Downtown Village Marketplace Development Moves Forward
City Council Approves Property Sale
On May 21, the San Leandro City Council, serving in its capacity as the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency, unanimously approved a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) with developer Innisfree Ventures II authorizing the sale of 1550 East 14th Street for development of the Village Marketplace retail center.
A Mediterranean-style retail center of roughly 28,000 square feet consisting of superior construction materials and incorporating public art, Village Marketplace will be anchored by specialty grocer Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market with an adjacent Peet's Coffee & Tea and Chipotle Mexican Grill. The project also includes an AT&T retail store and a full-service sit-down restaurant. The tenant for the restaurant will be announced at a future date. Read the full press release here.
"Village Marketplace will help revitalize our downtown by converting a large parking lot into an attractive focal point for shopping, dining or simply having a cup of coffee and enjoying conversation with friends and neighbors," stated Mayor Stephen Cassidy. "By bringing more residents and visitors to San Leandro's downtown, Village Marketplace will positively impact surrounding restaurants and retail shops, as well as create 500 temporary construction jobs, over 110 permanent new jobs, and generate nearly $850,000 in annual total tax revenue that will be divided among the state, county, our schools and city."
Economic and Community Benefits of Village Marketplace
The $8 million construction project will create 113 permanent jobs and 500 construction jobs, over $100,000 in annual sales tax revenue to San Leandro and $650,000 to the state and county. The property tax revenue expected to be generated from the development on an annual basis for taxing agencies is estimated to be of approximately $97,500. The DDA includes a local hire provision to promote the use of local construction trades so local businesses can benefit from the 500 construction jobs.
City staff worked closely with Innisfree and the community in the development of the project, starting with creation of the Transit Oriented Development Strategy for our downtown, followed by a downtown retail web survey and a retail attraction letter writing campaign. The Village Marketplace project includes the following features:
- Quality retailers and a specialty grocery store
- Outdoor dining opportunities and a generous plaza for people to gather
- Retail activity along East 14th Street with parking behind the buildings
- Superior architecture, building materials, landscaping and a public art component
- $500,000 in off-site improvements, to be funded by the developer
In addition to an engaging and attractive water feature in the plaza, Village Marketplace will include public art in the form of a large mural along the east parking lot wall. Kaiser Permanente, during demolition at the former Lucky distribution center on Merced, discovered a large Raymond Loewy mural of a repeating design of identical 4’ by 4’ painted metal panels. Kaiser had the foresight to salvage the mural and place the tiles in storage. Kaiser generously offered the mural to the City. Village Marketplace, home to the first Lucky store, is an ideal opportunity to display the tiles. Not only is there the connection with Lucky, but Raymond Loewy represents industry which is an import part of San Leandro’s past, present and future. Loewy is a famous industrial designer known for designing the Cola-Cola bottle, the Studebaker logo and the Avanti passenger car, the Coldspot refrigerator and much more. Innisfree has agreed to pay for reinstallation of the Loewy tiles and creation of a new mural and will work in collaboration with the San Leandro Arts Council on the design and installation.
Because the property was owned by the San Leandro Redevelopment Agency, which was dissolved due to changes in State law on February 1, 2012, the DDA also need approval from the former Redevelopment Agency’s Oversight Board. The Oversight Board voted 6-0 in favor of the transaction on May 23.
Background on the Site
In 1947, the first Lucky grocery store was opened on the site. In September 2005 the grocery store, which had changed to an Albertsons, closed due to underperformance. Norcal, the property owner, installed a chain link fence around the property which sat blighted for four years until the City of San Leandro Redevelopment Agency purchased the site in 2009. The City then constructed a temporary replacement parking lot to be used during construction of the downtown parking garage. With garage construction wrapping up, the timing of the Village Marketplace is ideal.