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A Vision for Orinda

First Impressions

What if your first impression of Orinda as you come off the freeway was not the BevMo liquor store parking lot, but a beautifully paved plaza amidst lush plantings? Imagine a central fountain, umbrellas and tables, people gathering for a cup of coffee, children enjoying an ice-cream cone, perhaps even broad steps taking you up to Moraga Way with its shops, cafes and the iconic Orinda Theater.

The BevMo parking lot is the first thing that we see when we enter Orinda from the freeway.

The BevMo parking lot is the first thing that we see when we enter Orinda from the freeway.

Spanish Steps - Orinda version

A beautiful plaza with steps leading up to the theater and restaurant area. A place to meet, play and watch the world go by.

Imagine strolling down Orinda Way from the Safeway in Orinda Village toward the Library, and instead of one parking lot after another with cracked pavement in front of bland, tired store buildings, there were well designed store fronts with contemporary co-ordinated signage along a crescent tree-lined walkway, attractive sidewalk cafes, pleasant street architecture with benches on which to sit and planters full of overflowing flowers.

What if someday you could downsize to a beautiful condominium right in the heart of Orinda Village and not have to worry about yard and property maintenance? Imagine a balcony overlooking the golf course, and views of Orinda’s surrounding hills, and imagine being able to walk to all your favorite local stores and restaurants. Envisage that condominium occupying the space currently abandoned and neglected near the old Phairs department store.

We have put together a short slideshow which intersperses current-condition downtown shots with illustrations of what could be. These are just some ideas. Our emphasis is not on the particular details, but on the possibilities, and on the ability to visualize a better planned, better designed and better connected downtown for Orinda in the future.

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