Published February 24th, 2016
Office Building Almost Complete, Condos Under Construction
By Cathy Tyson
Future Towne Center by KB Homes condominiums Image provided
Separated by roughly half a mile, two projects are under construction in Lafayette: Eco Vive is a completely leased office building near the Veteran's Memorial Hall with tenants moving in starting in March; and in the heart of downtown is the very early stage of what will be a multi-story condominium building called Towne Center by KB Homes, at the end of Dewing Avenue.
The contemporary rustic barn at the corner of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Risa Road was designed by Scott Thomsen of Lafayette-based Ward, Young Architects and is owned by Branagh Development. Final approval from the city came in January 2013, and it is basically on schedule, according to Matt Branagh, although there were a few delays due to utility issues. He is happy to announce that the entire Branagh Development team will be moving into the building from their current offices in Danville. Other tenants include Quest Diagnostics and the offices of Artful Surgery plastic surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Lee.
The 9,800-square-foot structure will feature a shared parking lot as a joint venture with the city. Parking spaces will be available to the public on nights and weekends for events at the Veterans Hall and Temple Isaiah, just up Risa Road.
The future 69-unit KB Homes condominium building on the 1.5-acre site located on the former parking lot behind Panda Express will include a landscaped public walkway to the BART station. When complete, the building will feature four floors above the private, secure parking garage that will accommodate market rate units that range in size from 874 to 2,138 square feet. According to Carly Kraft, project manager for corporate communications, the community is currently planned to open in May, with first sales expected in June. At the moment, curious onlookers will see a giant hole in the ground, when peering over the chain link fence.
The project has had an interesting history dating back to 1998 when the city council entered into a development agreement with Lafayette Town Center Associates for a building originally known as Town Center Phase III.
KB Homes filed an application for a specific plan amendment in 2010, which was followed by numerous public meetings and a significant amount of comments - both pro and con from concerned residents. A major sticking point was the height of the building. The final height when complete will be 55 feet tall, after the developer agreed to remove the top story. The development will be shorter than the adjacent shingled apartment building.
Construction site of the future Towne Center by KB Homes in downtown Lafayette
A view of the completed Eco Vive building Photos C. Tyson

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