Park District Reaches Key Milestone for Borel Agricultural Park in Danville

April 11, 2024

A unique stretch of land on the east side of Interstate 680 is poised to take the next step towards development as an agricultural park open to the community, as the property’s namesake desired. Armand Borel, a walnut farmer, left the property to East Bay Regional Park District in hopes to showcase his heritage walnut orchard and accompanying historic equipment. On Wednesday, March 27, 2024, the sale and property transfer of 7.28 acres of the property in Danville to Trumark for $32 million was finalized, with the proceeds covering previously incurred debts and supporting development of a future park on the portion of the property retained by the Park District.

“We are excited that staff can now begin visioning and planning for what the park can look like for visitors and how it can best serve the public,” said Park District General Manager Sabrina Landreth. “The proceeds from the sale of the property will cover debts and provide funds toward making the park accessible and open for the community. We accepted the Borel Property with the understanding that a sale of a portion of the property would be needed to pay off preexisting debts and support development of the agricultural park.”

Borel bequeathed his 17-acre Danville homestead and walnut orchard to the Park District to be preserved as an agricultural park where the public could learn about the agricultural history of the San Ramon Valley. Mr. Borel passed away in 2009. 

The Borel Trust, which held the Borel Property before the Park District, faced considerable financial challenges. When the District received the property, it was saddled with several existing debts. To keep the trust solvent and prevent foreclosure, the District loaned the trust significant funds. At the time of sale to Trumark, the total amount of loans, plus interest that the District loaned to the Trust was approximately $9.5 million dollars.

The Park District’s land acquisition goals include developing trails and facilities to make parklands safe and welcoming, and protecting natural and cultural resources.

“The sale of the property is a major step that lets us move forward in providing public access to the future park, which we expect will be both a local and regional asset,” said Park District Board Director John Mercurio. “Obtaining the Borel Property and opening it up for public access and agricultural interpretation and education has been a longtime goal of the Park District and my predecessor on the Park District Board of Directors, Beverly Lane.”

Former Director Beverly Lane served 28 years on the Park District’s Board of Directors before retiring in 2022. Lane was a steadfast leader and advocate for turning the Borel Property into a Regional Park. 

The Park District will begin the next phase, which includes the park planning process and assessing how existing facilities and structures can be used. 

The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,330 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives an estimated 30 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Borel Property in Danville