The East Bay is a wonderful area in which to live and work. Please check out the Empire blog which always has current local community events and market data. With some of the best public and private schools in the country, this is an ideal place to purchase a home or investment. For more information about the local communities, please contact us!
Small Town Ambiance and Tranquility
The quiet, unincorporated, enclave of Alamo features a variety of custom homes, sprawling ranchers, contemporary homes and equestrian properties situated on large parcels. Alamo’s quaint downtown area has a variety of privately owned shops and restaurants that exemplify the entrepreneurial culture of this desirable address. Alamo is just minutes away from downtown Walnut Creek with its wonderful shops, restaurants, cultural activities and the BART station for commuting to San Francisco. Central to the community is Round Hill Country Club with its championship golf course, outstanding tennis and swim facilities, and elegant entertainment venues - all surrounded by wonderful homes. The Ironhorse Trail parallels Danville Boulevard the length of Alamo and is a popular jogging and hiking trail running throughout the Diablo & Tri-Valley areas. With its fabulous weather, outdoor living is key to the Alamo lifestyle with many individual homes offering a wide array of backyard entertaining options such as built-in outdoor kitchens, backyard swimming pools, tennis or sport courts. Alamo, nestled in the cozy valley between Las Trampas Ridge and the pastoral foothills of Mount Diablo, prides itself on its small town ambiance and rural character.
The unincorporated community of Blackhawk is located within the Danville sphere of influence. Blackhawk is a recreation paradise. Within its nine square miles are two challenging 18-hole golf courses, a magnificent country club which is the epitome of elegance and comfort, 20 lighted tennis courts, and a 25-acre sports complex. Within this approximately 6500 acre luxury gated community you will find magnificent homes, estates, and tennis villas. Residents enjoy a rare blend of elegance and sophistication; the serenity of the country and all the amenities of a world-class resort. Blackhawk Plaza features a movie theater, restaurants with upscale shopping, as well as The Behring Auto Museum and the University of California Museum of Art, Science and Culture.
The charming city of Clayton was founded by Joel Clayton. He purchased 40 acres at the confluence of Mitchell and Diablo creeks and in 1855 built his home here. In 1857, he founded the town of Clayton and laid out the town and streets that exist to this day. Clayton has approximately 400 acres of open space with a variety of recreation activities in the area. In addition, there are 17 miles of walking and hiking trails within the Clayton Trail System. The Trail System connects to the East Bay Regional Park District's Black Diamond, Bruce Lee and Back Canyon Trails.
Concord, the most populous city in Contra Costa County, is a harmonious blend of quiet neighborhoods and bustling business community. Modern high rise office buildings and a redeveloped downtown area centered around Todos Santos Plaza are bringing residents and visitors to the downtown area which features a movie theater complex, BART station, shops and restaurants. The Sleep Train Pavilion is one of the highlights of the city. Located on the east side of Concord, the Pavilion brings in name entertainment from jazz to rock to oldies in a wonderful outdoor environment. Concord also features fantastic trails for biking, hiking, jogging or walking. These trails connect with the 18.5 mile Iron Horse Trail that leads through Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Danville, and down to Alameda County.
Quaint Small Town Atmosphere
Danville passionately defends and preserves its rustic, rural atmosphere. Danville is a town that exudes charm and sophistication. The quaint downtown district, once the entertainment center for surrounding farms and ranches, features a country motif and century old buildings. Oak trees are abundant and a majestic 300 year old oak situated in the middle of Diablo Road greets visitors to the city. Residential development has grown rapidly in recent years particularly on Danville’s east side, combining handsome ranch style homes, two story traditional homes, as well as contemporary homes, custom estates, town home neighborhoods, and an exclusive gated golf course community. Here one finds homes with backyard pools and sometimes even a horse corral. Nearby the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness provides 3,780 acres of natural beauty.
