A new transit village promises to help future Contra Costa County residents end their addiction to the automobile. Today BART, AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Millennium Partners and the County of Contra Costa broke ground on a new transit-oriented development at the Pleasant Hill Station. The extensive construction project will transform the parking lot into a multi-million dollar transit village where people will one day be able to reduce their dependence on their cars. That’s because the village will allow them to live, work, shop and play close to transit.
"Not only does the Pleasant Hill redevelopment project create a long term source of revenue for BART, it is sure to achieve all the benefits that transit-oriented projects bring to the community, the economy and the environment," BART Board President Gail Murray said. "Transit-oriented development projects promote cleaner ways to travel other than driving alone. By redeveloping the Pleasant Hill parking lot into a transit village, we preserve precious farmland and open space further out in the county and reduce air pollution from 450 families who will no longer have to depend on their cars.”
The project is the result of an innovative public/private joint real estate venture that serves as a model for transit-oriented development. The first phase began in March 2006 when the partners broke ground on a 1,547 space parking garage that opened last month. The structure replaces the surface lot dedicated to the redevelopment and includes 70 additional spaces for BART customers. The second phase includes over 450 apartments and 100 condominiums. As an added bonus, 20 percent of the apartment units will be affordable housing. In the third phase, the plan calls for a conference center and 270,000 square feet of office space.
The Pleasant Hill project will be one of the seven villages at or near BART property. Completed developments include transit villages at the South San Francisco, Richmond, El Cerrito del Norte and Fruitvale BART stations. There are also projects in development at the Union City and Dublin/Pleasanton stations as well as a village going up alongside the station under construction in west Dublin/Pleasanton.