Expansion Plans for Broadway Plaza
It has been well over a year ago that we started hearing rumors about the new expansion plans for Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek. Macerich Co., owner of Broadway Plaza was ready to pony up millions of dollars to close city streets permanantely to increase the size of the downtown mall. The company wants to add 400,000 sqft of mixed retail and residential space to the outdoor mall. The plan also includes 200 new residential units, however if that isn’t built than the total expansion would be no larger than 300,000 sqft. Beside the extra retail space the plan includes underground garage parking and the closure of most of Broadway Plaza street traffic.
Not only would there be additions to the plaza but the company also proposes to renovate 200,000 sqft of existing space as well. This undertaking would be a plan that would be realized within the next 10-25 years. Macy’s jumped at the opportunity and signed onto the project quickly who together with Macerich proposes green building components as well and new road improvements giving the city millions of dollars to be used for off-site advancements.
As the news unfolded about the huge master-plan we found out that The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has authority over a 1,000-foot section where they do not allow any construction. Perhaps this was the reason why Macerich offered $5 million. Back in September everyone was still waiting for a bill on Congress, that if passed would de-federalize that section of culvert and turn the control over to Walnut Creek, allowing Macerich to go ahead with his major expansion plans.
Congressional Barrier Lifted
Just a week after the government shutdown ended, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 was passed by congress that includes key sentences that transferred a 4-mile portion of Walnut Creek from federal control to local control. This bill allows Macerich to go ahead with the expansion plan for up to 300,000 sqft. The city council is meeting in December where they still have to approve the long-range plan since the development will be disrupting businesses at the mall forcing some out of their location all together. Since the construction timeline is now available we know that the first phase of the construction will start between Macy’s and Nordstrom. If all this is passed by the city council, construction can start as early as February of 2014.
What do you think of this huge undertaking? How is this affecting you and what are your thoughts on the expansion? I always look forward to reading your questions and comments.