What’s going in to the corner where the trees were removed

Here you go, folks. Gayle Vassar, the city’s community relations manager, kindlly tracked this down for me.
Demolition is currently underway at South California Blvd. and Olympic Blvd. (near Alma Park) to make way for a new commercial development known as Centre Place. Hall Equities Group is redeveloping the two-acre commercial site currently known as California Plaza at 1231-1275 South California Boulevard. The project will include demolition of a 14,742 square-foot portion (~75%) of the existing one-story retail building (all but KFC/Baja Fresh), and construction of two new buildings totaling 17,707 square feet with retail, bank, and office uses at the north end of the site. Building #1 is a two-story, 13,157 square foot office/bank combination designed for a single tenant with the bank component on the first level and associated offices above. Building #2 is a one-story 4,550 square foot retail/restaurant building designed for one or more tenants.

Limited, additional work will include grading and re-landscaping within the City’s adjacent Alma Park. The developer will also enlarge, re-design, and re-landscape the entire Alma Park entryway plaza at the intersection of S. California and Olympic Boulevards. The plan includes new flat work with different paving materials and all new landscaping within a larger, more open plaza at the corner and possible artwork locations. Additional improvements include a wider throat within which a more linear, wider, and ADA accessible walkway would be created from the intersection up into the park. Park entrance improvements will include the removal of several mature pine trees.

So, that answered my question, which one reader said I should have asked before I printed my original post. Well, I did. Just near the time that office hours at the city were closing … Could I have waited? Did I violate good journalistic standards? Maybe I could have waited. Still mulling that one over. Maybe I violated journalistic standards.  Still mulling that over, too, and the question of whether certain journalistic standards have really served the public as well as claimed… Many big questions to be asking in the middle of the night.

Oh, and from the conceptual site plan, it doesn’t look like the builder is going to allow the widening of California Boulevard to make room for bicyclists. However, making California Boulevard more bike-friendly, if not with a whole, actual bike lane, is supposed to be a high priority for the city’s Bicycle Plan, as I reported earlier this week.

Of course, it’s already been debated and approved–and supposedly covered by the Contra Costa Times. Old news, right? So why did I ever bother to bring it up?  Just Crazy that way.

13 thoughts on “What’s going in to the corner where the trees were removed

  1. Goodbye pine trees, not big deal. The entrance at the corner looks very nice. Great job city planners!
    We need the bike lane. Also, good spot for an eatery near the threater…


  2. Centre Place? Do real estate developers really think that British spelling makes their places have more class? Just seems silly to me.

    Centre Pointe development in Concord and Contra Costa Centre at Pleasant Hill BART are two more current sillinesses.

    I say learn to spell and put in the bike lane.


  3. Opening up the park is a nice idea. I didn't even know it was there. I've seen the sign to “Alma Park” but I thought that was the name of the apartment complex.

    I'm surprised that anyone is moving forward on a major commercial project right now though but I'm happy for the people who are getting the construction jobs. Hopefully they're local (and legal) workers.


  4. People need to do their own research and fact-checking before asking an open question on a blog. Soccer Mom, Is it really that hard to call city hall?

    British spellings are allegedly classy… Yeah, right. Just like Billy Mays' buddy hawking junk like Jupiter Jacks, wonder mops, and tool buddys.


  5. It seems crazy that the city is missing this opportunity to put in one of the last sections of the bike lane along California – I wish I'd heard about this plan 6 months ago.

    Maybe the city could redeem themselves with a cycle path through the park…


  6. I don't ride a bike but it would sure be nice to have room for bikes on California, so I don't have to worry about not hitting them. Especially the kids.

    Was there any discussion in this plan about putting a bike lane in?


  7. I hope the three drunkards often spotted nearby with their bottles-in-bags don't start hanging out at this park now that it is more obvious from the street. I liked that it was a somewhat of a secret before.


  8. Sounds like an interesting project. But who knew?

    There's nothing wrong about asking the questions, especially given that trees are cut illegally all the time. One of the great things about blogs and online resources is that they can act as early warning systems.

    Most people don't know how to find or understand detailed planning documents, which are often related to parcel numbers and other obscure information. And information can be better distributed–in most jurisdictions in this County only neighboring property OWNERS within a few hundred feet are notified. In Seattle, for example, before a project starts the plans and a description of the project are posted at the project site so that people won't have to simply react.

    Thanks to Soccer Mom for keeping us informed, and to those who have posted additional information.


  9. No bike lane = travesty. What is the matter with this city? We have a fabulous down town with lots of places to sit outdoors on a nice summer day and have coffee or lunch but we have no safe way to get there on a bike.

    As a cyclist this makes me really sad.


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