If you live on the north end of Walnut Creek, west of Interstate 680: Which would you prefer to see replace that blighted eyesore known as the old Co-op site?
A new mixed-used housing/retail complex? Or a new grocery store?
What’s best for the city overall? More housing, including affordable housing? Or more commercial space—including this new grocery store and parking lot?
Under a new proposal, there won’t be any new housing going up on that site along Geary Road, near North Main Street.
The very busy developer, Hall Equities Group (the company has two other major developments in the pipeline in Walnut Creek that I know of), has proposed razing the old Co-op at 1510 Geary Road and putting up a new commercial complex. Three buildings, totaling around 34,000-square feet, would go up only on a little more than 2-1/2 acres. The new grocery store would be about 25,000 square feet.
Hall Equities has filed a "pre-application request" for the project, asking for a General Plan amendment. The site, which consists of two parcels put together, is designated for "mixed-use residential." Hall Equities needs that land use designation to change to "commercial." The City Council is to review this General Plan amendment request at its meeting Tuesday night.
The Co-op closed down in the 1970s, and has been vacant ever since, according to a Community Development staff report. Development of the site has been complicated by height restrictions imposed by Measure A. A new structure there can only be 20 feet high, a restriction that city staff says limits its potential as a site for a new housing complex.
The report says:
“In many ways, the project site would be an excellent location for residential or mixed use development. It is large enough to accommodate a medium-density residential development, 22 to 30 units per acre. It is close to BART and near existing residential multi-family and senior housing.”
By the way, I don’t remember ever going to that Co-op when I was growing up in Walnut Creek. Kind of out of our way. But wasn’t there a Co-op in the spot where Ross Dress for Less is now? I have vague memories of that…