Internationally-renowned architect Renzo Piano Building Workshop is designing an innovative retail destination in San Ramon, CA. Developed by Sunset Development Company to "seamlessly blend shopping, dining, culture, community and commerce," the new City Center Bishop Ranch broke ground last week and is scheduled to complete in May 2018.

Demolition began on four of the property’s oldest office buildings, known as Bishop Ranch 2, or BR2. Replacing them will be City Center Bishop Ranch, a reinvention of the American suburban shopping center, with 300,000 sq-ft of retail around a one-acre piazza in the heart of Bishop Ranch.

To help achieve an inclusive, outdoor European feel, Sunset Development tapped the talents of Paris, France-based Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Renzo Piano is an internationally renowned, Pritzker Prize-winning architect, who in 2006, was named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine. Among his many acclaimed works are new building at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, The Shard in London, Europe’s tallest skyscraper, and the new Whitney Museum in New York City.

"Renzo Piano is a world-renowned architect who creates elegant and light filled spaces," says Jeff Dodd, senior vice president or retail at Sunset Development. "His projects are largely for the public and civic minded. City Center Bishop Ranch will be a place that rises above formulaic retail to be a true civic asset for the area."

The center will contain approximately 75 stores and will be anchored by a 10-screen luxury movie theatre, several restaurants and a mix of distinctive stores and services. The new destination will place the mix of stores, restaurants and services within walking and bicycling distance for more than 30,000 employees, and within minutes for the residents of San Ramon and other East Bay communities.

A possible second phase of the project might include up to 487 apartment units, a 169-room hotel and 70,000 sq-ft of additional retail space.

The cost of the project has not been made public and a contractor has yet to be selected, says Dodd.

Located on 585 acres in the San Ramon Valley in San Francisco’s East Bay, Bishop Ranch is the largest mixed-use business community in Northern California. It is owned and operated by Sunset Development Company and is home to 30,000 employees at more than 600 companies, including AT&T, Chevron, General Electric, IBM, PG&E, Robert Half, Bank of the West, Toyota and Berkshire Hathaway.