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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2008, 9:57 PM
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Bay Area: Concord and Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek, CA

A city of about 65,000, Walnut Creek is a suburb in the Bay Area that functions like an edge-city. Many people do commute from WC to Oakland (15 miles) or SF (25 miles), but, a significant number people also commute to Walnut Creek for work, being right at the junction of Hwys 24 & 680, as well as two Bart lines. Walnut Creek has done a lot to develop densely and is very walkable and urban in and around downtown.

A few views from up high...





A close up of development around the WC BART station



Each of these clusters are on Bart stations: Concord (farthest back), Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek



Another close up of development around Pleasant Hill and Concord Bart





Around Pleasant Hill Bart station (confusingly not located in Pleasant Hill, but, unincorporated Walnut Creek)





















Downtown Concord in the distance







California Plaza...at every angle!







































The lovely 680 highway...































A lot of housing has gone up in and around downtown





























































Concord, CA

Concord is about five miles further out and is also a regional business center. But, despite having twice the inhabitants (123,000), Concord is more of a low rent version of Walnut Creek. I like going to Concord mainly because it has one of my favorite chain restaurants (Claim Jumper), one of only two in the Bay Area.

















































I couldn't get a good picture of this building as I was kicked out of the parking garage.
















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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2008, 10:14 PM
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Cool. I grew up in Concord. Those pictures bring back memories.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2008, 10:18 PM
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interesting shots
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2008, 10:26 PM
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nice pix
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2008, 10:55 PM
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Nice to see. Two great suburbs.
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2008, 11:15 PM
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There was a great article in SF magazine a while back if anyone's curious to read more about the Walnut Creek "miracle": SF Magazine Article

Basically it's been hailed as a shining example of a lot of things: pedestrian-friendly development, transit connections, an old mom-and-pop downtown co-existing with a neighboring upscale mall, etc. It's my favorite suburb in the Bay Area, hands down.
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2008, 11:29 PM
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Another great tour, stepper. Walnut Creek's downtown is nice: very walkable and clean. It might be just a bit sterile, but I think it will age well and develop a more organic feel. I hope so anyway.

This shot shows something I think they've done particularly well, which is hiding the parking garages. The open area above is all parking and it continues down to ground level in the middle of the block with storefronts all along the sidewalks exept where the driveawys to the garage are located. Not a bad solution if you have to have parking garages downtown.
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 4:00 AM
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Very nice! Why can't all suburbia look like that?
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 4:58 AM
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looks like this area has some exciting retail options
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 7:28 AM
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I've eaten at that Mel's. It's a fine establishment in a nice downtown.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 8:48 AM
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That one shot with Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and Restoration Hardware is kind of the NoCal suburban trifecta.

Back in the days when I commuted daily to Concord, I saw those places but they look a lot nicer in your photos (plus time has passed).

Good job.
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 9:18 AM
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I have tried to find pictures of Concord's downtown forever! I can never find any. I see Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill all the time going to the BART stations there, but I have never been to Concord, only seen its downtown from 680. Big thanks! The mothball fleet, is that considered Concord or Benecia?
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 3:17 PM
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Nice to see Frisco is still building streetcar suburbs.
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 6:48 PM
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Everything is so nice and clean. Looks great.
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 7:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGII View Post
Nice to see Frisco is still building streetcar suburbs.
I don't know if I can call them that. They have transit oriented business districts but most people still need to drive to get to the BART. It is nice though to have a train that takes you all the way to SF. That commute was a b**ch.
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 7:30 PM
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Is McCovey's restaurant in Walnut Creek named after/owned/operated by Willie McCovey?

Nice tour. Thanks for posting this.
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 8:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex1899 View Post
Is McCovey's restaurant in Walnut Creek named after/owned/operated by Willie McCovey?
I'm sure it's at least named after him and the building it's in looks like a miniaturized version of AT&T Park (or at least something intended to evoke it). The body of water next to the Park (where kayakers await home run balls) is named McCovey Cove in case you didn't know that already.
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 8:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Reverberation View Post
I don't know if I can call them that. They have transit oriented business districts but most people still need to drive to get to the BART.
The brick clad building in this photo is a BART parking structure, usually full well before morning rush hour is in full swing:

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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 10:43 PM
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That's a very comprehensive tour of our area, well done! I live and work in downtown Walnut Creek and am amazed at all the changes in the 8 years I've been here. I've been meaning to make another thread and you beat me to it!
Concord is sort of a downgraded version of WC but they do have a nice town square with some bustling restaurants around it. They also have some new residential development around the square, so they're trying!
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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2008, 10:49 PM
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Great tour of Walnut Creek and Concord stepper77. I grew up in Walnut Creek, so your photos bring back some memories. You covered the city pretty well, which has changed quite a bit in the last 5-10 years, for example,


The Century movie theater located at the end of the street in the photo above used to be where McCovey's Restaurant is; housed in a tan cinder block building. Also, I believe the area by the Century movie theater or the stores in the foreground used to be where a yard birds type store was located. Frankly, the areas around Broadway Plaza have become quite a built up environment in the past years. Lastly, when trains used to run through east bay towns, the majority of the tracks that ran through Walnut Creek came down California Blvd. that's pictured in one of your photos.
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