from Diablo Magazine, November 2019 issue, by Andrea Vasquez Nelson:
“As we transform this building from department store to a department store of food, it’s going to be the heartbeat [and] center of the community,” says Craig Semmelmeyer, founder and principal of Main Street Property Services, whose past projects include the Marketplace in San Ramon, and the Shops at Todos Santos Plaza in Concord.
#### Gustatory Gatherings
In the last decade, the explosion of e-commerce has coupled with a growing foodie culture and a yearning for community interaction as an antidote to virtual social lives, longer workdays, and telecommuting. The result: People are turning to food as a centerpiece for social gathering—whether it’s events like the Asian-inspired night markets in Pleasanton and Berkeley, reincarnated food courts like the one at the Veranda in Concord, or food halls such as the Foundry, a two-story, 25,000-square-foot dining and community space coming to Walnut Creek.
The trend has gained so much steam that 2019 was dubbed the Year of the Food Hall in the United States by property-development leader Gotham Organization, with the number of food halls nationwide on pace to nearly quadruple from 120 in 2016 to 450 by the end of next year.
City Center Bishop Ranch San Ramon
The Veranda Concord
Oakland International Airport
Public Market Emeryville
Castro Valley Marketplace
ETA: January 2020
Location: Downtown Walnut Creek. ETA: Breaking ground in 2020
Location: Jack London Square, Oakland
ETA: Phase one planned for summer 2020.