Ahead of Wednesday’s Castro Valley Municipal Advisory (MAC) meeting, the Alameda County Community Development Agency (CDA) has written a draft Request for Interest (RFI)/Development Concept that seeks a “catalyst project” and an “upscale restaurant” for the County-owned, vacant Daughtrey’s building at 3295 Castro Valley Boulevard in Downtown Castro Valley.
In a memo from CDA to the MAC, Eileen Dalton, Director of CDA’s Economic & Development Department, calls the RFI a “a departure from the prior approach.”
“Based upon community feedback about the last proposed use,” she writes, “the Draft RFI takes a more proactive approach, prescribing desired uses and offering flexibility in the land value to leverage a project that meets the County’s expectations and goals.”
Per Dalton’s memo, the goals put forth in the RFI include:
- an upscale restaurant, food-related and retail project offering new, unique
- a catalyst project that will bring new customers, shoppers and diners to
downtown Castro Valley
- a project that incorporates the new paseo with opportunities for outdoor dining
and active uses
- a project that delivers a transformative design and outstanding architecture
- a project that will generate new sales and property tax revenues
The current version of the draft RFI points to a commercial development of the site. It does not explicitly call for the building to be torn down, nor do the criteria suggest a public use for the space.
The draft RFI outlines a timeline that would see a concept selected for the site by mid June 2017:
- Optional Site Visit & Tour with Staff: March 8, 2017, 2 to 4 p.m.
- Proposals Due: Friday, March 24, 2017 by 5 p.m.
- Interviews with Selection Panel: Tentative, week of May 8-12, 2017
- Follow-up Interviews with Finalist(s) If Needed: Tentative, week of May 15-19, 2017
- Tentative Selection Date for Outstanding Proposal: Mid-June, 2017
There will be “numerous opportunities for public input,” including feedback at MAC and Board of Supervisors meetings as the development project takes shape, according to the memo.
The former Alameda County Redevelopment Agency paid $2.8 million for the building in 2011; it appraised at $950,000 in 2013. The on-going delay in the transfer and redevelopment of the building stems from the complexity of the redevelopment agency dissolution process. Redevelopment agencies, including Alameda County’s, were dissolved by the State of California as a way to use their assets to help balance State and local budgets in the wake of the “Great Recession.”
- In 2014, Castro Valley Matters advocated that the site be retained by the county, the building be torn down, and the space be transformed into a town square. The MAC, however, voted for the building to be sold to David Greensfelder, who said that several businesses were interested in occupying the space at the time, according to an article in the East Bay Times.
- The Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement to sell the Daughtrey’s building to Greensfelder Commercial Real Estate LLC for $860,000 at its June 24, 2014 meeting.
- The County took direct possession of the building in February 2016.
- In November 2016, Greensfelder proposed a Lost Worlds “family entertainment center” as the sole occupant of the Daughtrey’s building.
- At a November 28, 2016 MAC meeting, public speakers overwhelming spoke against the project as did members of the MAC. Greensfelder later withdrew his proposal to develop the site.
MAC Chair Marc Crawford said that five parties have expressed interest in the site, according to an article in this week’s Castro Valley Forum.
Because of parking requirements at the site, only about 63 percent of the available space in the Daughtrey’s can be developed.
Other than a seasonal Spirit Halloween store, the building has remained vacant since the 90s. You can also read this history of the Daughtrey’s Building, developed with materials provided by the Hayward Area Historical Society.
The Castro Valley MAC meets on Wednesday, February 22 at 6:00 p.m. at the Castro Valley Library to discuss the proposed RFI for the Daughtrey’s Building. With Janet Everson’s resignation from the Council, the MAC will also elect a new Vice Chair. CVM plans to broadcast the meeting live on our Mixlr channel.