A new eight-story, 241,000-square-foot office and research and development building is headed for Burlingame’s Bayfront, with plans for the development, which include an adjacent parking garage, approved by the city this week.
The building, slated for 567 Airport Blvd., will sit among other office buildings and hotels just south of San Francisco International Airport. Tenants have yet to be determined, but the development will be geared toward life science and information technology.
“I think this is a terrific project,” Planning Commission Vice Chair William Loftis said. “It’s going to be good for that part of the city.”
The project will include a six-story parking garage with 1,520 spaces and 41 bicycle parking spots.
The building will rely solely on electricity for power and be constructed using union labor, according to the applicant, DES Architects. The building’s south facade, facing away from other buildings, will feature bird-safe glass to reduce the likelihood of birds colliding with windows.
The looks of the building received praise from the Planning Commission.
“I think that it’s a handsome building,” Commissioner Richard Terrones said. “I think it not only will fit in but it will actually complement and raise the bar for the design of the buildings in that neighborhood.”
Other improvements will be made to the surrounding outdoor area, including landscaped open space and paved plazas on the south and east side of the building. In addition to commercial developments, the parcel is located among popular outdoor recreation areas including the Anza Lagoon, Bayside Park and Anza Fisherman’s Park.
The developments will be subject to city fees including $4.8 million in commercial impact fees, $672,000 in Bayfront development fees and $562,000 in public facilities impact fees. The money will help the city fund affordable housing in addition to maintaining and improving public infrastructure.
Though the project’s entitlements passed unanimously, Commissioner Michael Gaul voted that the project did not meet requirements laid out by the California Environmental Quality Act, citing traffic concerns.
“I think we are digging ourselves into a hole that we are going to have a hard time getting out of with all the developments out there,” Gaul said.
Gaul said the area already struggles with traffic despite the nearby Facebook Oculus headquarters and other buildings remaining at just a fraction of their capacity. Roads in the area should be widened and a new on-ramp to Highway 101 should be built before more development occurs, he said.
Loftis said he too was concerned, but traffic studies conducted indicated that changes to transportation infrastructure would not need to be made to support the project, according to the city’s criteria. The building’s size falls in line with the city’s general plan for the area, Terrones pointed out.
“I understand … that this meets the city’s standards, although I’m just not going to agree,” Gaul said. “I think we are going in the wrong direction.”
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