We think we can safely say that after 30-plus years of deferred improvements and a “trapped in 1966” look and feel – Moraga’s Rheem Valley Shopping Center could use a little work.
If the owner of a significant portion of the center gets his way, future patrons may see signage-bearing, hopefully business-boosting towers, reconfigured pedestrian pathways, conversation-provoking fire pits and other changes aimed at keeping Moragans – and their dollars – closer to home.
We shall see. Plans are still in the preliminary stages, it’s not yet known when the Old Girl will go under the knife, and right now all interested parties are talking about what could be.
Jay Kerner, who owns a substantial chunk of the venerable center – essentially the Allen Wrench-shaped bend from CVS to Amaroma with those island businesses in the parking lot thrown in – put together some renderings based on input from locals and intends to present them at a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and Design Review Board on Monday, April 24.
Kerner’s team will present their initial plans for updating the infrastructure, landscaping, signage and access to the neglected center, along with potential changes to the use permit procedure currently governing what can and cannot be done there at that meeting.
Town staff have labeled the session as an opportunity for Kerner and his team to get feedback and direction from the DRB and Planning Commission regarding possible improvements to the center – something many residents believe have been a long time in coming.
On the short list of long-hoped-for improvements to the center and its retail offering are newer, quality restaurants, produce marts, a bakery and a local pub or sports bar.