Tax revenue, a shiny new Safeway store on a relatively neglected lot – complete with senior living center, gym, and open space. What’s not to like?
Final approval of the sprawling, multi-use development ironically named The Orchards after the legacy usage the project will replace came Tuesday evening as developers move to bring a 55,000 square-foot Safeway store, retail shops, restaurants, and health club to the 25-acre site at the corner of Ygnacio Valley and Oak Park roads.
Some neighbors expressed concern about what they see will be the inevitable increase in traffic along the already congested boulevard, and wags have pointed out that lovely architectural renderings and computer generated “fly throughs” of the project are remarkably free of the cars expected to pack the area once it is up and running.
Developers counter that they have packed the project with the sort of destination retail and necessary open space needed to ensure a positive shopping experience as well as a place for locals to gather and interact. The Orchards, expected to generate millions in tax revenue for Walnut Creek, not to mention jobs, has so far been looked on in a largely favorable light.