Developer jumpstarts housing near Walnut Creek BART

A 178-unit apartment complex is under construction adjacent to the Walnut Creek BART as housing development ramps up across the city.

Blake|Griggs Properties is developing the project, known as Vaya, for owner Northwestern Mutual.

Located at 1800 Lacassie Ave., Vaya began construction in late 2015 and is expected to begin leasing by the end of this year. The apartment complex, a combination of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom market-rate units, is one of several transit-oriented developments slated for Walnut Creek. The property is a 35-minute BART ride from downtown San Francisco.

“We’re really excited about this project because it’s really well-conceived and well-positioned geographically to meet the demand for high-quality housing that is close to transit,” said Lauren Seaver, vice president of development at Blake|Griggs Properties.

Vaya will be complete with an expansive roof deck that has multiple outdoor rooms, according to Seaver. Amenities include a yoga studio, rooftop community garden and an outdoor movie theater, barbecue kitchen area and fire pit. On the courtyard level, there will also be a pool and spa.

“It will create a really great outdoor area with lots of different options for people to gather,” said Seaver.

BDE Architecture was the production architect, and TCA Architects completed the design. SCM Construction is the contractor.

The structure is also built to receive the Build it Green Certification, which is based on energy consumption and usage of green materials, Seaver said.

“It’s a great project,” said Chip Griffin, a senior planner at the City of Walnut Creek. “The city is really trying to implement its general plan and develop more for-rent housing within a half mile of transit.”

Walnut Creek’s General Plan, which mapped out housing development to 2025, calls for 1,400 units within a half mile of BART, many of which are already entitled or in the pipeline, according Griffin.

One of the largest such developments, Walnut Creek Transit Village, is also a Blake|Griggs project in conjunction with developer Transit Village Associates. Located on the surface parking lots of the BART Station, the transit village is a massive mixed-use development that includes 600 apartments. Seaver said the development hopes to get underway within the next year.