Appeal on Transit Village proposal for Block C development activities as of June 20th

Post date: Jun 20, 2015 8:3:39 PM

Since the appeal was filed, Walden board members have met with Supervisors Candace Anderson, Karen Mitchoff, Bart director Gail Murray, and Mark Farrar of Millenium Partners.  Our message has been the same to each.  Make Block C condos or condo-ready.  Reduce the density and increase the unit footprints.  Reduce the height of the building to the 2004 plan of 4 stories.  Walden President Jeffrey Peckham also joined Donna Gerber and Peter Katz (original consultant brought in for the Charrette process) who came and testified to the BART Board of Directors in public comment session on June 11th.  Donna reiterated the promises that were made by herself and Dan Richard who was the relevant BART director at the time of the Charrette.  Peter Katz, who flew across the country at his own cost, testified to the importance of for-sale townhouses as a key component of the Village.  The Walden Board deeply appreciates Donna and Peter's commitment to helping Walden with their support.  In addition, Donna arranged to have a developer testify - who flew up at their own cost - to tell the BART Board that he has developed transit-oriented condominium projects recently with great success in Southern California.  He offered to work with the JPA to design and build a project of the same kind if the exclusive agreement with Millenium Partners was not renewed.  Walden thanks Michael Dieden of Creative Housing Associates for his time and effort in supporting our cause.  

Unfortunately, the BART Board subsequently voted in closed session to continue the exclusive negotiation with Millenium for another year.  However, Director Murray was able to persuade the board to encourage 'staff to have Millenium Partners map the units to be Condo-ready.'  

In the meeting with Supervisor Mitchoff on June 15th, board members Jeffrey, Leo, and Larry discussed many issues in Walden's area, including Block C.  While Supervisor Mitchoff declined to comment on her position due to the legal nature of the appeal process, a healthy discussion nonetheless ensued.  Minutes of that meeting will be posted separately here as soon as the board members and Mitchoff's staff  have reviewed them. It was confirmed that the appeal will be heard on either July 21st or 28th.  We will post it here once we have the date.  

In meeting with Millenium Partners on June 19th, board members Jeffrey and Leo discussed the proposal again in the town square, which was full of people enjoying the food trucks, music, and craft beer that occurs every friday now.  We visited their latest new business in Block A, where the new owners were putting finishing touches on their new Peruvian Restaurant Parada.  We encourage everyone to stop by this next Monday - Wednesday evening for their 'soft opening' to enjoy the new space and food.  The restaurant opens officially on Thursday June 25th at the corner of Sunne Ln and Treat, has both indoor and outdoor seating.