St Paul’s Commons is a unique partnership between the long-standing St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Walnut Creek (SPCWC) and developer Resources for Community Development (RCD).
St. Paul’s, in master-planning its campus for continued value to the congregation and Walnut Creek community, underwent a year-long visioning process with East Bay Housing Organizations’ Interfaith community, precipitated by the West Downtown Walnut Creek Specific Plan Area process. As a result of that visioning, the church determined the need for a new building that would integrate its existing services and provide much needed affordable housing for their community.
PYATOK partnered with RCD to win the RFQ for the new multi-use/mixed-use development as part of the SPCWC campus. The vision for this new project incorporates a ground floor community center and three upper floors containing 45 studio and 1 bedroom apartments serving individuals earning up to 30-60% of Area Median Income. The ground floor community center will house the existing Trinity Center Homeless Adult Resource Center as well as event and meeting spaces for the many users of the church’s community.
One of PYATOK’s early roles included facilitation of numerous early design workshops to build the foundation of the design concepts, ensuring the needs of the church and its constituencies are met. A high priority that came out of the workshops was to maintain many of the large existing trees, while creating a shared courtyard with the existing St Paul’s church.
To respect the neighboring church and context the mass of the building is reduced at the southwest corner, and a large courtyard was created to provide desired open space and to maintain a few of the important trees on the site. The demanding program of the community and church facilities are tightly designed to fit within the footprint of the building while providing generous amount of open space for residents and users of the Trinity Center.
The project will ultimately be managed in cooperation between John Stewart Company and the Trinity Center of Walnut Creek, under St. Paul’s. Adhering to the sustainability goals of both SPCWC and RCD, the project will seek Silver Certification under the Green Point Rated program.