Mr. Mehran delivered an amazing presentation for club members this week! Mr. Mehran has a lifetime of experience living and working in the San Ramon Valley. He shared that he attended Green Valley Elementary School and enjoyed riding his horse to downtown Danville as a child. Sunset Development was founded by his father in 1951 and currently there are 3 generations managing the family owned company. Sunset purchased the Bishop Ranch property in 1978 and originally wanted to build a mixed use business park, retail and housing development on the land. However, that was not popular with the existing residents, so the company developed the business park instead.
Bishop Ranch has changed and evolved over the years. In the 1980′s the park was considered a cost savings location and 3.5 million square feet was leased to about 70 tenants. However, as the area grew many smaller companies found San Ramon a great place to locate because so many of their employees lived in the area. Currently Bishop Ranch leases the same 3.5 million square feet to 550 tenants! They offer many programs for small and medium size companies. As well as start-up program called BR Ready that allows companies to move in to plug and play office space.
Mr. Mehran also discussed his perspective on the economy from a national and local perspective. He shared his belief that the recession is not over and that the current housing industry will continue to experience problems until the housing supply is decreased causing higher demand in the marketplace. He also believes that on the federal level, we will likely see some cuts in spending as well as some inflation.
In San Ramon we are very blessed to have an affluent community with quality infrastructure, schools and solid businesses. However, we have also been hard hit by the housing industry problems because we were in such a high growth period when the crash hit. The new stricter underwriting for housing loans will ultimately prove to be a good thing, helping to stabilize the market. And the really good news is that there is once again some buoyancy in the retail market, not enough to see the opening of new stores (AKA the City Center project still is on hold) however this is good news for our economy.
Mr. Mehran’s son Alexander also shared some exciting news. He has been leading the BR Eco program helping Bishop Ranch become LEED certified! The companies goal is to have 3.2 million square feet certified by this summer. With the addition of Chevron’s commitment to certification, San Ramon will have the largest certified business area (5 million square feet) by the end of 2011.
Thank you to both Alex Mehran and Alexander Mehran Jr. for this informative presentation!