North Hartz Real Estate Development Area
About the North Hartz Area
Danville residents, businesses and the town government cherishes and takes great pride in its downtown, which serves as the hub and heart of commerce and community. The Historic Old Town features historic buildings and amenities such as parks, decorative street lights, brick-banded pavers, street trees, and street banners all of which support the walkability and vibrancy of the downtown.
The North Hartz Area, which includes North Hartz Avenue and Railroad Avenue from Danville Boulevard (San Ramon Valley High School) to Linda Mesa Avenue, serves as the northern gateway to Downtown Danville. This area has seen limited redevelopment compared to other areas of downtown Danville. Many of the buildings were built in the 1950s and 1960s, with parking in front of buildings and structures that include former gas stations and drive-ins.
History of Redevelopment Efforts in North Hartz
Previously, in an attempt to encourage redevelopment, the Town Council approved the rezoning of the North Hartz Area allowing for enhanced development standards, land uses, and parking requirements for a three-year period, between 2005 and 2008. No redevelopment occurred as a result of that effort.
In late 2015, the Town of Danville invested $6 million to complete the North Hartz Improvements Project, which brought decorative street lights, brick-banded pavers, street trees, and diagonal parking to the area.
In recent years, the only major redevelopment that has occurred in the North Hartz Area has been the properties located at 99 Railroad Avenue and 120 West Linda Mesa (sites containing the historic James Root and Austin Root Houses), including the restoration of historic structures, and the addition of ground and second floor commercial and residential floor space. These redevelopment efforts took advantage of historic preservation incentives, which aren’t available to the vast majority of properties along Hartz Avenue.
The Future of North Hartz
In late 2018, the Town of Danville embarked on the North Hartz Real Estate Development Feasibility Assessment, which included a real estate market review and financial feasibility assessment of potential redevelopment within the area. Simply, the assessment determined whether or not it is economically feasible for a property owner or developer to redevelop the properties. The Assessment found that given the cost of land and construction, as well as parking availability, redevelopment remains highly unlikely. The Danville Town Council has directed staff to connect with property owners in the North Hartz Area to discuss their short-term and long-term plans for their properties. In 2019, the Town will also explore potential incentives that could encourage property owners to enhance the aesthetics of their buildings, through façade improvements or other efforts.