JFK Field Transforms into Orinda Grove

JFK Field Transforms into Orinda Grove

A digitalization of what Orinda Grove will look like as a community.

Claire Marvin and Hank Larsen, Staff Writers

Step aside Wilder, there’s a new housing development on the rise. Orinda Grove, a housing and office development located at the old Pine Grove site, is scheduled to open April 2013. The Orinda Union School District sold the 11-acre Pine Grove site, including the 3.1-acre JFK field, to the Pulte Development Group. Pulte Homes sent in a formal application to develop the site on May 15, 2005, and the Orinda City Council approved their application on Aug.18, 2008.

Home to a sports field that every Orinda kid has played soccer or baseball on, JFK will be missed by many. The area served as a source of wonderful childhood memories, and many Lamorinda residents mourn its loss to a large housing development. However, there will still be a usable sports field once Orinda Grove is established, so make room for plenty of new memories to come.

“The development contains 80 homes (later revised to 73 homes, eight of which will be used for affordable housing), relocation of the city-owned ball fields to the area near the northwesterly corner of the project site and construction of an approximately 6,000 square foot Orinda Union School District office building to replace the existing District offices on the site,” Orinda Works Associate Planner Scott Pacheco said.

Eight of the units are designated to be affordable housing units because in signing over the property to Pulte, the OUSD required at least 10 percent of the units  be used for affordable housing. These eight affordable units will be four bedroom duplexes, in contrast with the rest of the single family detached units. A representative from the Pulte group said that the single family detached units will be up to 2,600 square feet.

Right now the site is just a pile of dirt, but the Pulte group expects to start construction on the first home next fall. Just what will it cost to get into this conveniently located development? While no numbers are set in stone quite yet, “the cost of the affordable units will be based on a formula that will be determined by the City Council,” Pacheco said.

The single family detached units will be the bulk of the community and according to Pacheco, prices will be determined by the current housing market.

Formerly owned by OUSD, the JFK area served little use in the long run except for the occasional soccer or baseball game. Now with demolition just completed, Orinda Grove is a go and JFK will be put to good use. Also, the new OUSD offices will re-vamp the face of Orinda education.