SARANAP VILLAGE: SITE BY SITE
Building A: The Heart of the Village
Note: This building consists of retail, residential, and parking areas. You’ll probably find it easier to visualize the interrelationship of these spaces if you refer to the architect’s elevations (front, side, and back views) and floor plans for the building as you read the article. (Click here to download the floor plans. Click here to download the elevations.) See the note about the elevations and floor plans at the end of this article.
MAY 13—The building on Site A would be the heart of Saranap Village, directly facing the proposed roundabout at the Boulevard Way–Saranap Avenue intersection. It comprises what are today the vacant lot, the Sandpiper Apartments and the single-family house next to them on Saranap Avenue, and two office buildings and their shared parking lot east of the vacant lot on Boulevard Way. Covering 63,917 square feet of land area, this is the largest of the four parcels that make up the development. The new building would consist of 155,147 square feet of residential units and 30,099 square feet of commercial space.
At street level along Boulevard Way would be the 15,500-square-foot specialty grocery store, the 625-square-foot “micro-bank,” the lobby for the fitness club, and the apartment building lobby and leasing office. The grocery store would have outdoor seating for those who buy ready-made meals. Mark Hall, the President and CEO of Hall Equities Group (HEG), the developer, reports that his company is in talks with potential tenants for the grocery store, fitness center, and bank.
The 14,000-square-foot fitness club would be located on three levels above the ground floor and would be open to Village residents and the public. An outdoor pool and spa for club members and residents of the building would be situated at the first level of residential units.
All the residential units in the building – 143 studio and one-, two-, three-bedroom apartments – would be rentals. Behind the high-ceilinged retail area would be the second and third of three levels of parking. (The first would be under ground.) Five levels of apartments would be built above the parking structure, set back from the street, so from Boulevard Way this would appear to be a six-story building – retail on the ground floor and five floors of apartments rising behind it – though technically it would be seven. (See the west elevation.)
The parking plan for Building A calls for 391 stalls, a figure Hall says is “consistent with county requirements and well in excess" of City of Walnut Creek requirements. These would be distributed over three levels.
Fitness center patrons and visitors to the apartments would park on the upper level, which they would access from Saranap Avenue. Residents of the building would use the same entrance, but once inside they would take a ramp to the basement, which would be exclusively for their use. Customers of the grocer and bank would park at street level via an entrance on Boulevard Way. Visitors to the apartments could also park on this level, which would be the middle of the three floors of parking.
There would be no “internal circulation” to other floors from the Boulevard Way entrance, Hall notes. “Adequate and controlled and parking are critical to the success of the grocer, so we need to prohibit access to that level from residents of the complex and patrons of the fitness center.”
Elevations and Floor Plans
Available for downloading below are PDFs of the elevations and floor plans for Building A that were included in a March mailing by the Department of Conservation and Development about the scoping hearing on the Saranap Village environmental impact report.
The actual design has been modified somewhat since these were submitted to the county by HEG, but they give you a general idea what this building would look like. Hall explains that these plans were suitable for preparing the environmental impact report, and adds that there will likely be small adjustments to the design right up to the point of the vote by the board of supervisors.
Since these PDFs were reduced from 30-by-42-inch originals, you’ll need to enlarge them in your browser or PDF viewer to see the detail and read the text.
The west elevation shows what it would look like from across Boulevard Way. The south elevation shows what the building would look like from across Saranap Avenue.