WALNUT CREEK -- The City Council will get its first public glance at a major Walnut Creek retail and housing project Tuesday night.
The project, dubbed The Orchards at Walnut Creek, calls for 219,000 square feet of development, including a 55,000-square-foot Safeway store, retail shops, restaurants, a health club and senior housing on 25 acres at the corner of Ygnacio Valley and Oak Grove Roads.
A longtime in the works, the project proposed by Safeway -- on land the grocery giant already owns -- has been making its way through community meetings and city study sessions over the past several months.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, the City Council will hold a study session to give its opinions on the project. And then, according to Safeway officials, feedback they have received over the last few months will be applied to a revised plan that will formally be submitted to the city for approval.
This is not just a shopping center, proponents said.
"There is green space to encourage social interaction," said Deb Karbo, director of development at Safeway's realty company, Property Development Centers, at a recent Design Review Commission meeting.
The site plans shows space for playgrounds, parks (which will not be maintained by the city), a "splash pad" water play area, restaurants, a botanical garden and meandering pathways throughout the development.
The idea of building a shopping center at the underdeveloped corner has created controversy in the past with some neighbors worried about traffic and the impact of new retail on other nearby shopping centers.
Once Safeway submits a formal project, an environmental review, including a traffic study, will be done to examine the impacts.
Contact Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617. Follow her at Twitter.com/enardi10.