HAYWARD (CBS SF) — Hayward is finally moving forward with one of the biggest business development projects in the East Bay in years.

On April 25, the City Council gave a developer — Dollinger Properties — the approval needed to start construction on the Lincoln Landing project in downtown Hayward on the site of the old Mervyn’s headquarters building.

City leaders say the large development will add more quality housing, help revitalize downtown and also help clean up the old Mervyn’s lot.

“We’re very excited to see the chain link fencing come down and see a vibrant, new apartment complex and retail center,” said Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday.

The vacant building is located on Foothill Boulevard and greets drivers entering downtown Hayward. Since Mervyn’s filed for bankruptcy and shut down its headquarters in 2008, the abandoned building has been a haven for squatters.

Homeless outreach workers say up to 80 squatters lived in the empty building at one point. The police department says between January 1, 2015 and the end of 2016, they responded to 274 calls for service at that location. The fire department also went to the building about two dozen times.

“It does not make a good first impression,” Halliday said. “And with the revitalization of this project that is an 11-acre site, we’re going to present a much better face to the world.”

Even though some neighbors are concerned the new development will bring more people, traffic and noise to the area, they say any kind of progress is a good step and better than what they have now.

Neighbor Nichole Correa welcomes the new project — “Anything new that’s going to bring jobs, and families, and support the city and economy around here has to be great.”

The city cleared out the squatters in March so construction crews can start to demolish the building.

The developer will build 476 market-rate apartments and 80,500 square feet of commercial space on the 11.5-acre lot. Both the developer and city leaders believe it’s proximity to a BART station will also be a big plus. It’s about six blocks away from the Hayward BART station.

Construction will start around November and the developer hopes the project will be done around the Summer of 2019.


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