and there was plenty of parking around the mall itself. I honestly don't think parking is going to be an issue. Especially right now because most the stores are empty.

Posted by How much for a movie?
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 20, 2018 at 5:57 pm

I was really only excited about The Lot, all of the other businesses are to high end for this area, went to buy movie tickets and holy crap! The movie theater is to high end too, definitely cannot afford tickets there. We'll stick with Crow Canyon Cinemas and even Blackhawk is cheaper. The Developers obviously did'nt look into the demographic of the area....Equinox? Really? Thats a way overpriced gym for 20 year olds looking to hook up, just look at their marketing. At first thought there wouldnt be enough parking but since most people cannot afford any business there, parking should not be a problem. Rather dissapointed about the whole place, the look doesnt fit either.

Posted by Bob
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Nov 20, 2018 at 6:50 pm

The exterior walls of the development would be a "Natural" for big bill boards. It will complete the commercial appeal.

Posted by Billy Regolium
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 23, 2018 at 8:35 am

Wow - prior comments are from the entitled Millennials and Berkeley tree-huggers. Didn't know there were so many of the sub-species in San Ramon. What a bunch of whiners, saying in effect, "Nothing is good enough for me".

I suppose they should shop in Berkeley where there is no parking, but mile after mile of unused bike lanes and slow buses to nowhere. Yup, go to hippie land where the shops are not clean, services are perfunctory and everyone expects a tip via their impersonal payment apps.

My family and I love City Center and the nearby Whole Foods Market and Target. Great addition to our family-oriented neighborhood.

Posted by Chris
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 23, 2018 at 2:33 pm

I suppose residents have no right to complain, eh Billy? Love it or leave it. Typical response from someone who doesn't share the same opinions.

Posted by Sardine Can
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 24, 2018 at 7:59 am

We love the architecture!



Posted by BillyGoat
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 26, 2018 at 1:42 pm

It's obvious Billy above has never been to Berkeley. Unused bike lanes and buses to nowhere? Really dude?!!! You sound like an out-of-touch elitist like Trump who mocks country southerners like Sessions for their accent.

Posted by That's A Christmas Tree?
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 28, 2018 at 1:25 pm

It is me or is anyone annoyed they (Bishop Ranch and Sunset Properties) moved the Christmas Tree here. It is half the size and COMPLETELY boring. Plus you cannot see it unless you are in and only during open hours of the mall. Also, no other tree lights..remember when the trees on Camino Ramon into BR1 where the tree has been were decked out in lights? Well no more.

Thanks Bishop Ranch/Sunset Properties for not thinking of the residents, downsizing Christmas and making it boring.

Posted by Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 29, 2018 at 3:41 pm

To: Billy Regolium, You love Whole Foods so much, I bet you love to buy their small boxed apple pie for $20-, a rip off, since the same size & quality apple pie can be purchased at Trader Joes for $7-. Bet you just like being seen purchasing way overpriced items by others in your "class".

Posted by Developer resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 15, 2018 at 1:57 pm

I've lived in San Ramon for 15 years and in the Diablo Valley for over 35 years . I was so looking forward to Citycentre as the centerpiece of San Ramon as it was touted to be . I'm a commercial developer who has long admired the quality of development in Bishop Ranch as one of the premier business parks in the US . Citycentre is an absolute disaster as a retail center, IMO. All previous comments criticizing are supported by me. No individual identity for the retailers , boring, uniform mechanical looking storefronts , and poor signage identity. I'm not sure the center can be saved, but certainly wish them the best for the developers, as well as for San Ramon.

Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 17, 2018 at 9:22 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Went to what is the only draw for me and that is the The Lot movie theater. Very nice movie joint, but overpriced for sure. I was kinda surprised there is no entrance from Bollinger. Parked in the garage and was slightly annoyed there is very little indication on which way to go to get 'in'. Of course, I picked wrong by going down, when I could have just gone around the corner and hidden is a hallway to the 2nd floor. Found that after the fact. Why on earth are the walkways so wide? Don't think there will ever be a crowd there. For more tables? Seems like a lot of wasted space. Many of the tenants look very very temporary?
And boy, when it rains this place will be empty (except for movie goers).
And yeah, a very ugly new mall from outside. Might be nice when all the restaurants etc are actually open. Will try the The Lot again, but gee whiz on the 'convenience' fee of $3.

Posted by Veronica Focus
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 23, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Wow this place is so pretentious. A bunch of clothing stores no one has ever heard of that have like 3 sweaters inside ranging in size from 2 to 4. Probably cost like 900 dollars each. I miss the days when retail hangouts meant book stores, and record stores and places that were fun to browse. All the furniture stores were super boring too. So much grey. Didn’t get a chance to try the restaurants but I don’t like waiting an hour to eat somewhere noisy and over-crowded just because it’s trendy. Also everyone had to back their bmw suv into spots in the parking garage to show how cool they are. Is this what San Ramon is now? I’d rather hit Car-tans then get a burger at A and W and go for a skate at the Golden Skate. Who’s with me?

Posted by Alamoaner
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 26, 2018 at 9:09 am

The LOT (who thought That was a good name?) was a whole LOT of awful on our one visit before Xmas. The service was incompetent, but at least they were snooty.

Two registers, two upscale-looking workers* at one, both studiously ignoring the other register, and the line forming there, while puzzling over an unrelated customer problem and not making a LOT of progress. One ticket taker, doing not a LOT since no one was selling tickets, but who refused to abandon her deserted post to help with actual ticket sales. One sort of supervisor-looking fellow (his extra snooty air convinced us he's Management) wandered past, took a cursory look at the two-person register ... and kept walking.

We expressed surprise at the $17/ticket fee - but, they said, since we're seniors (not their target demographic, I'm guessing), that would only be $30 (not a LOT of a discount). They also eventually offered that we could get a free admission if we took out a membership (for What? - a whole LOT of nuthin'). So we filled out their form on our phones and presented the result. Oh no, they said - that's only good the Next time you come. A LOT of nerve, I'd say. What makes you think there'll be a next time, I asked? They couldn't solve that problem, either, although it may have been for a simple lack of trying.

Complete waste of time, and money. Good luck with our membership, folks. We are unimpressed - a LOT.

* that probably should have tipped us off - I generally prefer my movie theater staff to be earnest, underage and wearing a faded, ill-fitting uni.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

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

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

It’s ‘International Being You’ Day
By Chandrama Anderson | 27 comments | 2,313 views

How quickly will we electrify our homes?
By Sherry Listgarten | 4 comments | 1,271 views

How muddled are the Pleasanton council's priorities
By Tim Hunt | 5 comments | 1,125 views

Whereto for birthday celebrations
By Deborah Grossman | 0 comments | 1,113 views

Expanding access to Yosemite's wonders
By Monith Ilavarasan | 5 comments | 963 views


2023 guide to summer camps

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer, learn something new and have fun? The Summer Camp Guide features local camps for all ages and interests.

Find Camps Here