Summer Cottages to Modern Estates
Established in the early 1900s as a summer vacation spot for San Francisco residents wanting to escape the fog, Diablo is situated between Danville and Blackhawk at the base of Mt. Diablo. Diablo grew into a year-round community with its own post office and country club. Much of Diablo life centers around the Country Club which offers members seven tennis courts, a fabulous Jack Nevelle designed 18-hole golf course, state of the art pool and 45,000 square foot clubhouse. Reflecting the area’s rural character and charm, the post office is a fabulous place to meet and chat with neighbors as there is no mail delivery to the nearly 1000 residents. The largest and most popular event is the local Ice Cream Social which has been celebrated annually for three decades. Diablo’s past can be seen in the eclectic mix of homes found in the area. From summer cottages to modern estates, residents are adamant about preserving the area and its lifestyle.
Idyllic Environment Define Lafayette, Moraga & Orinda
Lamorinda boasts gorgeous landscapes and its strong community. The residents pride themselves on their top-rated schools, and commitment to a quality community. The idyllic weather and prime location near BART and access to San Francisco make it a perfect place to live and call home.Lafayette offers an idyllic environment with a blend of diverse topography, small town atmosphere, established neighborhoods and access to a variety of recreational activities. What began as a farming community has grown into one of the most sought after communities in the East Bay. The Lafayette Art and Wine Festival is a fun-filled annual summer event located in the heart of downtown. Children in the area attend Lafayette School District for the early grades and move up to the Acalanes District for high school. Test scores are in the top five percentile in the state.
Scenic trails winding through rolling hills invite residents and visitors alike to Moraga; one of the three communities making up the Lamorinda area. Home to St. Mary’s College which offers many undergraduate and graduate programs, the town boasts a highly developed cultural community. The panoramic Moraga Trail begins in the hills of Lafayette ending at the Moraga Commons Park. Golf, tennis and swimming can be found at the Moraga Country Club. Located just east of Oakland through the Caldecott Tunnel, Orinda is a peaceful, quiet and family friendly community that claims the natural beauty of tree clad hillsides, nationally recognized schools, a strong cultural base and lovely neighborhoods. Children attend the Orinda Elementary School District and then move up to Miramonte High School in the Acalanes High School District. Test scores are some of the highest in the state and bond measures in recent years have upgraded, renovated and expanded schools in the district. Orinda offers easy access to parks and recreational facilities. Tilden Park, one of the largest regional parks in the area, borders Orinda. Here one can find vast trails, a merry go round, ball fields, lake, a golf course, and botanical gardens. The nationally acclaimed Shakespearean festival and theater and the Orinda Film Festival attract visitors annually.
Established in 1876, Martinez is the County seat of Contra Costa County. It is located along the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers in the central part of the County. The City’s roots can be traced to the late 1840’s, when it served as a ferryboat transit point across the Carquinez straits on the way to the gold fields. Today, the City covers 12.5 square miles, 16 City parks, a Marina and has approximately 36,700 residents. As one of California’s first towns, Martinez retains a strong sense of history and family. The renowned naturalist John Muir made Martinez his home for nearly a quarter of a century and in 1915, the year after Muir’s passing, the legendary baseball great Joe DiMaggio was born here. One of the unique aspects of Martinez is its architecture. Many of the downtown shops still retain their early 20th Century look and charm, with some homes dating back more than 125 years.
Martinez has modernized both its infrastructure and its downtown. The City opened an award-winning Intermodal Facility in 2001 that has become a popular stop along the Amtrak line. It also completed a major restoration of Alhambra Creek that beautifies the downtown and controls flooding, and has embarked on a program to make Martinez a cultural-historical attraction as the home of the John Muir Festival Center. An outdoor amphitheater is the first realization of this long-term program.
