Village Marketplace made two significant milestones the week of May 21, 2012. First, on May 21, the San Leandro City Council unanimously approved a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) with developer Innisfree Ventures II authorizing the sale of 1550 East 14th Street for development of the Village Marketplace retail center. Second, on May 23, the San Leandro Successor Agency Oversight Board unanimously authorized said Disposition and Development Agreement. The project is moving towards a proposed groundbreaking in March 2013, with doors scheduled to open at the Marketplace in December 2013.
The City of San Leandro began working with developer Innisfree Ventures II to develop a retail center at 1550 East 14th Street, the site of the former Albertsons grocery store, in August 2009. Current design concepts for the Village Marketplace envision a high-quality, Mediterranean-style neighborhood retail center of roughly 28,000 square feet. Negotiations with tenants are still in progress, however, the developer received letters of intent from grocer Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, AT&T and Habit Burger. In anticipation of Fresh & Easy leaving the US market, Innisfree Ventures II began vetting a replacement tenant in December 2012. With negotiations in progress, a new anchor tenant will be annouced soon. The design concepts include additional retail and restaurant spaces with outdoor dining, and a public plaza, complete with gathering space and a fountain, a public art component and lush landscaping.
Visioning for this priority development site in downtown San Leandro began approximately five years ago when a 27-member Citizens Advisory Committee worked for two years on the City’s award-winning Transit Oriented Development Strategy. Design concepts in the TOD Strategy included a neighborhood retail center with a residential component on the upper floors. Give the significant changes that have taken place in real estate markets since 2007, development of residential units above retail are not financially feasible for the foreseeable future. The proposed retail component remains generally consistent with what was proposed in the TOD Strategy.
The City entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Rights Agreement with Innisfree in September 2009 and has been working on plans for this site for the past three years. Information regarding retailers the community would like to see downtown has been collected over the years from a Downtown San Leandro website survey as well as a letter writing campaign. The Village Marketplace proposed tenant Peet’s Coffee & Tea was result of these efforts.
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