WALNUT CREEK -- After years of talking about it, the city finally sold the lot at the corner of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Main Street for $2.6 million.
Some call the pricey real estate at this intersection "Cadillac corner," because it's at the center of the downtown where Neiman Marcus, Tiffany's and Pottery Barn stand tall -- not to be outdone by the Apple store and Nordstrom nearby. But the city-owned northwest corner of the intersection is home to only a small 15-space parking lot next to La Fogata Restaurant.
Soon that will no longer be the case, because the City Council last week voted unanimously to sell the parcel to B. H. Development, which will build a restaurant/retail shop on the site. B.H. beat out Davidson & Licht Jewelers and Patson Companies in February to acquire the lot, but the details and contract were approved this month.
Details of the sale include:
The council wants this corner to be a connection between the traditional downtown to the north and the
"The appraised value was $1.9 million, but this was not an auction for the highest bid; this was part of the implementation of the specific plan," he said. "But we did get far in exceeding the appraised value." The 6,265-square-foot site will likely be home to a two-story copper building with a retail store opening to the corner and on the west side a restaurant with a rooftop terrace and large windows, said Brian Hirahara of B.H. Development in February. At that time he speculated that the restaurant may serve Spanish tapas or be a farm-to-table eatery. There will likely be a vegetable and herb garden on the roof, planters along Mt. Diablo Boulevard with benches and a 3-D "green wall" made of plants in the restaurant lobby.
In an e-mail Tuesday, Hirahara said he didn't want to guess when construction on the site could begin, as the actual approval for the building still must go through the city process.
Hirahara has a long track record in Walnut Creek that includes the "Corner's Project," which sits across the street from 1500 Mt. Diablo Blvd., housing Tiffany's, Apple, Tommy Bahama and Va de Vi Bistro.
Revenue from the sale, after the broker is paid, will be used based on the city's newly adopted "One Time Resources Policy," according to an agenda report. The council signed on to this policy during the last budget adoption; basically, it calls for unexpected one-time revenue be used to fund capital, infrastructure and technology needs.
Contact Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617. Follow her at Twitter.com/enardi10.