Goal LU-5: Promote attractive and vibrant community and regional centers that provide convenient and enhanced opportunities for shopping, services, entertainment, social interaction, and culture.
Centers are commercial and mixed-use developments that contain a mix of commercial businesses and at least one anchor tenant. For the purpose of this General Plan, the City of Hayward has two types of centers: regional centers and community centers. Regional centers, such as the Southland Mall, are large commercial developments that serve residents from Hayward and other nearby communities in Alameda County. Regional centers are generally located at the intersections of major arterial streets and near freeway interchanges. Community centers are smaller commercial developments that primarily serve local residents and business within nearby neighborhoods. Community centers are typically located along arterial streets. As a result, they may be confused with corridor developments (see Goal 4). The key differences between community centers and corridor developments are the size of the property and the tenant mix. Community centers are larger properties that contain a mix of commercial businesses and at least one anchor tenant, such as a grocery store or large health gym. Corridor developments are located on smaller sites and do not have an anchor tenant.
This goal and its supporting policies are designed to promote attractive and vibrant regional and community centers that provide opportunities for commerce, shopping, services, entertainment, and culture. The policies support the renovation, reuse, and redevelopment of underutilized and obsolete centers to create more economically viable developments. In some circumstances, residential and mixed-use developments may be appropriately integrated within existing and new centers to improve the economic viability of properties. However, the integration of these uses should support, rather than replace, the primary commercial and service functions of the center.
Because of the continuing growth of online retailing, convenience and experience are becoming more and more important in the design of regional and community centers. To attract customers and drive sales, centers need to give people additional reasons to visit. As a result, centers are being reinvented to enhance the social experience of shopping by offering quality indoor and outdoor spaces, wireless networks, quality dining experiences, and community gathering spaces, such as sidewalk dining, play areas for children, and plazas for community events. The policies in this section support these types of improvements and enhancements to existing and new centers.
The policies in this section apply to most centers within the City. They do not apply to the centers within the City’s Priority Development Areas, as more specific policies for those areas are provided under Goal 2.
The City shall encourage a mix of retail, service, dining, recreation, entertainment, and cultural uses and activities in regional and community centers to meet a range of neighborhood and citywide needs.
The City shall maintain flexible land use regulations that allow the establishment of economically productive uses in regional and community centers.
The City shall encourage new and redeveloped centers to incorporate the following design strategies:
• Place large anchor retail buildings (big-box stores) to the rear of the site and away from streets.
• Place smaller commercial or mixed-use buildings along street frontages and/or internal driveways that function as small pedestrian-oriented “Main Street” environments. Orient the main entrances to these buildings toward streets rather than internal parking lots.
• Minimize large expanses of parking along streets by placing parking lots and structures behind buildings and within the interior of the site.
Encourage pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and outdoor gathering and dining spaces along building frontages.
• Incorporate pedestrian connections and access routes to connect building entrances to adjacent sidewalks, transit stops, parks and greenways, and neighborhoods.
• Design buildings with articulated facades and transparent storefront entrances.
• Enhance building facades with awnings, shade structures, pedestrian-oriented signage, decorative lighting, and other attractive design details and features.
The City shall require new and renovated community and regional centers to incorporate landscaping and shade trees into parking lots to capture and filter stormwater runoff, minimize the heat island affect, and improve the visual appearance of properties. Parking lot shade structures with solar panels may also be used as an alternative to shade trees.
The City shall support private-sector efforts to improve the economic health and vitality of the Southland Mall, including major redevelopment efforts that transform the property into a regional destination for shopping, dining, and family and youth entertainment and recreation.
The City shall support the adaptive reuse, renovation, or redevelopment of community and regional shopping centers that are no longer viable due to changing market conditions, demographics, or retail trends. The City shall consider alternative land uses if market conditions limit the feasibility of commercial uses.
The City shall consider the integration of residential or mixed-use developments into new and existing community and regional centers. The integration of these uses should support, rather than replace, the primary commercial and service functions of the center.