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case study walnut creek downtown

Walnut Creek has developed into a thriving Bay Area retail destination, with the pedestrian-oriented downtown core expanded to include and infill areas formerly occupied by large box tenants. BCV was integrally involved in the re-conceptualization and integration of these large sites within the existing urban fabric of downtown Walnut Creek.




Broadway Pointe is a retail core and shell project encompassing an entire city block in downtown Walnut Creek. The site was developed to house nationally recognized retail tenants, supported by a large parking garage, and to draw from the retail energy of the highly successful outdoor mall across Mt. Diablo Boulevard. 

To achieve these goals, BCV worked extensively with the Walnut Creek Planning Department, incorporating their planning guidelines and designing a location for a new city park within the block.

In order to blend in with the existing city fabric, the project was designed in a series of discrete storefronts, reminiscent of more traditional main streets found throughout the country.  As part of the development, an Il Fornaio restaurant with an open loggia, recalling the design and character of a classical Italian piazza, is sited directly on the park, which will become an integral part of Walnut Creek’s trail system.

renderings - broadway pointe

PROJECT AREAS - plaza escuela

The development of the city block now known as Plaza Escuela began with a discussion of how this key piece of real estate could integrate with the pedestrian-friendly zones to the North and the East. With the extension of an existing city street through the center of the project, and the creation of pedestrian retail storefronts along the perimeter of the site, the block became a new ‘magnet’ for pedestrian activity. Central to this magnetism was the design of a new urban crossroads at the intersection of Locust Street (the street which was extended to create the ‘Main Street’ pedestrian character of Plaza Escuela) and Olympic Blvd (which ties directly into Broadway Plaza, a large development). This intersection, anchored by a large high-end grocery store, serves as a new urban plaza for this growing portion of the downtown, incorporating amenities such as a large fountain, and plenty of outdoor seating.

The development is additionally served by two multi-level parking structures, both integrated seamlessly into the urban fabric of the block. These garage structures incorporate ground level retail, and allow for a through-flow of vehicular traffic. As part of the downtown retail overlay district, these garages add to the overall available reciprocal parking for the pedestrian environment, as provided for in the zoning guidelines of the city.

renderings - plaza escuela


Olympia Place serves as both a vehicular gateway to the downtown community from the adjacent freeways, and as a critical piece of the pedestrian fabric of Walnut Creek. Consisting of 60,000 SF of new retail space situated along both Mount Diablo Boulevard and Locust Street, and a 57,000 SF, 14-screen theater. It is a popular destination for people to enjoy a variety of entertainment and dining opportunities.

The placement of the theater reinforces the Olympic-Locust intersection created in the Plaza Escuela project. Also included in the scope of the project is a multi-level parking garage including approximately 600 spaces to service both the new and existing programs.

renderings - OLYMPIa PLACE


The Corners occupies the southwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and Mount Diablo Boulevard. The design of this 33,000 SF project has two main aims: the extension of the historic pedestrian retail downtown south and west and the preservation of one of the few remaining valley oaks in Walnut Creek, dating from pre-Spanish colonial times.

The Main Street side of the project is developed as three two-story facades. Two one-story brick buildings frame a twelve-foot wide alley that leads to a small pocket park at the base of the Heritage Oak. The alley and the park are activated by a popular restaurant.

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