A vision to provide economic growth and vitality to downtown Castro Valley began 15 years ago. The vision included both revitalization and repurposing of buildings as well as improvements to mobility with specific focus on the pedestrian environment. Recent modifications to the downtown include the adaptive reuse of the long forsaken Daughtrey’s Department Store building into the Castro Valley Marketplace. The Marketplace, which transformed the building both inside and out though the use of murals, decorative lighting, skylights, and storefront windows, recently opened as an artisanal food hall and community gathering space.
Improving foot traffic and the pedestrian experience within the downtown core has involved both large and small investments. Streetscape and sidewalk projects have improved pedestrian and bicycle circulation, calmed vehicle traffic, and created a walkable environment. The County also worked with property owners to consolidate parking which also eliminated the need for some commercial driveways. These spaces could then be repurposed and converted into public paseos. These paseos are used jointly by adjacent businesses for outdoor dining and as passageways to access parking and other businesses within the downtown core. Having been designed for specifically for pedestrians, these open spaces provide accessible opportunities for the entire community.