Year in Review: Downtown transformation picked up steam in 2019
In a big year for downtown Hayward, the City Council approved new zoning to encourage growth, celebrated the start of construction of new housing at the former Mervyn’s department store headquarters, and okayed reacquisition and demolition of long-vacant Civic Center tower.
The new Downtown Specific Plan, enacted April 30, updates land-use designations and transportation plans across 320 acres, including the raising of allowable building heights to up to 11 stories in central downtown, along Foothill Boulevard and next to BART to provide for development of up to 3,427 new housing units.
The first of these catalyst projects is Dollinger Properties’ Lincoln Landing, which broke ground on Sept. 30 and is bringing 476 apartments and 80,500 square feet of retail space to the former Mervyn’s headquarters, plus a contribution of $1.7 million to the City’s affordable housing trust fund.
Continuing the momentum, the Council authorized on Dec. 3 a $3.9 million demolition contract for deconstruction of the City Center Building, the 11-story former home of Hayward City Hall directly across the street from Lincoln Landing. The building was structurally damaged in the Oct. 17, 1989, Loma Prieta Earthquake and subsequently sold into private hands.
Re-acquired by the City in June 2019, the building is set to come down piece by piece starting in March, eliminating a source of blight and making way for future redevelopment—which in turn will further drive downtown revitalization and allow the City to recoup its reacquisition and demolition costs.