A Charming Community
Pleasant Hill is a charming post World War II bedroom community located just north of Walnut Creek and east of Lafayette in the shadow of Mt. Diablo. The city of Pleasant Hill is an eclectic mix of older homes on tree canopied streets – to newer developments with the latest features. Pleasant Hill offers Sunday Jazz in the Park, and many restaurants and shops on Crescent Drive – a downtown area 25 years in the making. Recreational facilities include an active Little League program, the beautiful Contra Costa Country Club, a newly renovated YMCA and endless miles of open space hiking trails. For the golf lover, 18 holes of golf are offered at the private Contra Costa Country Club as well as a quick game of nine holes at the new Grayson Woods course.
Dublin enjoys an enviable location at the intersection of Interstates 580 and 680. Dublin is a community that is growing in size and diversity, and they have something to offer anyone who wants to make Dublin their home. The newer Hacienda Crossing shopping center offers wonderful restaurants, shopping, and a multiplex movie theater. The annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival is a time-honored tradition in the community, bringing residents from all over the bay area to Dublin.
Located less than an hour from both Silicon Valley and San Francisco, the city of Dublin proves to be a perfect location for many commuters. Pleasanton prides itself on their numerous parks and recreation facilities and programs. Pleasanton is also home to thriving business parks and the regional Stoneridge Mall. 12 out of Pleasanton’s 14 schools have received the California Distinguished School designation. Together, the city and school district are committed to building a community of character. Downtown is the heart of the community -- the setting for festivals, street parties, parades, weekly summer concerts, Saturday farmer's market and other special events.
Downtown offers some of the finest dining and shopping in the Tri-Valley. Pleasanton is also home to the Alameda County Fairgrounds which hosts statewide and regional events, as well as the annual Alameda County Fair.
A Bedroom Community
Serving as both a bedroom community and major employment center, San Ramon has seen impressive growth in both sectors beginning in the 1980s with the development of the Bishop Ranch Business Park. Here Alex Mehran foresaw the need for many San Francisco companies to shift operations from an expensive urban location to a more cost effective space in the easily accessible east bay. Over 580 acres of orchard land was transformed into a first-class office park environment housing over 20,000 workers in over 250 companies. Today there are several shopping centers, a hospital, community and senior centers, golf course, country club, and many parks to homeowners. Top Windermere schools offer a high level of education to students. Homeowners can choose from a variety of housing options from condominium developments to single family homes. Located in Central Park, the annual San Ramon Wind Festival, which features artisans from all over the Bay Area, is a highlight for many residents and their families.
The Cultural Heart of Contra Costa County
Downtown Walnut Creek is the cultural heart of Contra Costa County. Situated at the foot of towering Mt. Diablo, Walnut Creek combines an urban flair with picturesque scenery, fabulous weather, and blocks and blocks of a vibrant downtown filled with upscale shops and restaurants. In the center of Walnut Creek is the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts entertaining area residents with top-rated plays, symphonies, operas, and ballets. The arts play a predominant role in the community including the Walnut Creek Art and Wine Festival which is a fabulous opportunity for the community to sample an array of local artists’ works and sample sumptuous dishes from local restaurateurs. The expanded shopping area around Broadway Plaza and Main Street features major national retailers coupled with award-winning and unique neighborhood boutiques and restaurants. Outdoor recreation is another community emphasis. Bicyclists, hikers and equestrians enjoy Mt. Diablo State Park, pet owner’s appreciate Shell Ridge open space off-leash dog policy and of course the popular Iron Horse Trail.
The 101 acre Heather Farm Parks complex provides art classes, tennis, swimming including a nationally rated synchronized swim team and Masters Swim Team. Local golfers enjoy the scenic Boundary Oak Golf Course. Walnut Creek schools are consistently rated among the state’s top schools and many schools have been honored with the Distinguished School award. This active community is proud of their parent involvement and varied youth sport programs. Additionally there are several private schools in the area. The award-winning active adult community of Rossmoor is located in the city of Walnut Creek, but in their own 2,200 acre valley. Close to 10,000 residents live in a security gated community nestled among hills, open space, and golf courses.